Battle of Sialkot, 1524

The battle of Sialkot of 1524 was a victory for Babur's lieutenants in the Punjab over a former ally, fought between his fourth and fifth expeditions into India.

The fourth expedition had been launched with the support of Daulat Khan, the governor of Lahore for Ibrahim Lodi of Delhi. Daulat had good reasons to fear that Ibrahim was about to turn on him, and had believed that his best chance of remaining in power was to turn to Babur. It soon became clear that Babur intended to keep Lahore and the Punjab for himself, and Daulat turned against him. His plot was revealed by his son Dilawar soon after Babur's successful siege of Dibalpur, and Daulat was arrested. As was typical for Babur he was well treated, and was soon released. This was clearly a mistake, for Daulat then disappeared into the hills, where he posed a threat to any expedition further east towards Delhi.

Babur decided to return to Kabul to raise more troops, leaving governors to rule his new territories in the Punjab. Dilawar was rewarded for his loyalty with Jalandhar and Sultanpur. Alam Khan, the pretender to Delhi, was given Dibalpur, with Baba Qashqa Mughul to support (and watch) him. Mir 'Abdu'l-'aziz, Babur's master of the horse, was placed in command of Lahore and Khusrau Kukuldash was posted at Sialkot.

Soon after Babur left for Kabul Daulat emerged from the hills at the head of a sizable army. His first move was to capture Dilawar, and he then moved on to Dibalpur, where he defeated Alam Khan, who fled to safety in Kabul.

Daulat's next target was Sialkot. He detached a force of 5,000 Afghans from his main army, and sent them towards Sialkot, expecting them to be able to overwhelm the garrison under Khusrai Kukuldash. Unknown to Daulat, Mir 'Abdu'l-'aziz had realised that Sialkot was endangered, and marched out of Lahore to join with Khusrai Kukuldash. Their combined army defeated Daulat's 5,000 Afghans, and for the moment a stalemate developed, with Babur's men secure in Lahore, but with Daulat at large at the head of his own army.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (14 May 2010), Battle of Sialkot, 1524 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_sialkot_1524.html

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