First Anglo-Afghan War

First Anglo-Afghan War
Part of the Great Game
Storming Column entering Fortress at Ghuznee.jpg
Lithograph depicting British-Indian force storming the fortress during the Battle of Ghazni, 23 July 1839
Date1 October 1838 – October 1842
Location
Result

Afghan victory

Belligerents
Emirate of Kabul
Principality of Qandahar
Baloch Tribes
Afghan Tribes

 British Empire

Durrani Dynasty
Commanders and leaders
Dost Mohammad Khan (POW)
Akbar Khan
British Empire Robert Peel
British Empire William Lamb
British Empire William Elphinstone 
William Hay Macnaghten 
Sir Henry William Barnard
John Keane
Sir Willoughby Cotton
George Pollock
Shujah ul-Mulk 
Strength
20,000 militia infantry
30 guns
5,000 light tribal cavalry
10,000 line infantry soldiers
30,000 camp followers
200 guns
1,500 heavy cavalry
5,000 Shah Shuja Durrani local indian levy
Casualties and losses
12,000 militia infantry
15 - 20 guns
3,000 light tribal cavalry
4,700 line infantry soldiers
40 guns
12,000 camp followers
200 - 300 heavy cavalry[2]

The First Anglo-Afghan War (Persian: جنگ اول افغان و انگلیس) was fought between the British Empire and the Emirate of Kabul from 1838 to 1842. The British initially successfully invaded the country taking sides in a succession dispute between emir Dost Mohammad (Barakzai) and former emir Shah Shujah (Durrani), whom they reinstalled upon occupying Kabul in August 1839. The main British Indian force occupied Kabul and endured harsh winters. The force and its camp followers, were almost completely destroyed during the 1842 retreat from Kabul.[1][2]

The British then sent an Army of Retribution to Kabul to avenge the destruction of the previous forces. After recovering prisoners, they left Afghanistan by the end of the year. Dost Mohammed returned from exile in India to resume his rule.

It was one of the first major conflicts during the Great Game, the 19th century competition for power and influence in Central Asia between Britain and Russia.[3]

  1. ^ a b c Kohn, George Childs (2013). Dictionary of Wars. Revised Edition. London/New York: Routledge. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-135-95494-9.
  2. ^ a b Baxter, Craig (2001). "The First Anglo–Afghan War". In Federal Research Division, Library of Congress (ed.). Afghanistan: A Country Study. Baton Rouge, LA: Claitor's Pub. Division. ISBN 1-57980-744-5. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  3. ^ Keay, John (2010). India: A History (revised ed.). New York, NY: Grove Press. pp. 418–19. ISBN 978-0-8021-4558-1.

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