The Anglo-Afghan War | Result, Casualties, Importance and Books of Anglo-Afghan War

Anglo-Afghan War: The Anglo-Afghan War happened from 1839 to 1914 in three consecutive wars between Great Britain and Afghanistan. Great Britain initiated this War for two reasons.

The first is, to extends its administrative power from India to Afghanistan. The second is, to counter the Russian influence in Afghanistan.

There were three wars between the British Government and the Afghans. The wars are famously known as the Anglo-Afghan war.

Want to know how many wars and conflicts took place in History and changed the world? Check out this available List of Wars and Battles.

The first Anglo-Afghan war was fought between Dost Mohammad Khan and the British Government from India’s base. The War’s result was not in favour of the Afghans, and Dost Mohammad Khan was taken into custody.

The second Anglo-Afghan war was fought between Sher Ali Khan and the British Government. The War resulted in the upper hand of the British control in Afghanistan.

The third Anglo-Afghan war was fought between Amanullah Khan and the British Government. The War resulted in signing a peace treaty.

When Did The First Anglo-Afghan War Take Place?

The first Anglo-Afghan war took place at Parwan on November 2, 1840, between Dost Mohammad Khan and the British army.

Anglo-Afghan War 1839


Who Won The First Anglo-Afghan War?

Though captured, Dost Mohammad Khan was arrested while going first to Balkh and then to Bukhara. He escaped from prison and return to Afghanistan to lead his army against the British army.

Though at the battle of Parwan he had the upper hand, he surrendered to the British next day in Kabul.

Why Was The First Anglo-Afghan War Fought?

The main objective of the War was to remove Russia’s influence from Afghanistan and restore the Sandozay Ruler Shah Soj a. Dost Mohammad Khan from the Barakzay clan was the ruler of Kabul and Qandahar at that time.

British knew that Dost Mohammad was close to Persia and Russia, which was frightening to the British Government. They also feared that their control over India would be threatened if Russia came to Afghanistan.

That was why the British Government saw Dost Mohammad as a probable threat and waged War against him.

Who Accompanied The British During Their First Battle Against The Afghans?

The Britishers based in India allied with still independent Sikhs and their ruler Ranjit Sing assured to provide battle assistance to the British during the First Anglo-Afghan war.

Anglo-Afghan War Casualties

Why Did The British Ask for The Assistance Of The Sikhs?

Punjab was the only Indian state that was independent and the base of significant military power. British Government could not defeat the Sikhs and take on the Afghan’s at the same time. They had no option without making peace with the Sikhs at that time.

When Did The Second Anglo-Afghan War Take Place?

The second Anglo-Afghan war took place on November 21, 1878. The War was fought between the 3rd son of Dost Mohammad Khan, Shir Ali Khan, and the British army led by India’s governor-general, Lord Lytton.

What Was The Background Behind The Second Anglo-Afghan War?

The Dost Mohammad Khan’s son, Shir Ali Khan, was on good terms with the British Government. Shir Ali khan asked the British Government if they would support Afghanistan if the Russians attack their country.

British Government did not give a straightforward answer to that question. The Amir of Afghanistan wanted the British help in any upcoming attacks from the Russians without the English interference to their internal affairs.

Shir Ali khan was disappointed and eventually committed with the Russians. The British Government was again threatened by Russian interference. They sent an ultimatum to Sir Ali khan, which he never answered.

On November 21th, 1978, the British attacked Afghanistan with three columns of troops.

What Was The Aftermath Of The Second Anglo-Afghan War?

Sher Ali khan died in 1979. The Russians did not help him fight the English armies. The British army took over Kabul. Both sides signed a treaty at Gandamak on May 26, 1879, between Yaqub khan and the British Government.

It was declared in the treaty that Kabul would receive a British embassy that granted the British control of all Afghans’ foreign policies. This treaty also granted the power of controlling the main passes into Afghanistan from the far south.

Yoqub received an annual wealth of 60,000 rupees at that time. But the treaty was not in action for a long time. The British envoy Sir Louis Cavagnari was killed in Kabul, and the Amir did nothing to prevent it.

The British were furious, and that resulted in the abduction of Yaqub from the throne.

Anglo-Afghan War Importance

Why Did Not Sher Ali Did Not Answer The Final Ultimatum From The British Before The War?

The Amir, Sher Ali Khan, was not assured of the British friendship. Russians were at War with Turkey at that time. Despite receiving a warning, the Russians sent a military mission to Kabul with three columns of troops.

The mission was received in Kabul. British also had such a mission on the way to Afghanistan. But Sher Ali Khan declined to receive the mission as he parted with the Russians. Though he was sent a request, he never answered it because of the Russian involvement.

What Did The Governer-General Of India Call Afghanistan Before The Second Anglo-Afghan War?

The governor-general Lytton called Afghanistan “an earthen pipkin between two metal pots”.

When Was The Third Anglo-Afghan War Took Place?

The third Anglo-Afghan war started in May of 1919.

Who Was Involved With The Third Anglo-Afghan War?

When the ruler of Afghanistan was assassinated on February 20, 1919, his son Amanullah Khan became the country’s new ruler. He then declared total Independence from Great Britain. This declaration resulted at the beginning of the third Anglo-Afghan war.

What Was The Result Of The Third Anglo-Afghan War?

World war one drained the workforce from the Indian fueled British army. The Afghan army was more or less useless at that time. The War lasted for months. At last, this War let the Afghans have control over their foreign policies.

How Did Afghanistan Gain Independence?

After the third Anglo-Afghan war, a peace treaty was signed at Rawalpindi on August 8, 1919.

Anglo-Afghan War Facts

What Was The Soviet Relationship With The Afghans After The Third Anglo-Afghan War?

It was final that Afghanistan was getting out of the control of the British Government. Before signing the final documents of its Independence, the Afghans allied with the new Bolshevik regime in the Soviet Union.

The two countries shared a special relationship, and Afghanistan was the first country to acknowledge the Soviet Government until 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan during the Afghan War.

How was the relationship of the British Government with Amir Amanullah before the third Anglo-Afghan war?

The relationship was non-beneficial for both sides. The British thought the country was not in control under Amanullah’s reign. They barely acknowledged Amanullah as the Amir of Afghanistan.

The subsidy was also stopped. Amir Amanullah thought that this diplomatic state would cost Afghanistan its neutrality and Independence. Thus all these fueled the third Anglo-Afghan war.

What Was The Importance Of The British Airpower In The Last Anglo-Afghan War?

The British airpower was proven to be a futile force in the third Anglo-Afghan war. The British Airforce crossed the border and bombed Kabul. It also massacred the retreating enemy forces. The air attack left a deep wound in the morale of the normal citizens of Afghanistan.

British Airforce also bombed the palace on a single-plain raid. Though it was nothing of great damage but the citizens of Afghanistan, felt insulted.

What Were The Casualties Of The Third Anglo-Afghan War?

In the War, approximately 1000 Afghans were killed. Indian and British force combinedly lost 236 lives. Six hundred fifteen men were wounded. Five hundred sixty-six men died from cholera. Around 334 lives were lost due to other accidents and diseases.

What Was The Result Of The Treaty Of Rawalpindi?

It was agreed on the treaty that British India would not cross the Khyber pass and Afghans also accepted all the British Government’s border agreements.

Anglo-Afghan War Result

What Was The Treaty Of Gandamak?

This treaty was signed between the British Government and the Amir of Afghanistan Ya tub. According to the treaty, Quetta, Pishin, Harnai, Sibi, Kurram, and Khyber of Afghanistan were submitted to the British and rest of the areas were kept to the Amir Ya tub.

It was signed near the village of Gandamak about 70 miles east of Kabul between the Amir and Sir Louis Cavagnari.

What Was The British Subsidy Under The Reign Of Amir Abd-Al-Rahman?

The British paid 1,200,000 Rs to Afghanistan under the reign of Amir Abd-al-Rahman. It was part of an agreement conducted between the two sides. It increased to the amount of 2,050,000 in 1915.

This money was given to the Afghans under the condition that it’s foreign power will be in control of the British, and the country will be safe from any foreign policies.

Why Did The Russians Want To Involve Politically With Afghanistan?

The Russians were also in the competition of controlling Asian countries, with the British. The target was primarily getting their hands on the central Asian market. British Government aspired to send their goods on steamboats in the central Asian market.

Russians believed that the possession of KIVA would result in the dominance and superiority of those who control the sea line.

What Are Some Books On The Anglo-Afghan War?

  • The Anglo-Afghan Wars 1839–1919 by Gregory Fremont-Barnes.
  • Return of a King by William Dalrymple.
    • The Afghan Wars, 1839-42 and 1878-80 by Archibald Forbes

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