Short Essay on Sher Shah’s Military Strength

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The importance of the army to Sher Shah cannot be over-emphasized. It was only with the help of the army he was able to drive out Humayun and subdue practically the whole of northern India.

He invited Afghan soldiers from every part of the country and gave them highest posts in the army. He took great personal interest in the recruitment of the troops. In many cases, he himself fixed the emoluments of the sliders. Troops were permitted on the basis of merit and no wonder Sher Shah’s armies became very strong.

Sher Shah re-introduced the system of Dagh or Branding or Horses and Chera or the preparation of the descriptive rules of the soldiers. In this way, fraudulent musters were -hecked. Sher Shah put a lot of emphasis on the cavalry. His intantry was armed muskets and the troops were skilful in their use.

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Sher Shah also divided his army into many divisions and each division was to be under a commander. Strict supervision was maintained on the discipline of the soldiers. Transport and commissariat arrangement^ were to be made by the soldiers themselves. Provisions were supplied to the soldiers by the Banjaras who moved about along with the Army.

Critics point out the certain defects in Sher Shah’s estimate. The Afghans contigents often consisted of members of a single clan or tribe. The result was that their naturally loyalty was to the tribal leaders rather than to sovereign. This fact is proved by the revolts of Khawas Khan and Habit Khan against Islam Shah. The provincial contigents were not under the control of the centre.

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