Tipu and his Missile War

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India called Tipu Sultan the innovator of the worlds first war rocket.

Tipu Sultans Rockets
Around 1044, Rockets were developed in medieval China. The first advantageous rocket application for critical adventure other then entertainment befell in 1232 AD by way of the Chinese against the Mongols at the siege of Kai-Feng-Fue. Later from 1750 AD to 1799 AD Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan (Sultans of Mysore, in south India) perfected the rocket's use for military adventures. They were very resultantly applying rocket technology in assault against British Indian armies.

There were 27 brigades (called Kushoons) in the Tipu Sultan's army and each brigade accommodated a company of rocket men called Jourks. Throughout Second Anglo-Mysore war, at the Battle of Pollilur (1780), Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan attained an assured victory, whereby the whole British army commands by Colonel Baillie was abolished and 3820 soldiers were taken prisoner (along with Colonel Bailli). The contributory act due to the many British ammunitions tambrils was placed on fire by Mysorean rockets.


Tipu Sultan was the first Indian King who created and used latest arms and missiles against British army in 17th century. Tipu Sultan developed missile war Technology with a significant change in the cylinder of metal-containing powder combustion. Rockets could be of different sizes, but the common design was an iron tube roughly 8" long and 1½ - 3" diameter, closed at one end and strapped to a shaft of bamboo about 4ft. long. The cylinder was packed with explosive material and some powder - a large rocket, carrying about one pound of powder could travel nearly 1,000 yards.

They Were Particularly Effective Against Cavalry

Tipu sultan's rocket war
Although the hammered soft iron used was crude, the bursting strength of the container of gunpowder was much higher. And thus greater internal pressure was possible, with the resulting larger propulsive thrust. The warhead was tied with long leather string to a bamboo stick. The range of the rocket was nearly a kilo meter.

Despite the fact that individually these rockets were not accurate, dispersion error became less critical when a large number of rockets fired rapidly in indiscriminate attacks. They were particularly effective against cavalry and were thrown into the air, after lighting, or skimmed the hard dry ground. Tipu Sultan continued to develop and expand the use of missiles reportedly increased the number of rocket troops from 1200 to 5000. The fighting in Srirangapatna in the years 1792 and 1799, these rockets were used with considerable effect against the British Army.

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