Britain's military involvement in Afghanistan is a contentious subject, yet it is often forgotten that the current conflict is in fact the fourth in a string of such wars dating back as far as the early nineteenth century. Aiming to protect the British territories in India from the expanding Russian empire, the British fought a series of conflicts on Afghan territory between 1838 and 1919. The Anglo-Afghan wars of the 19th and early 20th centuries were ill-conceived and led to some of the worst military disasters ever sustained by British forces in this part of the world, with poor strategy in the First Afghan War resulting in the annihilation of 16,000 soldiers and civilians in a single week. In his new book, Jules Stewart explores the potential danger of replaying Britain's military catastrophes and considers what can be learnt from revisiting the story of these earlier Afghan wars.
On Afghanistan’s Plains – Jules Stewart – Military History
May 22, 2012 By