The Assault on Danubyu

After his rout by Campbell, Bandula retreated up the Irrawaddy River to Danubyu where he built a giant stockade and awaited the invaders. When the rainy season ended and reinforcements arrived from India, the British resumed their advance. This picture shows the storming of the Danubyu stockade , while other, troop-laden barges advance on a small group of Burmese pras. Taking part in the attack is H.M.S. Diana, the first steam-powered vessel seen in the East. Bandula was killed in the initial bombardment, his army melted away in the night, and on April 1, 1825, Danubyu fell. Undeterred by the golden umbrellas and war elephants of the Burmese, Campbell neared Ava, and the Burmese sued for peace. The cost to the 40,000 British and Indian troops had been staggering: 15,000 had died, 96 per cent from disease. But there were compensations. Britain took Assam and Manipur together with the coastal provinces of Arakan and Tenasserim. For Burma, however, it was the beginning of the end of independent rule.


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by Stephen Luscombe