2nd Afghan War
|2nd Afghan War|
|Chronological list of Wars and Campaigns|
|British and Indians||Afghanistan|
British took control of Afghan foreign relations
Border areas ceded to Britain
The Afghanistan Medal 1878-1880
Clasps: Ali Musjid, Peiwar Kotal, Charasia, Ahmed Khel and Kandahar
Kabul to Khandahar Star 1880
|Category: 2nd Afghan War|
|General Browne's March from Peshawar to Gandamak|
General Roberts' March to Ali Kheyl
General Stewart's March to Kandahar
General Roberts' March to Kabul
General Stewart's March to Kabul
General Roberts' March from Kabul to Kandahar
|See our interactive map of|
2nd Afghan War: First Phase
locations and routes on Google Maps
|See our interactive map of|
2nd Afghan War: Second Phase
locations and routes on Google Maps
|See our interactive map of|
2nd Afghan War: Third Phase
locations and routes on Google Maps
The 2nd Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80 came about because the British were concerned over Tsarist Russian expansion and tried to get the Afghan Amir Sher Ali to agree to a diplomatic mission to Kabul. When this was refused but a Russian mission admitted, the British invaded from three directions. With the country occupied, Sher Ali's son Yakoub Khan signed the Treaty of Gandamak in May 1879. The British forces withdrew but an uprising in Kabul led to the murder of the British Resident Sir Pierre Cavagnari. This provoked a second invasion by the British under Major General Sir Frederick Roberts and the occupation of Kabul following the Battle of Charasia in October 1879. The Afghans were again defeated at the Siege of Sherpur Cantonment in December. A further revolt led to the defeat of the British at the Battle of Maiwand in July 1880 following which Kandahar was besieged. Roberts led a force from Kabul to defeat the Afghans under Ayub Khan at the Battle of Baba Wullee. The Treaty of Gandamak was confirmed and the British withdrew.
Chronology of events
- Nov 1878 General Roberts' March to Ali Kheyl
- 2 Dec Battle of Peiwar Kotal
- Dec 1878 General Stewart's March to Kandahar
- 3 Sep 1879 The Murder of Cavagnari
- Oct 1879 General Roberts' March to Kabul
- Mar 1880 General Stewart's March to Kabul
Entries in the Dictionary of Indian Biography 1906 and Dictionary of National Biography 1912
Henry Abadie (1841-1915)
Ayub Khan (1849-?)
Thomas Baker (1837-1893)
Robert Onesiphorus Bright (1823-1896)
Samuel Browne (1824-1901)
Pierre Cavagnari (1841-1879)
Mortimer Durand (1850-1924)
Charles Gough (1832-1912)
Herbert Taylor Macpherson (1827-1886)
William Godfrey Dunham Massy (1838-1906)
Charles Palliser (1830-1895)
Frederick Roberts (1824-1914)
Robert Sandeman (1835-1892)
Sher Ali (1842-1872?)
Donald Stewart (1824-1900)
- Medal Rolls
- Stations of British Troops in India-Afghanistan 1878-1882
- 10th (The Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars for the image of a memorial to those who died in the Afghan Campaign in 1878-9. The names are clearly visible
- Chronology Google Books
- Second Anglo-Afghan War Wikipedia
- 2nd Afghan War 1878-80 The British Empire website
- The Second Anglo-Afghan War Garen Ewing's comprehensive site including:
- The Last Stand: The Journal of the Maiwand Files Project Victorianwars.com. Contains many articles about Maiwand
- 66th Berkshires in the Campaign history.farmersboys.com
- Maiwand Day Blog by 'Mad Guru' includes
- Many illustrations from The Graphic and The Illustrated London News
- "A Most Villainous-Looking Cavalcade": Uniforms of the Afghan Army by Ian Heath with illustrations, originally published in the June to September 1995 issues of Wargames Illustrated
- Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds has many photographs and documents relating to the time the Suffolk regiment were serving in India during the 2nd Afghan War. Details of what is held in the Suffolk Regiment Archive can be found in their Suffolk Regiment Archives leaflet and their Photographic Collections leaflet
- Photo of Amir Yakub Khan and Major Cavagnari Wikipedia
- British Victorian War Medals www.acepilots.com
- Afghanistan 1878-1880: Sources in the India Office Records British Library
- Memorials: Afghanistan 1878-1880 from Stephen Lewis’ Soldiers Memorials
- Second Afghan War 1878-1880 Casualty Roll by Anthony Farrington is published by Naval and Military Press. The source of the data is unknown but possibly has been compiled from the Medal Rolls.
- Diary and Letters: The Afghan War by Colonel Charles Ball-Acton of the 51st Regiment of Foot from the Parsons Family website now archived. He commanded the 51st in the second phase of the war (second-in-command during the first phase).
- Burke and Norfolk: Photographs from the War in Afghanistan by John Burke and Simon Norfolk: Conversation with Simon Norfolk. John Burke (1843?-1900) was the first ever photographer to make pictures in Afghanistan. www.simonnorfolk.com
- Photographs: Afghanistan, 1879-80 An album of historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–80). Library of Congress. Information about the individual photographs
- Set of photographs 1878-1880 titled "Royal Engineers Museum, Library and Archive" from Phototheca Afghanica: Historical Images of Afghanistan. A project of Foundation Bibliotheca Afghanica, CH-4416 Bubendorf.
- Photograph: The Amir’s Highlanders, 1879. (gettyimages.com). A photograph of Afghan soldiers dressed in kilts, taken by John Burke in 1879. This photograph is from an album entitled The Afghan War, Attock to Jellalabad, Gandamak and Surkhab. The Afghans were very impressed with the ferocity and fighting skills of the British Highland regiments. In imitation, Afghan troops were dressed in kilts in an attempt to instil them with similiar martial qualities.The soldiers were known as the Amir’s Highlanders, the Highlanders of Amir Yaqub, or Yaqub Khan's Highlanders. An image from the Illustrated London News.
- Plan of Kabul City, drawn by the Guides March 1880, and photographed by John Burke 1880. Click on “zoomable image” to enlarge. British Library Online Gallery.
Historical books online
- The Second Afghan War Official Account 1907 Archive.org mirror version, originally from Digital Library of India. Illustrations are of poor quality.
- The same content was issued under the title The Second Afghan War, 1878-80: Abridged Official Account produced in the Intelligence Branch Army Headquarters, India 1908 Archive.org. Note: Part of the latter filming is unsatisfactory, with text missing from the sides of some pages, and some of the illustrations have not been filmed.
- Also available as a pdf download PAHAR Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset.
- The six volume The Second Afghan War compiled and collated by and under the orders of Sir C. M. MacGregor, published 1885-1886 as "Strictly confidential", on which the Abridged Official Account was based, is available at the British Library UIN: BLL01012490881.
- The Second Afghan War, 1878-79-80 its causes, its conduct and its consequences by Colonel H.B. Hanna. Archive.org Volume 1 1899, Volume 2 1904
- The Afghan War of 1879-80 by Howard Hensman, Special Correspondent of The Pioneer (Allahabad) and The Daily News (London). Second Edition 1882 Archive.org
- A History of Afghanistan Volume II by Brig-Gen Sir Percy Sykes 1940 Archive.org. Includes the 2nd Afghan War. Contents
- Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India: Volume III Baluchistan, and the First Afghan War. Compiled in the Intelligence Branch, Army Headquarters India. 1910 Archive.org Includes expeditions which were side issues of the 2nd Afghan War.
- The Afghan War: Gough's Action at Futtehabad by Charles Swinnerton 1880 Archive.org
- With the Kurram Field Force, 1878-79 by Major J. A. S. Colquhoun, R.A. With illustrations by the author. 1881 Archive.org (Maps are not copied)
- To Caubul with the Cavalry Brigade: A narrative of personal experiences with the force under General Sir F.S. Roberts with map and illustrations from sketches by the author by Major R C W Mitford XIVth Bengal Lancers 1881 Archive.org (Map may be extended out )
- Private journal of Henry Francis Brooke, late Brigadier-General commanding 2nd Infantry Brigade, Kandahar Field Force, Southern Afghanistan, from April 22nd to August 16th, 1880 1881 Archive.org
- Personal records of the Kandahar campaign by officers engaged therein. Edited by Major Ashe 1881 Archive.org
- Kurum, Kabul & Kandahar being a brief record of impressions in three campaigns under General Roberts by Charles Gray Robertson, Lieutenant 8th (the King’s) Regiment 1881 Archive.org
- Recollections of the Kabul campaign 1879 & 1880 by Joshua Duke, Bengal Medical Service 1883 Archive.org
- The Death March Through The Khyber Pass by G J H Evatt 1891. Archive.org version, mirror from Digital Library of India. More complete title details are Personal Recollections of the Afghan Campaigns of 1878-79-80. The “Death-march” through the Khyber Pass in the Afghan Campaign 1878-79 by Surgeon-Major G. J. H. Evatt, A M D. Reprinted from “Journal of the United Service Institution of India,” 1890.
- Kandahar in 1879: The Diary of Major Le Messurier R.E., Brigade Major R. E. with the Quetta Column 1880 Archive.org
- Afghanistan service, page 11 From Kabul to Kumassi: Twenty-four years of soldiering and sport by Brig. Gen. Sir James Willcocks 1904 Archive.org
- Afghanistan service page 57 My Service Days: India, Afghanistan, Suakim '85, and China by Maj.-Gen. Sir Norman Stewart 1908 Archive.org The author’s father was commander of the Mooltan Division
- "The Khaibar Pass" Chapter V page 51 Vestigia by Lieut.-Colonel Charles à Court Repington 1919. Archive.org. The author was an officer with the 4th Battalion Rifle Brigade. Charles à Court Repington 1858-1925. Wikipedia.
- My service in the Indian Army – and after by General Sir John Luther Vaughan 1904 Archive.org. He joined the Bengal Army in 1841 and had to retire c 1870 as there was no position for him. At the start of the 2nd Afghan War he became special military correspondent for the war for The Times
- The Indian Borderland, 1880-1900 by Colonel Sir T Hungerford Holdich 1901 Archive.org. Contains two chapters on the Afghan War of 1879- 1880. The author worked as a military surveyor.
- The Afghan Wars 1839-42 and 1878-80 by Archibald Forbes 1892 (archive.org)
- "Excerpta from Notes on the Transport by Rail of Troops, Horses, Guns and War Material for the Army in Afghanistan during 1878-79" from Professional papers on Indian engineering Second Series Volume 8 1879 (archive.org)
- History of the Corps of Royal Engineers Vol II by Maj-Gen Whitworth Porter 1889 2nd Afghan War archive.org
- Colburn's United Service Magazine and Naval and Military Journal 1880 Part 3 Archive.org
- "Operations 10 September 1879 until the entry to Kabul on 13 October 1879" pages 52- 128 Bulletins and Other State Intelligence Compiled and Arranged from the Official Documents Published in the London Gazette for the Year 1880: Part 1 January to June Originally from the London Gazette 16 January 1880 Archive.org
- "Operations at Kabul 8-24 December 1879", pages 556- 672 Bulletins and Other State Intelligence Compiled and Arranged from the Official Documents Published in the London Gazette for the Year 1880: Part 1 January to June Originally from the London Gazette 4 May 1880 Archive.org
- Kabul Under Attack Handwritten online letter from Gen Sir Montagu Gilbert Gerard, with detailed account of the capture of Kabul 1880 King’s College London Collections: The Serving Soldier
- The Afghan War a speech delivered in the House of Lords by the Right Hon. Viscount Cranbrook, (Secretary of State for India), on Monday, December 9th, 1878
- Causes of the Afghan War: Being a Selection of The Papers Laid Before Parliament with a Connecting Narrative and Comment 1879 Archive.org. Note that some of the initial pages appear to be missing. A complete copy of this book is available Archive.org version, mirror from Digital Library of India, but probably the first book file is better overall.
- Lord Lytton and the Afghan War by Captain W. J. Eastwick Third Edition 1879 Archive.org
- Our Afghan policy and the occupation of Candahar by D.B. 1880 Archive.org
- The life and career of Major Sir Louis Cavagnari, C. S. I., K. C. B., British envoy at Cabul with a brief outline of the Second Afghan War. Compiled by Kally Prosono Dey 1881 Archive.org
- The Eastern question from the Treaty of Paris 1836 to the Treaty of Berlin 1878 and to the Second Afghan War by the Duke of Argyll 1879 Archive.org Volume 1, Volume 2
- Kohat, Kuram, and Khost; Or, Experiences and Adventures in the Late Afghan War by Richard Gillham-Thomsett, Surgeon, Army Medical Department 1884 Archive.org
- Afghanistan: a Short Account of Afghanistan, its History, and our Dealings with it. In Two Volumes. Second Edition with a Map and Additional Volume, bringing the History of the Afghan Question down to 1885 by Philip F Walker (Barrister-At-Law, late 75th Regt) 1885 Archive.org. Volume 2, same digital file. Index to Volume 1, Index to Volume 2 (numbered separately)
- Through the Khyber Pass by Rev J. Gregson 1883. Full title: Through the Khyber Pass to Sherpore Camp, Cabul. An account of Temperance Work among our soldiers in the Cabul Field Force. Archive.org version, mirror from Digital Library of India.
- My God - Maiwand!: Operations of the South Afghanistan Field Force 1878-80 by Leigh Maxwell 1979. Link to a pdf download, PAHAR Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. If the download does not display, look under Books/Afghanistan.
London Gazette and the Gazette of India
The London Gazette may be searched online for official correspondence relating to operations in Afghanistan. As examples, the following correspondence been noted for 1880 (there may be other correspondence).
- Publication date: 16 January 1880 Issue:24801 Page:209
- 27 April 1880 Issue:24838 Page:2719
- 4 May 1880 Issue:24841 Page:2836
- 30 July 1880 Issue:24869 Page:4197
- 15 October 1880 Issue:24892 Page:5283
- 22 October 1880 Issue:24894 Page:5377
- 19 November 1880 Issue:24903 Page:5799
- 3 December 1880 Issue:24909 Page:6519 contains correspondence relating to events from approximately 28 July 1880 including the siege of Kandahar and the sortie made by the garrison on 16 August 1880.
- 31 December 1880 Issue:24919 Page:7003
The Gazette of India also contains some official correspondence relating to operations in Afghanistan which is not mentioned in the London Gazette. See Newspapers and journals online-Gazette of India for some online editions. Also available at the British Library . As an example, the Gazette of India for the period September-December 1880 has an entry dated 11 September 1880 concerning Major W Jacob of the 19th Bombay Native Infantry and the march to Chaman 29-30th July 1880. This account is now available at Archive.org, pages 440-442.
- The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye 1978. "...a 1,000 page epic of war and romance set in 19th century India; the book sold in its millions and was adapted for television in 1984..."
- Archive.org version; Archive.org Lending Library edition in two volumes: Volume 1, Volume 2
- Obituary: The Telegraph 31 January 2004