Duar War

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Duar War
Chronological list of Wars and Campaigns
Location: West Bengal and Assam
British Bhutan
Result: British victory
Medals: India General Service Medal 1854
Clasp: Bhootan
Category: Duar War
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Duar War
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The Duar War was also known as the Bhutan War.

Spelling variants

  • Duar, Doar, Dooar, Dhooar
  • Bhutan, Bhotan, Bhootan, Bootan


Following the 1st Burma War, Assam was ceded to Britain and the East India Company came into conflict with Bhutan over control of the Duars - the plains areas between the Brahmaputra and the foothills of Bhutan. A British mission under Ashley Eden was sent to Bhutan to try to establish political relations but was humiliated and ejected after being forced to sign a treaty ceding the Duars.

Britain declared war on 12 November 1864 using four columns to secure the forts and passes in the foothills of southern Bhutan. After initial successes the Bhutanese regained some of the strongholds and it was seen that a stronger response would be required. Brigadier General Frazer Tytler took over command from General Dunsford and Major General Sir Henry Tombs took over from General Mulcaster. Following a series of victories and the threat of a major invasion of Bhutan, the war ended with the Treaty of Sinchula on 11 November 1865. Bhutan ceded territories in the Assam Duars and Bengal Duars, as well as the 83 square kilometre territory of Dewangiri, in return for an annual subsidy of 50,000 rupees.

British Forces

Duar Field Force commanded by Brigadier-General Dunsford

Dewangiri Column

Three Mountain Guns of Eurasian Artillery Company
One Squadron 5th Bengal Cavalry
3rd Assam Light Infantry
One Coy Sibundy Sappers
One Coy Bengal Sappers
In support at Gauhati
Three Coys 12th Native Infantry
Assam Local Artillery

Sidli Column

Three Mountain Guns of Eurasian Artillery Company
One Squadron 5th Bengal Cavalry
Two Squadrons 14th Bengal Cavalry
One Coy Sibundy Sappers
Half Coy Bengal Sappers and Miners
One wing 44th Assam Light Infantry
In support at Goalpara
Two Coys 12th Native Infantry

Buxa Column

Half Armstrong Mountain Train Battery
Two 8-inch Mortars
2nd Gurkhas
11th Native Infantry
One Squadron 14th Bengal Cavalry

Daling Column

Two Armstrong Mountain Guns
Two 8-inch Mortars
One Coy Sibundy Sappers
One Wing 11th Native Infantry
Two Squadrons 5th Bengal Cavalry
In support at Jalpaiguri
Seven Coys HM 80th Foot

Bhutan Field Force commanded by Brigadier-General Mulcaster

Three Coys HM 48th Foot
Three Coys HM 80th Foot
Two Coys 17th Native Infantry

External links

Historical books online

"Sketches of the War in Bhootan" pages 440-441, same volume, quoting Captain Warren, RA.