The Mughal Empire at War: Babur, Akbar and the Indian Military Revolution, 1500-1605, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Mughal Empire at War

Babur, Akbar and the Indian Military Revolution, 1500-1605, 1st Edition

By Andrew de la Garza


220 pages

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The Mughal Empire was one of the great powers of the early modern era, ruling almost all of South Asia, a conquest state, dominated by its military elite. Many historians have viewed the Mughal Empire as relatively backward, the Emperor the head of a traditional warband from Central Asia, with tribalism and the traditions of the Islamic world to the fore, and the Empire not remotely comparable to the forward looking Western European states of the period, with their strong innovative armies implementing the “military revolution”. This book argues that, on the contrary, the military establishment built by the Emperor Babur and his successors was highly sophisticated, an effective combination of personnel, expertise, technology and tactics, drawing on precedents from Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and India, and that the resulting combined arms system transformed the conduct of warfare in South Asia. The book traces the development of the Mughal Empire chronologically, examines weapons and technology, tactics and operations, organization, recruitment and training, and logistics and non-combat operations, and concludes by assessing the overall achievements of the Mughal Empire, comparing it to its Western counterparts, and analyzing the reasons for its decline.

Table of Contents


1. A Mughal Military Revolution?

2. Changing Ways of War

3. Tools of War - Weapons, Equipment and Technology

4. Waging War – Tactics and Operations

5. Learning War - Organization, Recruitment and Training

6. Supporting War - Logistics and Non-Combat Operations

7. An Unfinished Revolution


About the Author

Andrew de la Garza is an Instructor in the Department of History and Geography at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, US.

About the Series

Asian States and Empires

The importance of Asia will continue to grow in the twenty-first century, but remarkably little is available in English on the history of the polities that constitute this critical area.  Most current work on Asia is hindered by the extremely limited state of knowledge of the Asian past in general, and the history of Asian states and empires in particular.  Asian States and Empires is a book series that will provide detailed accounts of the history of states and empires across Asia from earliest times until the present.  It aims to explain and describe the formation, maintenance and collapse of Asian states and empires, and the means by which this was accomplished, making available the history of more than half the world’s population at a level of detail comparable to the history of Western polities.  In so doing, it will demonstrate that Asian peoples and civilizations had their own histories apart from the West, and provide the basis for understanding contemporary Asia in terms of its actual histories, rather than broad generalizations informed by Western categories of knowledge.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies