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Four important reasons for the defeat of Marathas

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In fact Marathas hardly had any friend or sympathizer or ally when they were planning to meet the Afghans at Panipat.

For instance Sadashiv Rao Bhau failed in his diplomacy and did not get support from any Rajput ruler.

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He even lost the support of Suraj Mai, the Jat ruler of Bharatpur who had once agreed to support him.

2. Military weaknesses and failure:

The Maratha fighting force consisted of only 45,000 soldiers while Abadali had 60,000 soldiers with him.

Marathas had a large number of women and slaves at their camp which were a liability to them in battle.

They failed to maintain their line of communication and did not get supplies. When the Marathas were in short supply of everything, they were forced to fight on January 14, 1761.

In fact they fought the battle when they did not have sufficient food to eat and no proper fodder for their horses for the last two months.

The geographical distance of Panipat from Deccan, the home of the Marathas acted as an impediment as far as replenishment of men and supply of material is concerned.

The Peshwa failed to keep contact with Bhau and send him the required reinforcement and supplies. The situation further worsened in absence of any North Indian friend or ally of Maratha.

3. Failures of the Maratha leadership:

Bhau failed as a military strategist and lost three months at Panipat facing Abdali.

The choice of location for camping of Maratha troops and lack of coordination between Maratha Generals were also important factors for their defeat at Panipat.

4. Superior adversary:

Abdali and his soldiers were definitely superior in arms, organization and fighting tactics.

The superior military skills, planning and strategy adopted by the Afghans under the extraordinary generalship of Abdali decided the fate of the battle.

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