Anglo-Afghan Wars

Anglo-Afghan Wars


colonial wars waged by England against Afghanistan.

The first Anglo-Afghan war (1838–42) began with the invasion of southwest Afghanistan in December 1838 by an English force of over 30,000 men. In 1839, English troops occupied Kandahar, Ghazni, and Kabul. An anti-English partisan war began in response to this. The November 1841 uprising in Kabul resulted in the annihilation of the occupying army and the death of the English protege Shah Shuja. By the end of 1842, the remnants of the English force had left Afghanistan.

The second Anglo-Afghan war (1878–80) began with the invasion of Afghanistan by a British force of 36,000 men, which occupied Kandahar in January 1879. Emir Yakub Khan concluded the treaty of Gandamak with England which led to a popular uprising in September 1879. On July 27, 1880, at Maiwand (near Kandahar), Afghan forces destroyed an English brigade. An army of nearly 100,000 insurgents besieged the British at Kabul. England was forced to renounce its plans to conquer Afghanistan; however, by the agreement of 1880 with Emir Abdu-al-Rahman, English control was established over the country’s foreign policy.

The third Anglo-Afghan War (1919) was initiated by England after Emir Amanullah proclaimed Afghanistan’s independence. Military actions began May 3. The English had numerical and technical superiority—the English army had approximately 340,000 men, while the Afghan army had 40,000. The British won the battle at the Khyber Pass, but Afghan forces besieged the fortress of Tal in the Waziristan region on May 27. The aggressor’s situation was made more difficult by the anti-British uprising of the Pashto border tribes and by the upsurge of the liberation movement in India. A truce was signed on June 3, and a preliminary peace treaty on Aug. 8, 1919, in Rawalpindi. Important factors in Afghanistan’s success in the third Anglo-Afghan war were the moral and political support it received from Soviet Russia, which was the first to recognize the independence of Afghanistan, and the victory of the Soviet people over the interventionists, particularly the rout of the British interventionists in the Transcaspian region.


Reisner, I. M. Afghanistan. Moscow, 1929.
Babakhodzhaev, M. A. Bor’ba Afganistana za nezavisimost’: 1838–1842. Moscow, 1960.
Khalfin, N. A. Proval britanskoi agressii v Afganistane. Moscow, 1959.
Akhramovich, R. T. “Velikaia Oktiabr’skaia revoliutsiia i utver-zhdenie natsionarnoi nezavisimosti Afghanistana.” In the collection Velikii Oktiabr i narody Vostoka: 1917–1957. Moscow, 1957.
Babakhodzhaev, A. Kh. Proval angliiskoi politiki v Srednei Azii i na Srednem Vostoke (1918–1924). Moscow, 1962. Chapter 2.
Kheifets, A. N. Sovetskaia Rossiia i sopredel’nye strany Vostoka v gody grazhdanskoi voiny (1918–1920). Moscow, 1964. Chapter 4.
Masson, V. M., and V. A. Romodin. Istoriia Afganistana, vol. 2. Moscow, 1965. Chapters 5 and 7.


References in periodicals archive ?
In the 19th century, British forces repeatedly invaded from neighbouring India as they sought to heighten influence over central Asia as part of a strategic conflict with Tsarist Russia, leading to three Anglo-Afghan wars (1839-42, 1878-80, 1919).
India Pale Ale was served to British troops during the Anglo-Afghan wars of the 1800s and this Afghan Pale Ale is Grey Trees' version of that traditional IPA.
Afghans often cite the three Anglo-Afghan Wars in which the British had to suffer humiliation.
Shortly thereafter, British imperialism prompted two more Anglo-Afghan wars in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The authors have looked into topics such as the role of women in Afghanistan, the Anglo-Afghan wars, religion, food and culture.
In fact, Lord Lytton's statement and frequent Anglo-Afghan wars represented great game concept which complexed Afghanistan and placed it as significant character of entire 'Great Game Novel'.
The Savage Frontier: A History of the Anglo-Afghan Wars.
The authors explain how the Durand line, named after a British India foreign secretary, was put in place as a boundary between India and Afghanistan in 1893, after the first two Anglo-Afghan wars.
The previous Anglo-Afghan wars have left a particularly bitter legacy, although there is also a tendency that things look far better on the other side.
The First Afghan War, of which William Brydon was the lone survivor, was another major military event, the first of three Anglo-Afghan wars, the last of which took place in 1919.
Gregory Fremont-Barnes' THE ANGLO-AFGHAN WARS 1839-1919 (9781846034466, $17.
It would take three Anglo-Afghan wars - and nearly 10,000 British, along with 100,000 Afghan fatalities - for London to finally grant Kabul its full independence in 1919.

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