Bajirao Peshwa (1800-1840 AD) was an outstanding cavalry leader who transformed the Maratha Swarajya founded by Chhatrapati Shivaji into Maratha Samrajya in a matter of twenty years. His military vision can be rightly compared to immortal cavalry leaders Napoleon Bonaparte and Frederik the Great. During the short span of twenty years of his military career, he fought about forty battles and remained unconquered without losing even one. When he was called to Peshwaship in 1720, the Maratha state was in a perilous condition. At his death, he left the Maratha nation strong and united, its friendship solicited by Rajputs, the Bundelas and its alliance courted by the Mughal rulers.
This is an account of Bajirao’s life and times based on available chronicles and can be termed as a military biography. The main motive of the Author is to dissect the bewildering and ingenious strategy and tactics of Bajirao, a cavalry general of immense magnificence, whose unique vision of manoeuvre and subterfuge has remained largely unrecognised by the military historians. It is a book on a ‘Soldiers’ General’ by another soldier who was immensely overawed by Bajirao’s ‘divine’ generalship right from the young age. It is an apt eulogy to Bajirao’s military brilliance and prodigious generalship.
Bajirao Peshwa: A Soldiers' General
Maj Gen Shashikant Pitre was commissioned into Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army in 1962. During his service spanning 36 years, he served on the Western, Northern and Eastern borders. He took part in 1965 and 1971 wars and in the IPKF in Sri Lanka. He commanded a mountain brigade in Sikkim/ Manipur, an infantry division on the western border and was the Chief of Staff of the ARTRAC.
After retirement, he has written widely in Marathi dailies on military matters and has to his credit about 400 articles published in the print media. He is a well known speaker and TV panellist. His daily columns in reputed Marathi Daily Sakal during the Kargil War, in Loksatta during Afghanistan and Iraq Wars were well received.
The General has authored books on Kashmir, Sri Lanka and 1962 India- China War; biographies of Admiral Bhaskar Soman and General SPP Thorat and military biographies of Bajirao and Chhatrapati Shivaji in Marathi. His books on the Kashmir Imbroglio, 1962 War and Bajirao Peshwa in Marathi have been awarded by prime literary forums like the Kesari Maratha Trust, Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad and Grantottejak Sabha.
He founded the Veterans’ Trust ‘Horizon’ dedicated to humanitarian demining, accredited by the UN. It has detected and destroyed about 1.5 lakh land mines in Srilnka and Jordan.