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The Battle of Aliwal by Jason Askew. (PC)- Cranston Fine Arts Aviation, Military and Naval Art
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The Battle of Aliwal by Jason Askew. (PC)


The Battle of Aliwal by Jason Askew. (PC)

The Battle of Aliwal was fought on 28th January 1846 between the British and the Sikhs. The British were led by Sir Harry Smith, while the Sikhs were led by Ranjodh Singh Majithia. The British won a victory which is sometimes regarded as the turning point of the First Anglo-Sikh War. The Sikhs had occupied a position 4 miles (6.4 km) long, which ran along a ridge between the villages of Aliwal, on the Sutlej, and Bhundri. The Sutlej ran close to their rear for the entire length of their line, making it difficult for them to manoeuvre and also potentially disastrous if they were forced to retreat. After the initial artillery salvoes, Smith determined that Aliwal was the Sikh weak point. He sent two of his four infantry brigades to capture the village, from where they could enfilade the Sikh centre. They seized the village, and began pressing forwards to threaten the fords across the Sutlej. As the Sikhs tried to swing back their left, pivoting on Bhundri, some of their cavalry tried to threaten the open British left flank. A British and Indian cavalry brigade, led by the 16th Lancers, charged and dispersed them. The 16th Lancers then attacked a large body of Sikh infantry. These were battalions organised and trained in contemporary European fashion by Neapolitan mercenary, Paolo Di Avitabile. They formed square to receive cavalry, as most European armies did. Nevertheless, the 16th Lancers broke them, with heavy casualties. The infantry in the Sikh centre tried to defend a nullah (dry stream bed), but were enfiladed and forced into the open by a Bengal infantry regiment, and then cut down by fire from Smith's batteries of Bengal Horse Artillery. Unlike most of the battles of both Anglo-Sikh Wars, when the Sikhs at Aliwal began to retreat, the retreat quickly turned into a disorderly rout across the fords. Most of the Sikh guns were abandoned, either on the river bank or in the fords, along with all baggage, tents and supplies. They lost 2,000 men and 67 guns.

Comment from the artist, Jason Askew.


This painting shows the extremely violent and brutal clash between British cavalry (16th Lancers) and Sikh infantry at the battle of Aliwal. The Sikh infantry formed 2 triangles, a version of the famous Allied/British squares used at Waterloo, but the Sikhs, after firing a ragged volley at the attacking horsemen, dropped their muskets and assaulted the cavalry with their traditional Tulwars (sabres) and dhal shields. These shields are also used offensively, to punch, and to slice with the edge. Although the British horsemen claimed a victory as they felt they successfully dispersed the Sikh triangles, and forced the Sikh infantry to retreat to the nullah (dry stream bed) in the Sikh rear, this opinion is open to debate. The Sikhs traditionally fought in loose formations, with tulwar and shield-taking full advantage of their abilities as swordsmen, blades being weapons with which the Sikhs are particularly skilled in the use of. The Sikhs actually inflicted more casualties on the 16th Lancers than the lancers inflicted on the Sikh infantry. British eye witnesses spoke of the sight of the grotesquely swollen and distorted dead bodies of men and horses of the Her Majesty's 16th Lancers, stinking in the sun and littering the ground at Aliwal - testimony to the progress of their charge. The regiment lost 27% of effectives out of a total strength of over 400 effectives. The lancers were dreadfully hacked about, many being cruelly maimed for life, losing hands and limbs to the slashing strokes of the Sikh blades. The Sikhs had no compassion for the cavalry horses either - many of the poor animals (over 100 by some accounts) had to be shot, due to having their legs hacked clean off, or being literally disemboweled by Sikh Tulwars. In the painting, the central figure with the wizard-shaped Turban, is in fact an Akali - a sect of extremely religious Sikhs, who disdained the use of armour, and often fought to the death with a fanatical and suicidal devotion.
Item Code : DHM6114PCThe Battle of Aliwal by Jason Askew. (PC) - This Edition
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POSTCARDCollector's Postcard - Restricted Initial Print Run of 100 cards.

Postcard size 6 inches x 4 inches (15cm x 10cm)none£2.50

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Other editions of this item : The Battle of Aliwal by Jason Askew.DHM6114
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PRINTSpecial Giclee limited edition of 50 signed and numbered prints, printed on high quality German etching stock. Image size 16 inches x 12 inches (41cm x 31cm)Artist : Jason Askew£10 Off!Now : £50.00VIEW EDITION...
ARTIST
PROOF
Special artist proof edition of 20 prints, printed on high quality German etching stock. Image size 16 inches x 12 inches (41cm x 31cm)Artist : Jason Askew£20 Off!Now : £70.00VIEW EDITION...
GICLEE
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Limited edition of up to 50 giclee canvas prints. Size 36 inches x 22 inches (92cm x 56cm)Artist : Jason Askew
on separate certificate
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Now : £300.00VIEW EDITION...
GICLEE
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Limited edition of up to 50 giclee canvas prints. Size 30 inches x 18.5 inches (76cm x 47cm)Artist : Jason Askew
on separate certificate
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Now : £250.00VIEW EDITION...
ORIGINAL
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Original oil on canvas painting by Jason Askew.

SOLD.
Size 50 inches x 30 inches (108cm x 76cm)Artist : Jason AskewSOLD
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Extra Details : The Battle of Aliwal by Jason Askew. (PC)
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The back of the postcard.

Artist Details : Jason Askew
Click here for a full list of all artwork by Jason Askew


Jason Askew

Jason Askew was born in south africa, went to the Johannesburg school of art ballet,and music, and attended the City and Guilds of London Art College, Kennington. His interest in military history started as a teenager in the history of South Africa, The Zulu and South African wars, where he got his inspiration for his first major epic series of the Zulu war. Everyone doing national service had a choice of going to the army or the police. He was in the police - the police and army training being very similar. In South Africa, the police service was, and is still bearing the brunt of the civil unrest, and the crime wave (average of 19000 murders per year for the last ten years) It is through the experience of the police, and what he had to confront, that motivated him to paint these experiences, and it was very good for somoene with an interest in military history to see the effects of fighting first hand, particularly in the brutal, sometimes hand to hand killing that is the norm in South African situations. He was based at Hillbrow (the bronx of Joburg) and also served with the SAPS flyng squad. All the experiences that he had in the SAPS directly inform the paintings that Jason Askew does. : I never lose sight of the fact that real people are often caught in the middle of conflicts that are created by politicians/governments/reasons beyond the control of individuals, yet it is always individuals that suffer. Jason Askew is often commisisoned by many British and overseas regiments. 2RGR the gurkhas,The Queens Lancashire Regiment, the Coldstream Guards,the Staffordshire Regiment to name a few. He was also an official war artist for the Staffordshire Regiment in Iraq. Cranston Fine Arts are proud to be publishing a majority of art prints by Jason Askew since 2005 and are planning a major series of releases which they have commissioned over the next few months, including an outstanding series of eight First World war battlescenes of many of the major western front battles. This series started in 2007 and will be completed by the end of 2008. Also included is a series of four Battle of Waterloo and four Zulu War limited editions, all specially priced for collectors.


      
Jason Askew presenting a recent painting to the Gurkha Regiment.

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