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Rockets History

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British Army Defeated by Indian Rockets
Rajah Hyder Ali - History of Rockets

Rajah Hyder Ali

Public Domain
In the late 18th century, after losing the American colonies, England was more determined than ever to expand her empire. They began a conquest of India, who was far weaker than the British. In 1780, British troops invaded Mysore, ruled by the rajah, Hyder Ali. Unknown to the British, an inventor had been working for the rajah to develop a new kind of rocket.

Using metal tubes, instead of cardboard, he was able to make much larger rockets. These monsters were 12 pounds, using bamboo poles for stability that were 10 feet long and could fly half a mile. When British troops arrived, the Indians were prepared, and the British were not. Rajah Ali launched hundreds of the new rockets at a time. The closely massed, normally unflinching British troops broke and ran when the Indian Army laid down a rocket barrage in their midst.

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