Hyderabad State Forces

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Hyderabad State Forces
Well-armed Lashkars of the Hyderabad army.jpg
Well-armed Lashkars of the Hyderabad army
Founded 1724
Current form Some assimilation into the Indian army
Disbanded 1948
Headquarters Hyderabad

The Hyderabad State Forces was the armed forces of the princely state of Hyderabad.


Various groups were enlisted in the Nizam's army. Among these groups were Arab nationals who migrated to the Deccan. Later, Muslims from Audh, Sindh, Balochistan, and surrounding areas in North India also helped to bolster ranks. These non-indigenous soldiers were called as "Rohollas". Other battalions within the army were called line "Walas". Some troops were also supplied by Europeans for the security of Nizam.[1]

Three different groups were commanded by three different independent commanders.The Nizam, Diwan, and an important officer in Nizam's government called Shangal Umara or "Amin Kabir" maintained their own separate forces.[2]

During the time of Operation Polo, the Hyderabad State Forces consisted of six infantry battalions, one horsed regiment, 1,500 armed irregulars, and 200,000 razakars. The army had two light armored regiments and one field battery.[3] In total, the Nizam's army numbered 24,000 men, of whom some 6,000 were fully trained and equipped.[4]


British Rule[edit]

in 1767-1768, Nizam ʿĀlī accepted British control in Hyderabad by the Treaty of Masulipatam. From 1778 onwards, a British resident and subsidiary force were installed in his dominions. In 1795, Nizam ʿĀlī Khan lost some of his own territories to the Marathas. When he turned to the French, the British increased their subsidiary force stationed in his domain. The Nizam’s territorial gains against Tippu Sultan were given to the British.[5]

Surrounded by territory controlled by the British, Nizam ʿĀlī Khan was pushed to enter into an agreement that placed his country under British protection in 1798; the Nizam was the first of many Indian princes to perform this agreement. He was, however, independent in domestic matters.[6]

Nizam ʿĀlī Khan and his soldiers were allied to the British in the second (1803–05) and third (1817–19) Maratha Wars, and Nizam Nāṣir al-Dawlah and Hyderabad’s military contingent remained loyal to the British during the Sepoy Mutiny (1857–58).[7]

Operation Polo[edit]

Main article: Operation Polo

In September 1948, the Indian Army attacked Hyderabad State due to attacks from the Razakars in surrounding areas. The battle between the Nizam's army and the Indian army had lasted for five days, and had led to an Indian victory. Hyderabad was integrated into the Indian union as a result.[8]


  1. ^ Rao, P. Raghunatha. ఆధునిక ఆంధ్ర దేశ చరిత్ర (The History of Modern Andhra Pradesh). 
  2. ^ Rao, P. Raghunatha. ఆధునిక ఆంధ్ర దేశ చరిత్ర (The History of Modern Andhra Pradesh). 
  3. ^ Khanna, K K. Art of Generalship. p. 161. 
  4. ^ Lucien D. Benichou (1 January 2000). From Autocracy to Integration: Political Developments in Hyderabad State, 1938–1948. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 978-81-250-1847-6. 
  5. ^ "Hyderabad". Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Hyderabad". Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Hyderabad". Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Ramachandran, D.P. Empire's First Soldiers. Lancer. pp. 178–179.