Second Anglo-Afghan War

Second Anglo–Afghan War
Part of the Great Game
Battle in Afghanistan.jpg
92nd Highlanders at Kandahar. Oil by Richard Caton Woodville Jr.
Afghanistan, and modern Pakistan

British victory[1][2][3]

Districts of Quetta, Pishin, Sibi, Harnai & Thal Chotiali ceded to British India[5]


 United Kingdom

Commanders and leaders
Casualties and losses

Total fatalities are unknown

  • 5,000+ killed in major battles[6]

Total: 9,850 fatalities

The Second Anglo-Afghan War (Dari: جنگ دوم افغان و انگلیس, Pashto: د افغان-انګرېز دويمه جګړه) was a military conflict fought between the British Raj and the Emirate of Afghanistan from 1878 to 1880, when the latter was ruled by Sher Ali Khan of the Barakzai dynasty, the son of former Emir Dost Mohammad Khan. The war was part of the Great Game between the British and Russian empires.

The war was split into two campaigns – the first began in November 1878 with the British invasion of Afghanistan from India. The British were quickly victorious and forced the AmirSher Ali Khan to flee. Ali's successor Mohammad Yaqub Khan immediately sued for peace and the Treaty of Gandamak was then signed on 26 May 1879. The British sent an envoy and mission led by Sir Louis Cavagnari to Kabul, but on 3 September this mission was massacred and the conflict was reignited by Ayub Khan which led to the abdication of his brother Yaqub.[7]

The second campaign ended in September 1880 when the British decisively defeated Ayub Khan outside Kandahar. A new Amir – Abdur Rahman Khan selected by the British, ratified and confirmed the Gandamak treaty once more. When the British and Indian soldiers had withdrawn, the Afghans agreed to let the British attain all of their geopolitical objectives, as well as create a buffer between the British Raj and the Russian Empire.[8]

  1. ^ Schmidt, Karl J. (1995). An Atlas and Survey of South Asian History. M.E. Sharpe. p. 74. ISBN 978-1563243332. British forces were victorious and Sher Ali was deposed
  2. ^ "Zarena Aslami, "The Second Anglo-Afghan War, or the Return of the Uninvited" | BRANCH".
  3. ^ "Second Anglo-Afghan War | 1878–1880".
  4. ^ Adamec, L.W.; Norris, J.A. (2010). "Anglo-Afghan Wars". Encyclopædia Iranica.
  5. ^ Blood 1996, pp. 20–21.
  6. ^ a b Robson, Brian. (2007). The Road to Kabul: The Second Afghan War 1878–1881. Stroud: Spellmount. p. 299. ISBN 978-1-86227-416-7.
  7. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Yakub Khan" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 898.
  8. ^ Barfield 2010, p. 145.

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