Forcing the Khyber Pass

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Forcing the Khyber Pass
Part of 1st Afghan War 1839-42
Date: 5 April 1842
Location: Khyber Pass, Pakistan/Afghanistan
Presidency: Bengal
Co-ordinates: 34.102179°N 71.121968°E
Result: British victory
British & Indians Various tribesmen
Maj Gen George Pollock
14 killed
102 wounded
15 missing
300 killed
700 wounded

This was an event during the 1st Afghan War
For context see main article The Army of Retribution March to Kabul


General George Pollock finally completed preparations and marched from Jamrud on 5 April. Negotiations to bribe the tribes to allow passage through the Khyber Pass had failed and there was no alternative but armed assault. The general detailed the left and right wings of his force to crown the heights on either side of the pass. This they did successfully preventing the Afridi tribesmen from attacking the main body of the army. Once the heights were won the main force was able to demolish the great barrier of mud, stones and tree branches which blocked the pass. The force moved forward to Ali Masjid, which the enemy had evacuated, and camped the night. Little opposition was encountered from that point until Jalalabad was reached on 14 April.

The Army of Retribution

Left Column (to crown the heights)
Lieut-Col Moseley commanding

Centre Column
Advance Guard under Brigadier Wild

Main Body

Rear Guard

Right Column (to crown the heights) Lieut-Col Taylor, 9th Foot commanding


Entries in the Dictionary of Indian Biography 1906:
George Pollock (1786-1872)

External Links

Historical books on-line