Battle of Sultanpet Tope

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The Battle of Sultanpet Tope was a small action fought on 5 and 6 April 1799 between forces of the British East India Company and the Kingdom of Mysore during the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War. Although initially checked it was a British victory.


Once the British had marched to Seringapatam they prepared to lay siege to it.

An aqueduct within 1,700 yards (1,600 m) of the fortress, near a wooded tope called the Sultanpet Tope or "Sultaunpet", afforded Tippoo's skirmishers and rocketmen firing rocket artillery a safe cover from which they most seriously annoyed the British outposts. Accordingly Baird, in the night of the 5 April, reconnoitred the ground, and on the morning of the 6th ordered Colonel Arthur Wellesley with four regiments to drive the enemy from the watercourse, so as to enable the British outposts to be advanced within 1,800 yards (1,600 m) of the citadel.[1]


There was in fact a double attack on this tope, under the command of Wellesley, the first in the night of the 5 April, which failed (Colonel Wellesley suffered a minor injury and was very nearly captured[citation needed]).[1]

The second attack, alike under the command of Wellesley, succeeded on the morning of the 6 April.[1]


The military historian Richard Holmes (military historian) made the point that:

The bitter humiliation of the [failed night attack] taught Wellesley two lessons he would never forget. The first was a military lesson of the importance of reconnaissance before attack and the second an emotional lesson about the bitterness of defeat. All in all he was lucky to get away with it. Had his brother not been Governor General, Wellesley might have found himself facing a court martial...

—Richard Holmes[2]


  1. ^ a b c Cust 1860, p. 187.
  2. ^ Holmes 2002, mins 2:30–6:30.



  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: *Cust, Edward (1860), Annals of the Wars of the Eighteenth Century, Compiled from the Most Authentic Histories of the Period: 1796-1799, Mitchell's Military Library, p. 187