First Battle of Panipat, 1526
The First Battle of Panipat marks the beginning of the Mughal Empire in India. Fought between the invading forces of Babur, a descendant of Genghis Khan, and the Lodi Empire, the battle was also one of the first instances of the widespread use of firearms.
Babur sought to take control of the Punjab, defended by the forces of Sultan Ibrahim Lodi. Ibrahim’s defending army numbered 100,000 soldiers and 1,000 war elephants. Babur commanded approximately 12,000 troops. Babur created a wall of carts, secured together by ropes, with gaps to allow horsemen to travel through the line of fortifications. The two armies faced one another for a week before the battle commenced.
Babur used the flanks of his forces to attack Ibrahim’s troops, eventually killing the Sultan and causing Ibrahim’s troops to retreat. While Babur did use artillery, his archers were credited with much of the victory over the Sultan. Accounts of the battle suggest that as many as 40,000 of Ibrahim’s troops were killed in the battle. Babur’s legacy would continue for nearly 200 years.