The Anglo-Afghan Wars 1839-1919

Overview

During the 19th Century Britain entered into three brutal wars with Afghanistan, each one an imperial struggle for power that saw the British forces trying, and failing, to gain control of an inhospitable and impenetrable region. The first two wars (1839 - 42, 1878 - 81) were attempts to expunge pro-Russian sympathies, and thehe third, in 1919, a result of an Afghan-declared holy war against British India. In the last of the three, over 100,000 Afghans answered the call for a holy war, generating a military force...
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Overview

During the 19th Century Britain entered into three brutal wars with Afghanistan, each one an imperial struggle for power that saw the British forces trying, and failing, to gain control of an inhospitable and impenetrable region. The first two wars (1839 - 42, 1878 - 81) were attempts to expunge pro-Russian sympathies, and thehe third, in 1919, a result of an Afghan-declared holy war against British India. In the last of the three, over 100,000 Afghans answered the call for a holy war, generating a military force that would prove too great for the British Imperial army. Each of the three wars were plagued with military disasters, lengthy sieges and costly engagements for the British, and history has proved the Afghans a formidable foe and Afghanistan an unconquerable territory. This book reveals the history of these three Anglo-Afghan wars, the imperial power struggles that led to conflict and the torturous experiences of the men on the ground as they struggled against the inhospitable Afghan terrain and an unrelenting enemy. The book concludes with a brief overview of the motives for today's conflict and draws the historical parallels between the past and present.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Other recommendations for specialty military history collections include... Gregory Fremont-Barnes' The Anglo-Afghan Wars 1839-1919, considering the history of Afghanistan and its military battles." -The Bookwatch (January 2010)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846034466
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/24/2009
  • Series: Essential Histories Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 656,395
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory Fremont-Barnes holds a doctorate in Modern History from Oxford University. A visiting Senior Lecturer in the Department of War Studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he has written on a wide range of military and naval subjects, including The French Revolutionary Wars, The Peninsular War, 1807-1814, The Fall of the French Empire, 1813-1815, The Boer War, 1899-1902, The Wars of the Barbary Pirates, Trafalgar 1805, Nelson's Sailors, The Indian Mutiny, 1857-58 and American Bomber Crewman in World War II, 1941-45. He is also editor of the two-volume Encyclopedia of the Age of Political Revolutions and New Ideologies, 1760-1815, the three-volume Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and co-editor of the five-volume Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War. The author lives in Surrey, England.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Chronology 10

Part l The First Anglo-Afghan War, 1839-42

Origins and background of the war 14

Warring sides 18

The fighting 20

How the war ended 33

Portrait of a civilian: Florentia, Lady Sale (1787-1853) 37

The world around war: the playground of the Great Game 43

Part II The Second Anglo-Afghan War, 1878-81

Origins and background of the war 50

Warring sides 54

The fighting 56

How the war ended 72

Portrait of a soldier: Arthur Male, Army chaplain, 13th Hussars 74

Part III The Third Anglo-Afghan War, 1919

Origins and background of the war 80

Warring sides 82

The fighting 83

How the war ended 85

Conclusion and consequences 86

Bibliography and further reading 92

Index 94

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