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´╗┐Title: Afghanistan and the Anglo-Russian Dispute
Author: Rodenbough, Theophilus F. (Theophilus Francis), 1838-1912
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Afghanistan and the Anglo-Russian Dispute" ***




Bvt. Brigadier General, U.S.A


[Illustration: Afghanistan: England versus Russia]

[Illustration: The Ruler of Afghanistan, Abdurrahman Khan,
Ameer of Kabul]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *









Afghanistan and the Surrounding Territories (Drawn for this Work and
Corrected by the Latest Military Surveys--end of vol.)

The Asiatic Territories Absorbed by Russia During the Past Two
Centuries, with the Dates of the Various Annexations

The Russian Lines of Advance from their Base of Supplies


Abdurrahman Khan, Ameer of Kabul (Frontispiece)

Mahaz Khan (A Tajik), Khan of Pest Bolak
Jehandad (Lohanir), from Ghazni

Wullie Mohammed, a Dahzungi Hazara
Pozai Khan, a Shinwarri (Musician)

Khan Baz, a Khumbhur Khel Afreedi
Tooro Baz, a Kookie Khel Afreedi

Zool Kuddar, an Adam Khel Afreedi
Mousa, a Kizilbash, Born in Peshawur

The City of Kandahar, Afghanistan

Castle of Zohak, First March from Bamian, Irak Road to Kabul

An Afghan Post-Chaise; Going to the Front

Gate of the Bazaar at Kabul

Major-General, Sir F. S. Roberts, V.C., K.C.B.

Khelat-i-Ghilzi, between Kandahar and Ghazni

Elephant with Artillery; on the Road to Ali Musjid

Detail of Elephant Saddle

Noah's Valley, Kunar River

Watch Tower in the Khaiber Pass

Fort of Ali Musjid, from the Heights above Lala Cheena, in the
Khaiber Pass

Fort of Dakka, on the Kabul River

The Ishbola Tepe, Khaiber Pass

Entrance to the Bolan Pass, from Dadur

Entrance to the Khojak Pass, from Pishin, on the Road to Kandahar

The Order of March in Central Asia

Gorge in the Tirband-i-Turkestan, through which the Murghab flows

Jelalabad, from Piper's Hill

[Illustration: MAP Showing the Advances of RUSSIA towards INDIA




In universal history there is no more interesting subject for the
consideration of the political student than the record of Russian
progress through Central Asia.

In one sense this advance is a practical reestablishment or
extension of the influence of the Aryan race in countries long
dominated by peoples of Turki or Mongolian origin; in another
sense it has resulted in a transition from the barbarism or rude
forms of Asiatic life to the enlightenment and higher moral
development of a European age. In a religious sense it embodies a
crusade against Oriental fanaticism; and it is a curious feature of
the Anglo-Russian dispute, that upon a question of temporal gain,
the greatest Christian nation finds itself allied with the followers
of Buddha and Mahomet against Russia under the Banner of the Cross.

The descendants of the great Peter have opened up in Central Asia a
new region which, if as yet it has not been "made to blossom as the
rose," has nevertheless profited by the introduction of law, order,
and a certain amount of industrial prosperity.

Russia commenced her relations with Central Asia as early as the
sixteenth century. Not only through embassies sent, but by military
expeditions; these, however, at that time were private ventures by
roving Cossacks and other inhabitants of Southern Russia. Authorized
government expeditions commenced with Peter the Great, who in
1716-17 sent two exploring parties into the Central Asian
deserts--Bekovitch to Khiva, and Likhareff to the Black Irtish. These
expeditions were undertaken in search of gold, supposed to exist in
those regions, but failed in their object; the detachment under
Bekovitch being entirely destroyed after reaching Khiva. Peter
next turned his attention to the country bordering upon the
southern shores of the Caspian Sea; taking advantage of Persian
embarrassments, with the consent of the Shah and of the Sultan he
acquired, in 1722-3, the provinces of Gilan, Mazanderan, and
Asterabad; but the great expense of maintaining a large garrison so
remote from Russia, and the unhealthiness of the locality, induced
the Russian Government, in 1732, to restore the districts to Persia.
In the same year Abul-Khair, the Khan of the Little Kirghiz Horde,
voluntarily submitted to Russia. Twenty years later a small strip of
the kingdom of Djungaria, on the Irtish, was absorbed, and toward
the commencement of the reign of Catharine II, Russian authority
was asserted and maintained over the broad tract from the Altai to
the Caspian. This occupation was limited to a line of outposts along
the Ural, the Irtish, and in the intervening district. During
Catharine's reign the frontier nomads became reduced in numbers, by
the departure from the steppe between the Ural and Volga of the
Calmucks, who fled into Djungaria, and were nearly destroyed on the
road, by the Kirghiz.

The connection between Russia and Central Asia at this time assumed
another character, that of complete tranquillity, in consequence of
the development of trade through Orenburg and to some extent through
Troitsk and Petropaulovsk. The lines along the Ural and Irtish
gradually acquired strength; the robber-raids into European Russia
and Western Siberia almost entirely ceasing. The allegiance of the
Kirghiz of the Little and Central Hordes was expressed in the fact
that their Khans were always selected under Russian influence and
from time to time appeared at St. Petersburg to render homage. With
the Central Asian khanates there was no connection except that of
trade, but as regarded the Turcomans, who, it is said, had
frequently asked for Russian protection, intercourse was
discouraged, as they could not be trusted "within the lines," being
simply bandits.

The Emperor Paul imagined that the steppes offered a good road to
Southern Asia, and desiring to expel the English from India, in the
year 1800 he despatched a large number of Don Cossacks, under
Orloff, through the districts of the Little Horde. At the time a
treaty was concluded with Napoleon, then First Consul, by virtue of
which a combined Russo-French army was to disembark at Asterabad and
march from thence into India by way of Khorassan and Afghanistan.
The death of the Emperor of Russia put an end to this plan.

During the reign of Alexander I, Central Asia was suffered to rest,
and even the Chinese made raids into Russian territory without
interruption. In the third decade of the present century, however,
several advanced military settlements of Cossacks were founded.
"Thus," says M. Veniukoff, "was inaugurated the policy which
afterward guided us in the steppe, the foundation of advanced
settlements and towns (at first forts, afterwards _stanitsas_
[Footnote: Cossack settlements.]) until the most advanced of them
touches some natural barrier."

About 1840, it was discovered that the system of military
colonization was more effectual in preserving order in the Orenburg
district than by flying detachments sent, as occasion required, from
Southern Russia; and in 1845-6 the Orenburg and Ural (or Targai and
Irgiz) forts were established. In 1846 the Great Kirghiz Horde
acknowledged its subjection to Russia on the farther side of the
Balkash, while at the same time a fort was constructed on the lower

In 1847 the encroachments of Russia in Central Asia had brought her
upon the borders of the important khanates of Khiva and Khokand,
and, like some huge boa-constrictor, she prepared to swallow them.
In 1852 the inevitable military expedition was followed by the
customary permanent post. Another row of forts was planted on the
Lower Yaxartes, and in 1854 far to the eastward, in the midst of the
Great Horde, was built Fort Vernoye--the foundation of a new line,
more or less contiguous to natural boundaries (mountains and
rivers), but not a close line. Between Perovsky and Vernoye there
were upwards of four hundred and fifty miles of desert open to the
incursions of brigands, and between the Aral and Caspian seas there
was a gap, two hundred miles in width, favorable for raids into the
Orenburg Steppe from the side of Khiva. Finally, under the pretext
of closing this gap, a general convergent movement of the Siberian
and Orenburg forces commenced, culminating under General Tchernayeff
in the capture of Aulieata and Chemkent in 1864, and of Tashkent in

Here, M. Veniukoff says: "The Government intended to halt in its
conquests, and, limiting itself to forming a closed line on the
south of the Kirghiz steppes, left it to the sedentary inhabitants
of Tashkent to form a separate khanate from the Khokand so hostile
to us." And this historian tells us that the Tashkendees declined
the honor of becoming the Czar's policemen in this way, evidently
foreseeing the end, and, to cut the matter short, chose the Russian
general, Tchernayeff, as their Khan. The few Central Asian rulers
whose necks had so far escaped the Muscovite heel, made an
ineffectual resistance, and in 1866 Hodjeni and Jizakh were duly
"annexed," thus separating Bokhara and Khokand.

Here we may glance at the method by which Russia took firmer root on
the shores of the Caspian, and established a commercial link with
the Khivan region. In 1869 a military post and seaport was planted
at Krasnovodsk, on that point of the east shore of the Caspian,
which presents the greatest facilities for shipping, and as a base
of operations against the Turcomans, who were at that time very
troublesome. Several military expeditions set out from this point,
and every year detachments of troops were despatched to keep the
roads open toward Khiva, the Kepet Dagh, or the banks of the Attrek.
Within five years (1870-'75) the nomads living within the routes
named had become "good Turcomans," carried the Czar's mails to
Khiva, and furnished the Krasnovodsk-Khivan caravans with camels and
drivers. But the colonization scheme on the lower Caspian had once
more brought the Russians to the Persian boundary. In 1869 the Shah
had been rather officiously assured that Russia would not think of
going below the line of the Attrek; yet, as Colonel Veniukoff shows,
she now regrets having committed herself, and urges "geographical
ignorance" of the locality when the assurance was given, and the
fact that part of her restless subjects, on the Attrek, pass eight
months of the year in Russian territory and four in "so-called"
Persia; it is therefore not difficult to imagine the probable change
on the map of that quarter.

The march continued toward Khiva, and after the usual
iron-hand-in-velvet-glove introduction, General Kaufmann in 1873
pounced upon that important khanate, and thus added another to the
jewels of the Empire. Nominally, Khiva is independent, but nevertheless
collects and pays to Russia a considerable contribution annually.

In 1868 Russia seized Samarcand, and established over the khanate of
Bokhara a similar supervision to that in Khiva. As the distinguished
Russian already quoted remarks: "The programme of the political
existence of Bokhara as a separate sovereignty was accorded to her
by us in the shape of two treaties, in 1868 and 1873, which defined
her subordinate relation to Russia. But no one looks at these acts
as the treaties of an equal with an equal. They are instructions in
a polite form, or programmes given by the civilized conqueror to the
conquered barbarians, and the execution of which is guaranteed by
the immediate presence of a military force."

The district of Khokand, whose ruler, Khudoyar Khan, submitted
himself to Russia in 1867, was for a number of years nominally
independent, but becoming disturbed by domestic dissensions, was
ultimately annexed under the name of the Fergana Province.

To this point we have followed Colonel Veniukoff's account of the
Russian advance. It will doubtless interest the reader to continue
the narrative from an English view, exceptionally accurate and
dispassionate in its nature.

In a lecture before the Royal United Service Institution in London,
May 16, 1884, Lieut.-General Sir Edward Hamley, of the British Army,
discussed the Central Asian question before an audience comprising
such Indian experts as Sir Henry Rawlinson, Lord Napier of Magdala,
and Mr. Charles Marvin, and many distinguished officers, including
Lord Chelmsford, Sir F. Haines, and Colonel Malleson. Among other
things, General Hamley said:

"Probably England has never been quite free, during the present
century, from some degree of anxiety caused by the steady, gradual
approaches of Russia through Central Asia toward India. It was seen
that where her foot was planted it never went back. It was seen that
with forces comparatively small she never failed to effect any
conquest she was bent on, and that the conquest, once effected, was
final. This security in possession was owing in great measure to the
fact that the governments she displaced were bad governments, and
that she substituted one far better in itself and of a simplicity
which was well adapted to the people with whom she was dealing. She
aimed mainly at three things--the establishment of order and of
confidence and the obtaining of some return for her own heavy
expenses. From the establishment of order and of confidence sprang a
prosperity which enabled her to obtain a certain revenue, though
entirely inadequate to her expenditure. Thus we beheld her pressing
solidly on, and we knew not where she might stop. Pretexts, such as
it was difficult to find a flaw in, were never wanting on which to
ground a fresh absorption of territory. And seeing behind this
advance a vast country--almost a continent--which was not merely a
great Asiatic Power, but a great European State, under autocratic,
irresponsible rule, with interests touching ours at many points, it
is not to be wondered at that we watched with anxiety her progress
as she bore steadily down toward our Indian frontier."

General Hamley says that England became particularly suspicious of
Russia in 1867 when she absorbed Turkestan, and this feeling was
intensified in 1878, while the Treaty of Berlin was still pending.
General Kaufmann assembled a small army of about 12,000 men and
thirty-two guns on the frontier of Bokhara, and although upon the
signing of the treaty all threatening movements ceased, yet the
British commander then operating in Afghanistan knew that Kaufmann
had proposed to march in the direction of Kabul, and menace the
British frontier.

It has ever been the practice of Russia, in her schemes of
aggrandizement, to combine her diplomatic with her military
machinery; but, unlike other nations, the ambassador has generally
been subordinate to the general.

At the time that General Kaufmann sheathed his sword under the
influence of the Treaty of Berlin, in 1878, there remained another
representative of Russia--General Stolietoff--who had been quietly
negotiating with the Ameer of Afghanistan, Shere Ali, the terms of a
"Russian treaty," whose characteristics have already been described.
Hearing of this, the English Ambassador at St. Petersburg questioned
the Russian Minister, who answered him "that no mission had been,
nor was intended to be, sent to Kabul, either by the Imperial
Government or by General Kaufmann." This denial was given on July
3d, the day after Stolietoff and his mission had started from
Samarcand. After the envoy's arrival at Kabul, another remonstrance
met with the reply that the mission was "of a professional nature
and one of simple courtesy," and was not, therefore, inconsistent
with the pacific assurances already given. The real nature of this
mission became known from papers found by General Roberts at Kabul
in 1879. These showed that Shere Ali had been invited to form a
close alliance with the Russian Government. General Kaufmann had
advised Shere Ali to try and stir up disaffection among the Queen's
Indian subjects, promising to aid him, eventually, with troops.
Finding that this scheme was impracticable at the moment, Russia
dropped the Ameer, who fled from the scene of his misfortunes, and
died soon after.

For the moment England breathed more freely. There were still great
natural obstacles between the empires of Russia and of India. Not
only the friendly state of Afghanistan, but on its northwestern
border the neutral territory of Merv, hitherto an independent
province, and inhabited by warlike tribes of Turcomans difficult to
reach through their deserts and likely to harass a Russian advance
to Herat to an embarrassing extent. It was seen that the possession
of this territory would at once free Russia from much difficulty in
case of an advance and give her the means of threatening Herat as
well as Kabul from her base in Turkestan, and even to some extent to
carry forward that base beyond the Oxus.

On the part of Russia, the success of General Skobeleff in capturing
the fortified position of Geok Tepe, January 24, 1880, marked the
beginning of negotiations with the Turcomans for the acquisition of
Merv. For a long while these were unsuccessful, but early in 1884 it
was cabled to London, that "The Queen of the World" had accepted the
White Czar as her future liege lord.

The immediate cause of this event was the effect produced upon the
minds of the Turcoman deputation to Moscow by the spectacle of the
Czar's coronation. The impression created by the gorgeous ceremonial
was heightened by the presence of so many Asiatic chiefs and
kinglets at the ancient and historic capital of Russia. The tales
they brought back were well calculated to influence the minds of a
wild and primitive people; and when the Khan of Khiva proffered his
services for the settlement of their relations with Russia, that
section of the Tekke tribe in favor of peace accepted them. The
chiefs tendered their formal submission to the Czar, and promised to
allow Russian merchants to reside among them, and pledged themselves
to maintain the security of the routes from the Oxus to the Tejend;
also accepting the responsibilities of Russian subjects by rendering
tribute either in money or by military service. To all intents and
purposes it is equivalent to the establishment of a Russian garrison
in Merv.

The thorough way in which Russia seeks to bind her Asiatic subjects
is shown in the fact that in 1884, at the request of the Khan of
Khiva, a Russian tutor was selected to instruct his children.

Soon after it was reported that the Russians had established
themselves at Sarakhs on the direct road to Herat and just over the
Persian boundary of Afghanistan. These later movements again aroused
the distrust of England, and a joint commission of Russian and
English officials was appointed early in the year 1885.

While the English members of the commission under Sir Peter Lumsden
were awaiting the convenience of their foreign colleagues, the
presence of Russian troops was reported on the disputed territory in
the vicinity of Herat.

This action alarmed the Afghans, and a collision seemed imminent.
The English Government considered M. de Giers' explanation of this
encroachment unsatisfactory. Pending an adjustment of the new
complication both nations prepared for the worst.

Here we will leave the subject of the Russian advance through the
Gates of Asia and pass to the consideration of the present neutral
ground of Afghanistan.

[Illustration: OUTLINE MAP Showing RUSSIAN-CAUCASIAN and



From the Amu Daria and the Turcoman steppes to the deserts of
Beloochistan, from Persian Khorassan to the valley of the Indus,
stretches the country of the Afghans. Men of renown and events of
world-wide interest have been connected with its history. Its
records tell of the murder of Cavagnari in recent times; of the
tragedy of Elphinstone's command (1838-42); of Shah Nadir, the
butcher of Delhi (1738-39); of Baber Khan, the founder of Mongolian
rule in India (1520); of Timur, the assailer of the world (1398); of
Genghiz Khan, the annihilator of the civilization of ancient Asia
(1218-24); of the great ruler, Sultan Mahmoud (A. D. 1000); and yet
earlier, of Alexander, "the divinely favored Macedonian." Afghan
history dies away, in the hymns of the Indian Vedas, eighteen
hundred years before the birth of Christ.

The territory of Afghanistan--which is destined to be the arena of a
great international duel--covers an area of 12,000 square miles, or
a tract measuring from north to south 688 miles, and from east to
west 736 miles. It is a mountainous country; a high plateau, 6,000
feet above the sea, overlooked by lofty mountain ranges which open
out and sink toward the west and south. On the north it is bordered
by the western ranges of the Himalayas, which reach to the Amu
Daria; by the wall-like range of the Hindu Kush, some of whose peaks
are 19,000 feet high; and by several smaller ridges. Between the
Kabul and Kuram rivers rises the snow-capped Sufeid Koh, the
principal peak of which, to the south of Jelalabad, attains an
altitude of 15,000 feet. To the south of this, in Southern
Afghanistan, the Suleiman range, of an average height of 9,000 feet,
falls rapidly toward the valley of the Indus. Between the Hindu Kush
and the Suleiman ranges there are several lesser ones stretching
toward the southwest, including the Auran Mountains (7,000 feet).

Of the principal rivers noted here (the Helmund, Har-i-Rud, Kabul,
Kuram, and the Gomal) the Helmund alone is navigable. The Helmund
terminates in the swamps of Seistan, as also do the Kash, Farrah,
and Herat rivers, running parallel to the Helmund across the
Kandahar-Herat roads, at 80, 150, and 200 miles, respectively, to
the west of it. These rivers are without bridges, but (with the
exception of the Helmund--provided with ferry at Girishk) are
fordable, save in the months of April and May. The country is
otherwise open and easily traversable, but only on the main routes
can water be readily obtained, and forage is scarce in the winter.

The Turnuk valley, running northeast from Kandahar, is followed by
the great route to Ghazni and Kabul skirting the Guikok range--separated
from the Hazaristan to its west by the parallel valley of
the Argandab. The latter valley is also followed by a route which
enters it from Mooktur, the source of the Turnuk. This debouches
upon the Herat road about ten miles west of Kandahar, and there is
no communication west of it between Herat and Kabul, save by
impracticable mountain routes across the Hazaristan.

Three routes from Kandahar to Herat separate at Girishk on the
Helmund, cross the Kash at different points, and meet at Sabzawar
(280 miles from Kandahar) on the Herat; both of the southernmost
passing by the town of Farrah, which is 230 miles from Kandahar.
From Girishk also a road follows the Helmund to Seistan and Lash
Jowain, where it joins the Herat road at Farrah on the river of that
name, or at Sabzawar on the Herat. The southernmost of the routes to
Farrah also branches from Kash down the river named Kash, joining
the Seistan route at Lash.

The general aspect of Afghanistan is that of a series of elevated
flat-bottomed valleys, in the vicinity of the streams, somewhat
under cultivation. The scenery is often wild and beautiful, and some
of the defiles to the north of the Hindu Kush are said to be of
appalling grandeur, while the soft, still loveliness of the
sheltered glens on the southern slope of that range strongly
impresses the traveller who visits them. Some of the ranges in the
north and northeast are well timbered with pine and oak.

The eastern half of Afghanistan is generally cold and rugged, but
sustains innumerable flocks and herds, and abounds in mineral
wealth, especially lead and sulphur. In the more sheltered valleys
considerable fruit is grown, but only grain enough for the actual
consumption of the inhabitants. Water and fodder abound, but fuel is
deficient; a serious matter, as the cold in the winter is extreme.
The western part of Afghanistan is a more fertile region,
interspersed, it is true, with lofty ranges, but comprising many
pleasant valleys and pastures.

The population is approximately estimated at eight millions.
Afghanistan is a genuine society of different nations, although the
greater part are of Persian descent. The strongholds of the German
self-protecting federations are here produced on a large scale.

Thus the Duranis, Tajiks, Yusafzais, Ghilzais, Eimaks, Hazaris,
Kaffirs, Hindus, Jats, Arabs, Kizilbashis, Uzbeks, Biluchis, are
near neighbors; of these about 3,000,000 may be real Afghans who
profess the Suni faith and speak Indo-Persian Puchtu. There are over
four hundred inferior tribes known. The Duranis are numerically
strongest and live in the vicinity of Kandahar. Next in importance
are the Ghilzais, estimated at 30,000 fighting men living in the
triangle--Kabul, Jelalabad, Khelat-i-Ghilzai; until 1747 they
furnished the rulers of Afghanistan. To the south of the Ghilzais
live the Puchtu-speaking races who chiefly defend only their own
territory; the mountainous eastern border is inhabited by the
Momunds, Afridis, Arakzais, Zymukts, Waziris, who have never been
subdued. Their sense of independence, however, does not prevent them
from selling their friendship for ready money to the highest bidder.
On the watershed of the Helmund and Indus dwell the independent
Pathans and Biluchis. The Persian-speaking Kizilbashis in Kabul,
comprise 3,000,000 of Shiahs, who are not Afghans, many of whose
30,000 fighting men are in the Ameer's regular army. The Tajiks--about
10,000 men--are chiefly in the Kabul and Ghazni districts.
The Hazaris and Eimaks are in the central section of Afghanistan,
known as the Hazaristan, extending east and west from the Koushan
pass over the Hindu-Kush range to Marchat on the Turcoman frontier,
and north and south from Sirpool in Turkestan to Girishk, between
Kandahar and Herat; they are the descendants of the military
settlers left by the Tartar hordes that swept Central Asia under
Genghiz Khan, and still maintain a quasi-independence; they
cordially detest the Afghan Government, but pay an annual tribute in
money to its support. Finally there is a million of foreign
nationalities, including Turks, Persians, Indians, Armenians, and
Kaffirs; the last-named are Hindus, and violent antagonists of the
Mohammedans living around them.

[Illustration: Mahaz Khan (a Tajik), Khan of Pest Bolak.
               Jehandad (Lohanir), from Ghazni.]

Thus it is seen that modern Afghanistan comprises three great
districts--Herat in the west, Kabul in the east, and Kandahar in the
centre, with the seat of government at the cities of the same names
respectively. Within each district are, as already described, a
large number of tribes occupying sub-districts, closely connected
like the cells of a honey-comb, but each with its destinctive
manners and customs and irregular military forces, in no instance
numbering less than 6,000 men, and often twice that number, divided
about equally into horse and foot. Many of these render military
service to the Ameer, many are bandits in the worst sense. The
nomadic tribes--like the Eimaks peopling the Heratic region--live
principally in tents, encamping in winter in the valleys, and in
summer on the table-lands of the mountain ranges. They are ignorant,
hospitable, and brave and ardent hunters. Their principal trade is
with Herat, and consists of woollen and camel-hair fabrics and
clarified butter.

[Illustration: Wullie Mohammed, a Dahzungi Hazara.
               Pozai Khan, a Shinwarri (Musician).]

The farming population all live in small hamlets. The better classes
of these live in villages surrounding or joined to the castle of a
Khan. These castles are encompassed by a rude wall, having
frequently turrets at the corners, and occasionally armed with
swivel-guns or wall-pieces. The principal gardens are always on the
outside of the castle, and the herds of horses and camels belonging
to the Khan are kept at distant pastures and attended by herders,
who live in tents. In the Bori and Ghazgar valleys the houses are of
wood. In the Ghazgar valley they are all fortified, as already
described; the doors are generally mere man-holes, and the top of
the towers are loopholes. The better class, and more modern of
these, have flat roofs, from which the water is carried by spouts;
the walls surrounding are at least twelve feet high, and cover
nearly an acre of ground. Three or four such houses usually
constitute a village. These semi-barbarians are noted for the length
and ferocity of their feuds. Sometimes two branches of a family who
are neighbors become enemies. The distance between their "fortlets"
may be two hundred yards, and on that space no one ventures. They go
out at opposite gates and walk straight from their own fort in a
line protected by its walls from the fire of the other, until out of
range, then they turn around to their fields. Broadfoot relates that
"once in Zurmat I saw a fort shut by rolling a stone against the
door, instead of with the usual heavy chain. On inquiring as to the
cause of such carelessness, the Malik, a fine old man with a plump,
good-humored face, stretched his arms out toward the line of distant
forts, and said: 'I have not an enemy!' It was a pleasing exception
to the rule."

[Illustration: Khan Baz, a Khumbhur Khel Afreedi.
               Tooro Baz, a Kookie Khel Afreedi.]

These feuds are a system of petty warfare, carried on by long shots,
stealing cattle, and burning crops. Samson, burning his neighbor's
corn, acted just like an Afghan. When the harvest is nearly ripe,
neither party dare sleep. The remedy is sometimes for both to fight
until an equal number are killed on each side, when the neighbors
step in and effect a reconciliation; another method is to pay
forfeit of a feast and some sheep or cloth; in exceptional cases, a
few Afghan virgins are substituted for the sheep, but they are given
in marriage, and are well treated.

Our space does not permit an extended reference to the manners and
customs of this primitive people but a few characteristics may be
briefly noted. The love of war is felt much more among Afghans than
by other Eastern peoples, although but little effort has been made
by them to augment the means of resistance and aggression. Pillage,
fighting, and disturbances are at times necessary to their very
existence, and are followed by long days of idleness, during which
they live on the fruits of their depredations. There is no shade of
difference between the character of the nomad and the citizen; a
town life does not soften their habits; they live there as they live
in a tent, armed to the teeth and ready for the onslaught. Though
full of duplicity, one is nevertheless liable to be taken in by
their apparent frankness. They are hospitable to strangers, but only
because this is an ancient custom which has the force of law and is
not a virtue which springs from the heart. The pride of the Afghans
is a marked feature of their national character. They boast of their
descent, their prowess in arms, their independence; and cap all by
"Am I not a Puktan?"

The Afghan people, occupied with the defence of their homes, have
failed to assist the Ameer in the formation and maintenance of that
indispensable instrument--an organized, well-equipped, easily
mobilized army. In regular battle the Afghans can have but little
hope of success; their strength lies in the petty warfare peculiar
to a wild, mountainous country. As auxiliaries, as partisan troops
in their own country, they would be of great value to their allies
and extremely troublesome to their enemies. For outpost, courier,
and scouting purposes, they would doubtless be most efficient. The
strength of the organized army in the service of the Ameer of
Afghanistan is about 50,000 men of all arms. The traveller Vambery,
who visited Herat in 1863, says:

"The Afghan's national costume consists of a long shirt, drawers,
and dirty linen clothes; or, if he is a soldier, he affects a
British red coat. He throws it over his shirt, while he gets on his
head the picturesque Indo-Afghan turban. Others again--and these are
the _beau-monde_--are wont to assume a half-Persian costume. Weapons
are borne by all. Rarely does any one, whether civil or military,
enter the bazar without his sword and shield. To be quite _a la
mode_ one must carry about one quite an arsenal, consisting of two
pistols, a sword, poniard, hand-jar, gun, and shield."  M. Vambery
also describes a drill of some Afghan regulars.

"The men had a very military bearing, far better than the Ottoman
army that was so drilled forty years ago. These might have been
mistaken for European troops if most of them had not had on their
bare feet the pointed Kabuli shoe, and had not had their short
trowsers so tightly stretched by their straps that they threatened
every moment to burst and fly up above the knee."

The adventurous O'Donovan thus describes an Afghan cavalryman whom
he met unexpectedly, near Herat, in 1880: "He wore a dark-colored
turban, one end of the cloth pulled up in front so as to resemble a
small cockade. His uniform was blue-black, and he wore long boots. A
broad black leather cross-belt, with two very large brass buckles,
crossed his breast. He had sabre, pistols, and carbine."

[Illustration: Zool Kuddar, an Adam Khel Afreedi.
               Mousa, a Kizilbash, Born in Peshawur.]

The actual fighting strength of the army of Afghanistan cannot be
definitely stated. Major Lumsden, who has represented the British
Government in that country in various diplomatic capacities, stated
(some years since) that the regular army of the Ameer consisted of
sixteen regiments of infantry, three of cavalry, and seventy-six
field guns. The infantry regiments numbered about 800 men each; the
men were obtained by compulsory levy. Their uniform consisted of
English cast-off clothes purchased at auction. The pay, about five
rupees per mensem, was paid irregularly and often in kind; two
months' pay was deducted for clothing. The cavalry and artillery
were badly horsed; and the horses were sent to graze in summer. A
Russian report of 1868 estimates the infantry at 10,000 men. The
armament, equipment, and instruction of the troops have doubtless
improved since that time, as ten years later the British Government
supplied the Afghan Government with 10,000 Enfield and 5,000 Snider
rifles and one field battery, and very recently (1885) it was
announced that a present of Martini-Henry rifles and improved field
guns had been sent to Abdurrahman by the Indian authorities.

Besides the regular army there is a paid irregular mounted force of
about 20,000 men, active and formidable in "hill operations," and
known as Jezailchis.

The late General Colin Mackenzie, in an account of his experiences
in the Elphinstone disaster of 1842, says:

"The Jezailchis are so called from their jezails or long rifles. The
Afghans are said to be among the best marksmen in the world. They
are accustomed to arms from early boyhood, live in a chronic state
of warfare with their neighbors, and are most skilful in taking
advantage of cover. An Afghan will throw himself flat, behind a
stone barely big enough to cover his head, and scoop a hollow in the
ground with his left elbow as he loads. Men like these only require
training to make first-rate irregular troops.

"As a trait of Afghan character, I must mention that whenever the
Jezailchis could snatch five minutes to refresh themselves with a
pipe, one of them would twang a sort of a rude guitar as an
accompaniment to some martial song, which, mingling with the notes
of war, sounded very strangely."

The Russian General Staff have also estimated the Ameer's force,
exclusive of the irregulars, at 66,400 men with 30 guns.

The efficiency of this body, by reason of their peculiar
surroundings, must vary with the character of the operations. For
defence--particularly of their own section--they form an important
consideration; for aggressive purposes their strength lies in
partisan operations, in small detachments, requiring great mobility.

Just as it is difficult to understand the rapidity with which
large numbers are assembled in Afghanistan for fighting purposes,
so the dispersing of an Afghan army together with its attendant
masses of tribal levies in flight is almost beyond comprehension;
men who have been actually engaged in hand-to-hand combat dispose of
their arms in the villages they pass through, and meet their
pursuers with melons or other fruit in their hands, While they adopt
the _role_ of peaceful inhabitants.

A brief description of some of the more noted cities of Afghanistan
may be appropriate here.

Sir Henry Rawlinson gives the following details respecting the
so-called Key of India--the city of Herat:

"That which distinguishes Herat from all other Oriental cities, and
at the same time constitutes its main defence, is the stupendous
character of the earthwork upon which the city wall is built. This
earthwork averages 250 feet in width at the base and about 50 feet
in height, and as it is crowned by a wall 25 feet high and 14 feet
thick at the base, supported by about 150 semicircular towers, and
is further protected by a ditch 45 feet in width and 16 feet in
depth, it presents an appearance of imposing strength. Whether the
place is really as strong as it looks has been differently
estimated. General Ferrier, who resided for some time in Herat, in
1846, states that the city is nothing more than an immense redoubt,
and gives it as his opinion that, as the line of wall is entirely
without flanking defences, the place could not hold out for twenty
days against a European army; and M. Khanikoff, who, although not a
professional soldier, was a very acute observer, further remarks
that the whole interior of the city is dominated from the rising
ground 700 yards distant and covered with solid buildings at the
northeast angle, while the water supply both for the ditch and the
city would be at the mercy of an enemy holding the outside country;
the wells and reservoirs inside the wall, which could then alone be
available--being quite inadequate to the wants of the inhabitants:
but on the other hand, all experience testifies to the defensibility
of the position.

"Not to speak of the siege which Herat sustained at the hands of
Genghiz Khan, of Timur, and of Ahmed Shah, we have only to remember
that in 1837 the Afghans of Herat, under Major Eldred Pottinger,
beat off the continuous attacks, for nearly ten months, of a Persian
army of 35,000 regular troops supported by fifty pieces of
artillery, and in many cases directed and even commanded by Russian
officers. The truth seems to be that Herat, although in its present
state quite unfit to resist a European army, possesses great
capabilities of defence, and might by a skilful adaptation of the
resources of modern science be made almost impregnable. Major
Saunders, a British engineer officer, calculated in 1840 that, at an
outlay of L60,000, which would include the expenses of deepening the
ditch, clearing the glacis and esplanade, providing flanking
defences, and repairing the walls throughout, Herat might be
rendered secure against any possible renewal of the attack by

The location of this city upon the principal thoroughfare between
India, Persia, and Turkestan gives it a special importance in a
military sense. It is also the principal mart of Western
Afghanistan, and comprises extensive manufactures in wool and
leather. The natural fertility of the country near Herat has been
enhanced by irrigation.

"The valley, or _julgah_ (as the Persians say), in which the
city lies is rich in the possession of a river. This valley is about
thirty miles long by sixteen in breadth, exclusive of the ground
taken up by the fortress and the walls. Four of these miles separate
the town from the northern and twelve from the southern hills, while
at one quarter of the greater distance runs the Her-i-Rud or Herat
River, which, rising near the Kuh-i-Baba, pursues a westerly course
till, passing the city, it sweeps, first gradually, then decidedly,
to the north, eventually to lose its identity in the environs of
Sarakhs. It is of political as well as of geographical importance,
for it passes between the Persian and Afghan frontier posts of
Kahriz and Kusun respectively, and may be considered to mark the
Perso-Afghan boundary at the Western Paropismus. The Plain, south of
the walls, is watered by a net-work of eight or nine large and many
minor ditches. The aqueducts are stated to be superior to those of
Bokhara, Samarcand, and Ispahan. The grain produced is abundant--beyond
the requirements of town and suburbs together. The bread, the
water, and the vines have the merit of special excellence. Yet, with
all this wealth of means and material, capable of subsisting an army
of 150,000 men for some time, much of the legacy of past ages is
disregarded and nullified by the supineness of a present generation.
The ruins visible on all sides are not all useless or obsolete
works. As one conclusive instance may be cited the neglected
'Pul-i-Malan.' This bridge, of twenty-three arches, can scarcely be
considered void of purpose or practical benefit. It is, however,
rapidly falling into decay, and as the river has changed its bed,
part of it remains, barren of object, on dry land. On the rising of
the waters this state of things is inconvenient; for the river, at
such time, is no longer fordable, and the Kandahar caravans, going
to and fro, have difficulty in crossing." [Footnote: Sir F. J.
Goldsmid, "Journeys Between Herat and Khiva."]

In 1830 Conolly was of opinion that the city was one of the dirtiest
in the world, being absolutely destitute of drainage; and Vambery,
thirty-three years afterward, when the city was captured by Dost
Mohammed, says the city was largely a heap of rubbish, having
suffered the horrors of a long siege.

The city of Kabul, from which the surrounding territory of Eastern
Afghanistan takes its name, stands in lat. 34 degrees 30' N., and
long. 69 degrees 6' E., near the point where the Kabul River is
crossed by three bridges. Its altitude is 6,400 feet, and, within a
short distance to the north, is overtopped by pinnacles of the Hindu
Kush about 14,000 feet higher.

The winters are severe, but the summers are very temperate--seldom
going above 80 degrees. Kabul is fortified without and within; being
separated into quarters by stone walls: the Bala Hissar, or citadel
proper, being on the east, while the Persian quarter of the city is
strongly protected on the southwest. In the days of Sultan Baber,
Kabul was the capital of the Mogul empire. In modern times, it has
been the scene of many Anglo-Indian struggles. It was taken by the
British in 1839, and lost by them, through treachery, in 1841;
in the following January, 4,000 British soldiers and 12,000
camp-followers were massacred while retreating.

Kandahar, the capital of Central Afghanistan, is about two hundred
miles S. W. of Kabul, and three hundred and seventy-one miles E. of
Herat. It is said to have been founded by Alexander of Macedon. The
city is laid out at right angles, and is watered from the
neighboring rivers through canals, which send to every street an
ample supply. Sir Michael Biddulph describes the surroundings:
"Kandahar stands on the western side of a plain, which was
originally a barren skirt of the mountain. Exactly opposite to the
city, and two miles to the westward, there is a wide break in the
dividing ridge, through which the road to Herat leads, and by which
are conducted the many canals and watercourses, taken from the
Argandab, to supply the town and fertilize its environs. The energy
and skill displayed in these extensive water-works cannot be too
highly extolled. Brought from a point many miles distant in the
Argandab valley, the chief canal, with its offshoots, conducts a
vast body of water, which is dispersed along the contours of the
declining plain in innumerable channels, spreading a rich fertility
for many miles in a fan-like form to the southeast of the gap.
Villages cluster around the city on three sides; cornfields,
orchards, gardens, and vineyards are seen in luxurious succession,
presenting a veritable oasis within the girdle of rugged hills and
desert wastes all around. And if we turn to the aspect of the
country beyond the gap, we see in the Argandab valley, along the
canals and the river banks, a fair and beautiful landscape of
village and cultivated ground, stretching for many miles in each
direction. This productive character of the immediate neighborhood
of Kandahar, and its commanding position within reach of other
fertile districts, would give to this place, under a strong, stable,
and just government, as much prosperity and happiness as falls to
the lot of any place in the world."

[Illustration: City of Kandahar, Afghanistan.]

Jelalabad stands on the Kabul River, about half-way between Kabul
and the Khaiber Pass. It was the scene of the stubborn defence by
Sir Robert Sale in 1842, referred to elsewhere. It has a floating
population of about three thousand souls. Our engraving is taken
from the south and west. The stream in the west is the Kabul River.
The Jati gate in the south wall is the exit from the Hindu quarter.
The Kabul exit is on the west, while the road to Peshawur commences
at the gate of that name on the east wall of the city. The northern
gate is known as the Pheel Khana, or elephant quarter. The walls of
the town and of its houses are of mud, and the roofs generally of
wood. The city is laid out in the form of a parallelogram
intersected by two main streets crossing in the centre.

The town of Ghazni (the ancient Ghizni) is another historical
landmark in a region famous for its evidences of former grandeur. It
stands about 230 miles northeast of Kandahar on the road to Kabul;
it is literally "founded upon a rock" at an elevation of 7,726 feet,
and its base is 280 feet above the adjacent plain. It has walls
thirty-five feet high, and a wet ditch, but is not considered in any
sense formidable by modern engineers, as it is commanded by
neighboring heights; it will always be a rendezvous for the natives,
and forms a station or an important line of communication between
the Indus and the Murghab. In the tenth century it was the seat of
an empire comprising the present territory of Afghanistan, and which
had in the space of seventy years absorbed thirty-eight degrees of
longitude and twenty degrees of latitude. Its decline dates from the
twelfth century, when the seat of government was transferred to
Lahore. From 1839 to 1880 it has been occupied alternately by the
British and the Afghans. The climate is not exceptionally severe,
although in winter the mercury drops to 25 degrees below zero at
times. The population averages about ten thousand.

Peshawur is one of the most important towns, both in a military and
commercial sense, in the _Derajat_. It is the capital of a province
of the same name on the N. W. frontier of India, eighteen miles from
the Khaiber Pass and one hundred and fifty miles S.E. of Kabul. It
has the usual bastioned defences, besides some detached works of
more importance. It was once a rich and populous city, but has, like
many other like places in that region, fallen from its high estate.
It is garrisoned by the British, and can boast of fair trade and a
population of about fifty thousand. It is the centre of a fruitful
district containing more than one million inhabitants.

The fruitful valley and pass of Bamian lie on the road leading from
Kabul to Turkestan. The pass, at an elevation of 8,496 feet, is the
only known defile over the Hindu Kush practicable for artillery.
This valley was one of the chief centres of Buddhist worship, as
gigantic idols, mutilated indeed by fanatical Mussulmans,
conclusively prove. Bamian, with its colossal statues cut out in the
rock, was among the wonders described by the Buddhist monks who
traversed Central Asia in the fourth century. The statues are found
on a hill about three hundred feet high, in which are a number of
cells excavated in the rock, not unlike those found in the Zuni
country in the western part of the United States. The male figure is
about 160 feet, the female 120 feet, in height; they are clothed in
light drapery, and a winding stair may be ascended to the head.

Eight miles eastward of Bamian lies the ancient fortress of Zohak,
attributed to the fabulous Persian serpent-king of that name. It is
still used as one of the defences of the pass.

[Illustration: Castle of Zohak, First March from Bamian, on the Irak
Road to Kabul.]

The animals of Afghanistan adapted to military transport purposes
are the camel, the _yabu_ (mountain pony), and the donkey.

From certain professional papers, on the camel, by Captain Yaldwyn
and other officers of the Indian Army, we learn that this beast of
burden has been often utilized by the British in Afghanistan, and
the supply of camels raised in that country has generally been
augmented by drafts from India, although the last mentioned do not
thrive under the transition. The camel is docile, capable of
abstinence in an emergency, well adapted for the imposition of loads
and for traversing over flat or sandy ground, adapts itself to rough
roads, has acute sight and smell, and, during progression, moves
both feet on one side, simultaneously. Its flesh and milk are
wholesome articles of food. It is deficient in muscular power
behind, and cannot readily climb hills. Those found in Afghanistan
are of the Arabian species. They are strong, thickset, with
abundance of hair; are short in the leg, better climbers, and more
accustomed to cold than others of the species. Their feeding
requires as much care as that of cavalry or artillery horses; they
are fond of green food, and certain trees and shrubs. In grazing,
camels brought from India sometimes are poisoned by eating the
oleander bush and other plants which the native camel avoids.
Elphinstone's ill-fated expedition in 1841 lost 800 out of 2,500
camels from this cause alone. On the march, or where grazing does
not abound, they are fed with grain and _bhoosa_ [Footnote:
Chopped straw.]; this is given them in one ration at the end of the
day. The theory that camels do not require much watering is declared
a fallacy; the Arabian species can take in five or six gallons,
sufficient for as many days; they will not drink cold running water;
but, where water can be had, they should be watered daily. The load
of the camel varies from 300 to 450 pounds, depending upon its
condition. It is admirably adapted for carrying long articles, as
ladders, tent-poles, and even light mountain guns. The marching
power of camels depends on a number of conditions. They are good
goers in loose sandy soil, and even over stony ground, if the stones
are not too large and sharp; in slippery places they are useless, as
they have no hold with their feet. They are very enduring, making
the longest marches at an average speed of two miles an hour, and
can ford deep rivers with ease if the current is not too rapid. When
the bottom of the ford is shifting sand, the passage of a number of
camels renders it firm. A string of 500 camels covers about one mile
of road; 1,250 mules, carrying the same weight of supplies, occupy
double the distance. Camels must be unladen at ferries. For military
purposes these animals are purchased between the ages of five and
nine years, and may be used up to the age of sixteen. They average
about one thousand pounds in weight, seven feet in height to the top
of the hump, and eight feet in length from nose to tail. In camp and
when not at work they are arranged in lines facing each other, or in
circles heads inward; the latter plan is the favorite formation at
night. The allowance of spare camels on service is ten per cent.

[Illustration: An Afghan Post-Chaise; Going to the Front. ]

Lieut. Martin, R. E., states that his company, of Sappers and
Miners, was able to get an exceptional percentage of labor from
the camels under his charge by attention to certain details; and
says further, that "camels are very quarrelsome and bite each other
badly when grazing. They can ford four feet of moderately running
water, easily, if the bed is good; but a yard of greasy mud, a few
inches deep, will throw many camels and delay a convoy for hours.
Camel-bridges were carried on the leading camels, with a few
shovels and picks, in every convoy of the Kandahar Field Force, and
all small cuts or obstructions were thus bridged in a few minutes;
the camels remaining by their bridges (two gang-boards eight by
three feet) until the last baggage camel had passed. In perfectly
open country, such as Kandahar to Girishk, it was found possible to
march the camels on a broad front, the whole convoy being a rough
square; camels starting at 3 A.M. have been known to arrive at camp
ten miles off as late as 5 P.M."

Captain Yaldwyn says: "A camel's carrying-power is equal to that of
two and a half mules or ponies, whilst his ration is only about that
of one mule or pony. Thus 500 camels only eat as much as 500 mules
or ponies, and whilst the latter can only carry 1,000 _maunds_
[Footnote: A _maund_ is 80 pounds.] the former can carry 2,500.
Again, 500 camels only require 125 attendants to be paid, clothed,
and fed, whilst 500 mules or ponies require 167 attendants." But, on
the other hand, the immense losses of camels from excessive heat or
cold, or over-exertion in mountainous or rough roads, and other
causes, greatly neutralize the force of this comparison.

The _yabu_ is a hardy mountain pony used by the Afghans for the
saddle and packing purposes; they are very strong, active, and
sure-footed, and have been frequently used by the British forces in
their military operations. In 1839 Captain (afterward General)
Outram relates that his _yabu_, "although but thirteen hands high,
carried me and my saddlebags, weighing altogether upward of sixteen
stone, the whole distance from Kalat in seven days and a half (an
average of nearly forty-seven miles a day), during which time I had
passed 111 hours on its back; there was no saddle on the pony,
merely a cloth over his back."

They will carry from four to five _maunds_ with perfect ease, making
journeys of thirty miles a day. Those which are ridden and which
amble, are called _yurgas_. The Afghans tie a knot in the middle of
the long tails of their horses, which, they say, strengthens the
animal's backbone!

The Afghan donkey was severely tested in 1880 during the operations
of Sir Donald Stewart between Kabul and Kandahar, and this class of
carriage was found very useful in the conveyance of provisions.
Afghan donkeys will march with troops and carry loads of grain or
flour, averaging ninety pounds, without difficulty. They keep pace
with mules or ponies in a baggage column, as they avoid the frequent
checks which retard the larger animals; they browse on the line of
march, and find their own forage easily in the neighborhood of camp;
they are easily controlled and cared for, and are on all accounts
the most inexpensive transport in Eastern countries. [Footnote:
Lieut.-Col. E. F. Chapman, C.B., R.A.]

The transport animals found in India and Turkestan will be described
in the parts of this book devoted to the military resources of those

In concluding this sketch of the "Threshold of India," a mere glance
at the military history of the country will suffice. In fact, only
so far as it may have a bearing upon the present, has reference to
the past any place in this volume.

The early periods of eventful interest to Afghanistan have been
already noted at the opening of this chapter. Its purely Oriental
experiences were beginning to fade with the death of Nadir
Shah--variously termed the "Butcher of Delhi," and the "Wallace of
Persia," in 1747. His progress toward India, from which he was to
tear its choicest treasure and loot its greatest city, reminds one
of the Arabian Nights. A camp-follower from Jelalabad reported as
follows: "He has 36,000 horsemen with himself . . . After morning
prayers he sits on a throne, the canopy of which is in the form of a
dome and of gold. One thousand young men, with royal standards of
red silk and the lance tops and tassels of silver, are disposed
regularly; and, at a proper distance, five hundred beautiful slaves,
from twelve to twenty years old, stand--one half on his right and
the other on his left. All the great men stand fronting him; and the
Arzbegi stands between, in readiness to represent whatever he is
desired, and everybody has his cause decided at once: bribery is not
so much as known here. He has particular information given him of
every thing that passes; all criminals, great and small, rich and
poor, meet with immediate death. He sits till noon, after which he
dines, then reposes a little; when afternoon prayers are over he
sits till the evening prayers, and when they are over he shoots five
arrows into the _Khak Tudah_, and then goes into the women's
apartments." [Footnote: Fraser's "Nadir Shah."]

The splendor of the Robber King has departed, but his deeds of blood
and treachery have often been repeated in the country of the

A succession of struggles between Afghan and Persian leaders for the
control of Afghanistan marked the next fifty years.

When the project of Russian invasion of India, suggested by
Napoleon, was under consideration in Persia, a British envoy was
sent, in 1809, to the then Shah Sujah, and received the most cordial
reception at Peshawur. But Shah Sujah was, in 1810, superseded by
his brother, Mahmud, and the latter was pressed hard by the son of
his Wazir to such an extent that Herat alone remained to him. In
1823 his former kingdom passed to Dost Mohammed, who in 1826
governed Kabul, Kandahar, Ghazni, and Peshawur. The last-named place
fell into the hands of Runjeet Singh, the "Lion of the Punjab." Dost
Mohammed then applied to England for aid in recovering Peshawur,
failing in which he threatened to turn to Russia.

That Power was (1837) engaged in fomenting trouble in the western
part of Afghanistan, encouraging an attack by 30,000 Persians, led
by Russian officers, upon Herat. Instead of acceding to the request
of Dost Mohammed, the British Governor-General--Lord Auckland--declared
war against that potentate, alleging in a proclamation that
"the welfare of the English possessions in the East rendered it
necessary to have an ally on their western frontier who would be in
favor of peace, and opposed to all disorders and innovations."

This was the beginning of intrigues relating to Afghanistan on the
part, alternately, of England and Russia, in which John Bull has had
to pay, literally, "the lion's share" of the cost in blood and
treasure. In 1850, Sir John Cam Hobhouse, President of the Board of
Control in India confessed: "The Afghan war _was done by myself_;
the Court of Directors had nothing to do with it." The reason
already mentioned was alleged as an excuse for hostilities. They
were declared, notwithstanding that the British political agent at
the Court of Dost Mohammed reported that ruler as "entirely English"
in his sympathies. This report was suppressed. Twenty years later
the facts were given to Parliament, Russian letters were found
implicating the Czar's ministers, and the English agent, Burnes, was

The Anglo-Indian army--consisting of twenty thousand troops, fifty
thousand followers, and sixty thousand camels--advanced in two
columns, one from Bengal, and the other from Bombay by the Indus.
Scinde, which had hitherto been independent, like the Punjab and
Lahore, was subjugated _en route_, and nine thousand men were
left behind to occupy it. On the 23d of February, 1839, a
simultaneous advance from Shikarpur, on the Bolan Pass, commenced.
Kandahar was occupied April 25th, Ghazni July 23d, and Kabul August
6th, and Shah Sujah was proclaimed Ameer by British authority. By
the following September the greater part of the English forces
returned to India. Only five regiments of infantry and one of
cavalry remained in Afghanistan, where suspicious symptoms of
discontent with the new order of things began very soon to show
themselves. During the summer of 1840 insurrections had to be put
down by force in several places. In November of the same year Dost
Mohammed defeated the English in the Perwan Pass. From that time
until the autumn of 1841 a sultry calm reigned in the country.

The English commanders, although fully aware of the state of mind of
the people, neglected to take the most simple measures of

The local control was vested in a mixed military and civil council,
consisting of General Elphinstone, unfitted by disease and natural
irresolution from exercising the functions of command, and Sir
William McNaghten, the British envoy, whose self-confidence and
trust in the treacherous natives made him an easy victim. In the
centre of an insurrection which was extending day by day under their
eyes and under their own roofs, these representatives of a powerful
nation, with a small but effective force, deliberately buried their
heads in the sand of their credulity, not realizing the nature of
the danger which for weeks was evident to many of their

Finally a force of the insurgents, under the direction of the son of
the deposed ruler, Akbar Khan, threw off the disguise they had
assumed before the English, and taking possession of the Khurd Kabul
Pass near the city, entirely cut off the retreat to India which
Elphinstone had commenced.

As there was no intelligent concert of action among the British
leaders, the garrison melted away in detail, the Afghan auxiliaries
refused to fight, or turned their arms against the Europeans. Sir
William McNaghten was murdered by Akbar, at a council in sight of
the garrison. A few attempts to force a passage, or to defend
themselves, made by certain brave officers of the beleagured force,

On January 6, 1842, an agreement was made by which the Afghan leader
promised to ensure to the British forces a safe withdrawal to India.
This was violated with Afghan readiness, and the entire Anglo-Indian
contingent of seventeen thousand souls was destroyed; sacrificed to
the murderous brutality of the Afghan insurgents, or dying from
exposure to one of the most severe winters known to that region.
Months after, heaps of dead bodies, preserved by the intense cold,
obstructed the mountain passes. The horrors of Moscow were repeated
in the Khurd Kabul, and the noblest attributes of humanity were
exemplified in the acts of the officers and soldiers of the doomed
party. Only twenty of this entire force survived. The news of this
horrible disaster was brought to Jelalabad by the only man who
penetrated the Afghan environment, Dr. Brydon.

On receipt of the news of this overwhelming catastrophe, the Indian
Government endeavored to rescue the garrisons of Kandahar and
Ghazni, as well as that of Jelalabad; but the Mohammedan troops
refused to march against their co-religionists, and the Sikhs also
showed great unwillingness. The garrison of Ghazni, thinking to
secure its safety by capitulation, was cut to pieces December 23,
1841. Jelalabad, held by 2,400 men under General Sale, still
withstood the storm like a rock of iron. General Nott, the energetic
officer commanding at Kandahar, on receiving the news of the
destruction of the British, blew up the citadel of the town,
destroyed every thing not necessary to his object, and started,
August 8, 1842, for Ghazni, which he also destroyed, September 6th.

[Illustration: Gate of the Bazaar at Kabul.]

Another British force of twelve thousand men, under General Pollock,
was organized at Peshawur, to punish the Afghans, and, so far as
might be, retrieve the errors of Elphinstone and McNaghten.
Pollock's operations were, in the sense of retaliation, successful.
An eminent German authority wrote: "Kabul and other towns were
levelled with the ground; Akbar's troops were blown from guns, and
the people were collected together and destroyed like worms."
General Pollock carried the famous Khaiber Pass, in advancing to the
relief of Jelalabad in April, 1842. This was the first time that the
great defile--twenty-eight miles in length--had ever been forced by
arms. Timur Lang and Nadir Shah, at the head of their enormous
hosts, bought a safe passage through it from the Afridis. Akbar the
Great, in 1587, is said to have lost forty thousand men in
attempting to force it, and Aurangzeb failed to get through.

The misfortune of Elphinstone's command, great as it was, would have
been much more humiliating to England, had it not been for the
firmness of the gallant General Pollock, who, ordered to withdraw
with his command to Peshawur, by Lord Ellenborough, without
effecting one of the objects of the expedition--the deliverance of
the English captives in Akbar's hands at Kabul,--protested against
such a suicidal act on the part of any Englishman or any
Administration, and, at great personal risk, gained his point.

In the forced march to Kabul, which Pollock made subsequently, the
force of about eight thousand men moved in as light order as
possible. After loading the commissariat camels to their utmost
carrying capacity, the General discovered that the mounted men had
in their kit a spare pair of pantaloons apiece, on which he ordered
the legs to be filled with grain and carried by the men in front of
them, on their saddles. By the middle of December the British had
started on their return march, pursued as far as the Indus by the
Afghans, and by this hurried conclusion to the war lessened their
prestige in Asia to an enormous degree.

As Sir Henry Rawlinson wrote:

"It was not so much the fact of our retreat; disaster would have
been diminished, if not altogether overcome; but retreating as we
did, pursued even through the last pass into the plains by an
implacable enemy, the impression became universal in India as well
as in Central Asia, that we had simply been driven back across the

A very able Hindu gentleman, very loyal to the British, traced the
mutiny of 1857 in a great measure to the Afghan campaign of 1842. He
said: "It was a direct breach of faith to take the Sepoys out of
India. Practically they were compelled to go for fear of being
treated as mutineers, but the double pay they received by no means
compensated them for losing caste. The Sepoys mistrusted the
Government from that time forward, and were always fearing that
their caste would be destroyed; besides, the Kabul disaster taught
them that Europeans were not invincible."

The departure of the English forces was followed by the
reestablishment of Dost Mohammed's authority in Afghanistan. Once,
at the time of the Sikh insurrection, the Dost crossed the Indian
border with two thousand horsemen, and narrowly escaped falling into
the hands of the British in the affair of Gujrat, February 21, 1849,
where the speed of his horse alone saved him from capture. In 1855 a
better understanding was effected between the son of Dost Mohammed
and his powerful European neighbor. He reconquered Balkh in 1850,
and gained Kandahar by inheritance in 1855, while he lost Herat to
the Persians in 1856. With the aid of Great Britain, in 1857, Persia
relinquished all claims to Herat, but the Dost had eventually to
besiege that city, occupied by a rebellious faction, in 1863, and
after a siege of ten months reduced the place, only to find a tomb
within its walls. After the usual struggle for the throne, peculiar
to a change of dynasty in Afghanistan, Shere Ali, one of the Dost's
sons, prevailed, and was recognized in 1868. The next decade was
notable for a series of diplomatic manoeuvres between England and
Russia for Afghan friendship. Shere Ali now leaned toward the Lion,
now in the direction of the Bear, with the regularity of a pendulum.
The advances were received with presents and promises on the one
hand, and promises, powerful embassies, and imposing military
expeditions on the other. On September 21, 1878, a British
ambassador was turned back by the Afghan commandant of the frontier
fort of Ali Musjid, and on the 20th of November, of the same year,
war was declared against Shere Ali by the Anglo-Indian Government.
At that time the Russian General Kaufmann was operating on the
northern border of Afghanistan with a force of fifteen thousand men
and sixty guns, and the Ameer had reason to think that he could rely
on Russian cooperation against the English, who, with a force of
forty thousand men, promptly invaded his dominion.

This force moved into Afghanistan in four columns, under the
command, respectively, of Generals Browne, Roberts, Biddulph, and
Stewart, with reserves under Generals Maude and Primrose.

We shall have occasion later to consider some of the details of the
protracted operations which followed. They embraced several
admirably conducted marches, exposure to excessively severe winter
weather, the successful surmounting of great natural obstacles, the
development of the usual weakness in the department of transport,
with unnecessary losses in animals, a considerable sick-list, and an
inconsiderable proportion of killed and wounded in action.

The military benefits were those resulting from a long and arduous
field experience in a rough country. The interruption to these
actual "field manoeuvres," this "fire-drill," by the enemy, was
comparatively feeble,--as a rule, stimulating the Anglo-Indian force
to put its best foot foremost. Under this system, at the end of the
two years' campaign, all departments of the army had become moulded
into the efficient machines essential to success in any military

Politically, the campaign had been a failure. The fate of the
gallant Major Cavagnari and his mission, murdered at Kabul,
September 3, 1879, made a deeper impression on the Afghan mind than
the British occupation of Afghan cities or the Afghan losses in

In the same year the British Secretary for India, in London, wrote
to the Governor-General that: "It appears that as the result of two
successful campaigns, of the employment of an immense force, and of
the expenditure of large sums of money, all that has yet been
accomplished has been the disintegration of the State which it was
desired to see strong, friendly, and independent, the assumption of
fresh and unwelcome liabilities in regard to one of its provinces,
and a condition of anarchy throughout the remainder of the country."

Early in the year 1880, the British Government prepared to make a
dignified withdrawal from Afghanistan. That volcanic region was by
no means tranquil, although the chief rebel, Yakoub Khan, had been
driven out of Kabul by General Roberts, and had retired to the
distant country of the Her-i-rud. At this time appeared the
exiled Abdurrahman Khan, who had long resided at Tashkend, and who
was welcomed warmly by the local sirdars on the northern frontier of
Afghanistan. As he approached Kabul his authority and influence
increased, and the British political officers, acting under
instructions, formally recognized him as Ameer of that district. In
the meanwhile Yakoub advanced westward from Herat with a strong
force, encountered a British brigade, under General Burrows, near
the Helmund, and utterly routed it. The remnant of the European
force took refuge in Kandahar, where General Primrose was in
command. Surrounding the city, Yakoub succeeded in effectually
"bottling up" the British garrison for some time. Sir Frederick
Roberts, however, made a rapid march from Kabul on Kandahar, and
after a successful and decisive battle with the Afghans, completely
dispersed the native force, and relieved the beleaguered garrison.
Soon after, Abdurrahman was formally installed as Ameer of
Afghanistan, and the British army withdrew from the country.



A sketch of the military resources of Great Britain, more especially
those available for field service in Afghanistan, with notes upon
the strength and composition of the forces, means of transport and
supply, nature of important lines of communication, and of certain
strategic points in the probable theatre of operations, will be
attempted in this chapter.

_Organization_.--The military system of Great Britain is based
upon voluntary enlistment instead of the usual European plan of
universal liability to service. Recruits may enlist either for the
"short-service" or "long-service" term; the first being for six
years in the ranks and six on furlough, and the last for twelve
years in the ranks; the furlough of short-service men is passed in
the army reserve, and then, in consideration of liability to be
recalled to the colors, the men are paid sixpence a day.

The troops of the Standing Army, (United Kingdom,) March, 1885, were
proportionately distributed as follows: forty-three per cent. in
England, two per cent. in Scotland, twenty-five per cent. in
Ireland, and thirty-five per cent. abroad, not including India.

[Illustration: Major-General, Sir F. S. Roberts, V.C., K.C.B.]

  [Footnote: Approximately, from late returns (1885), but short of
  authorized "establishment" by 90,000.]

                     Army     Army    Militia   Yeomanry  Volunteers
    Officers          423
    Men                       4,762

    Officers          559
    Men                      11,840              11,441

  Royal Horse Artillery
    Officers          108
    Men                       2,426

  Royal Artillery
    Officers          690
    Men                      18,351

    Officers        2,862
    Men                      80,324

  Aggregate       -------   -------    -------   ------    -------
    All Ranks     122,345    44,503    108,462   11,441    209,365
   Aggregate      469,116

  INDIA. [Native Contingents, Independent States of India, [2]
          about 349,831.]
             Army (E'r'p'n)  (Native)
    Officers          436
    Men           [3] 232     3,109
    Officers          198       304
    Men             4,086    18,071
  Royal Horse Artillery
  Royal Artillery
    Officers          453        19
    Men            10,809     1,842
    Officers        1,400     1,068
    Men            44,106   102,648
                  -------   -------
    All Ranks      61,488   127,263
   Aggregate       188,751

  [Footnote 2: Cashmere 27,000, Nepaul 100,000, Hyderabad 44,000.]

  [Footnote 3: Sappers and Miners.]

For purposes of administration, instruction, and mobilization, Great
Britain and Ireland are partitioned into thirteen military districts
commanded by general officers. These are sub-divided as follows: for
the infantry one hundred and two sub-districts under regimental
commanders; for the artillery there are twelve sub-districts,
and for the cavalry two districts. The brigade of an infantry
sub-district comprises usually two line battalions, two militia
battalions, the brigade depot, rifle volunteer corps, and infantry
of the army reserve. Of the line battalions one is generally at home
and one abroad. In an artillery sub-district are comprised a
proportion of the royal artillery and artillery of the militia,
volunteers, and army reserve respectively. In like manner a cavalry
sub-district includes the yeomanry and army reserve cavalry.

The officers on duty in the Adjutant-General's and Quartermaster's
departments of the British army are, as a rule, detailed for a term
of five years from the Line, but must rejoin their regiments
immediately upon orders for foreign service.

The Royal Engineers then were and are organized into forty-three

The cavalry is divided into the Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the
Line. The first named comprises the 1st and 2d Life Guards and Royal
Horse Guards,--three regiments. The Line is composed of twenty-eight
regiments, as follows: seven of dragoon guards, three of dragoons,
thirteen of hussars, five of lancers. The strength of regiments
varies from 450 to 625 men with from 300 to 400 troop horses each.

The artillery--under the title of the Royal Regiment of Artillery--is
divided into three classes; the Royal Horse Artillery of two
brigades of twelve batteries each, making a brigade total of sixty
guns; the Field Artillery of four, brigades of seventy-six
batteries, and the Garrison Artillery of eleven brigades. For the
non-professional reader it may be well to say that, in the horse
artillery, all the _personnel_ of a battery is mounted, the better
to act with cavalry or mounted infantry; under the general term
"field artillery" may be classed mountain batteries (only maintained
in India), field batteries proper, in which the guns are somewhat
heavier, and served by gunners who are not mounted, but on occasion
are carried on the limbers and on seats attached to the axles, and
in an emergency may be carried on the "off" horses of teams. Under
the class "field artillery," also, would come such large guns as are
required in war for siege or other heavy operations, and which in
India or Afghanistan would be drawn by bullocks.

The infantry is composed of the Guards, the Line, and the Rifles.
The Guards consist of three regiments--Grenadier Guards, Coldstream
Guards, and Scots Fusilier Guards; in all seven battalions. The Line
comprises 102 regiments (204 battalions); the Rifles four
battalions. Besides these there are two regiments of Colonial (West
India) colored troops.

The Militia is intended for local defence, but can be ordered
anywhere within the United Kingdom, and is available for garrison
duty in the Mediterranean. Enlistment in the militia is for six
years. The officers are commissioned by the Queen, and, as before
noted, all the details of control and recruitment are entrusted to
district commanders. For instruction this force may be called out,
for a period not to exceed eight weeks annually, with regular
officers as instructors. There are 212 battalions of infantry, 25
brigades of garrison artillery, and 3 regiments of engineers
comprised in this force.

The Militia Reserve, limited to one fourth of the active militia, is
liable to army service in case of an emergency, and for the term of
six years is entitled to L1 per annum.

The Volunteers represent "the bulwark" in case of invasion; they are
organized principally as garrison artillery and infantry. The
officers are commissioned by the county lieutenants, subject to the
approval of the Queen. The men are recruited, armed, and instructed
by the Government. Recruits are required to attend thirty drills,
and afterward not less than nine drills annually. The volunteer
force is composed of 278 battalions of infantry, 46 brigades of
garrison artillery and 15 battalions of engineers.

The Yeomanry Cavalry are equipped as light cavalry, drill eight days
per year, and are subject to call in case of riot and insurrection,
when each man with a horse receives seven pence a day. There are
thirty-eight regiments.

The Army of India differs from that of the United Kingdom, not only
in its composition, but in the character of its organization. This
organization dates from 1858, when the government passed from the
East India Company to the Crown.

The European regiments serving in India are in all respects
organized and maintained, as in England. In each presidency forming
the three political subdivisions, and among which the Anglo-Indian
army is distributed, exists a staff corps which supplies all
European officers, permitted to serve with native troops. These
officers must pass certain examinations before they can be assigned
to any of the following vacancies in any native regiment.



    1 Commandant,
    1 Second-in-command and wing officer,
    1 Wing-officer,
    2 Wing-subalterns,
    1 Adjutant,
    1 Quartermaster,
    1 Medical officer.


    2 Subadars (captains), 1st class,
    2     "         "      2d    "
    4     "         "      3d    "
    4 Jemandars (lieuts.), 1st   "
    4     "         "      2d    "
    1 Havildar (sergt.-major),
   40 Havildars (sergeants),
   40 Naicks (corporals),
   16 Drummers,
  600 Sepoys (privates).

The duties of the commandant of a native regiment correspond in
general to those of a similar officer in a European corps. Three
times a week he holds a "durbar," for the trial of offenders and
transaction of general regimental business. The men are paid by the
native officers in presence of the European "Wing-officer," who is
responsible for all public property issued to his half battalion, or

The native officers are commissioned by the Indian Government, and,
as a rule, are promoted from the ranks, and are of the same caste as
the privates. Certain native officers of the engineers and artillery
may be eligible to appointment in the corresponding European corps;
one is always assigned as an aide-de-camp to the Viceroy. When on
detailed service, a native officer is allowed to command his
company, but "no battalion parades should take place without the
presence of a British officer." [Footnote: Indian Army Regulations.]
In each regiment there is a drill-sergeant and drill-corporal, who
receive extra pay for their services. Corporals are promoted from
privates who know how to read and write in at least one character,
or who have displayed extraordinary courage. The pay per month of a
sepoy is equal to $3.50; havildar, $7; jemandar, $17.50; subadar,
$33.50 to $50. European officers with native regiments: commandant,
$620; wing-officers, $302 to $322; adjutant, $237.86; quartermaster,
$187.86; medical officers, $300, monthly. The annual pay-roll of a
native regiment of 720 combatants and 45 non-combatants amounts to
about $69,114. In consideration of the pay each sepoy is required to
provide his rations and clothing, except one coat and one pair of
trousers issued by the Government every two years; in consequence,
each regiment is accompanied by a native village called a bazaar,
containing tradesmen of all kinds; this bazaar is under strict
discipline and is managed by the quartermaster. The entire outfit
follows the regiment into the field.

Colonel Gordon of the Indian army testifies: "With regard to native
troops under a cannonade I may say that I saw our native infantry
twice under the fire of the Afghan mountain guns, and they behaved
very steadily and coolly. Ammunition was economically expended. I
attributed much the small loss sustained by the troops in
Afghanistan to our excellent straight shooting."

The cavalry of India has in certain instances borne an excellent
reputation for efficiency in action, is well set up, and in its
instruction and discipline is modelled after the British system. The
artillery comprises well-instructed native organizations, but its
principal experience has been with light field guns against
irregular troops. The Achilles heel of the Indian army consists in
this, that there are but eight European officers to each regiment,
and of these but six would be available to lead in battle: the
quartermaster and surgeon being at such a time otherwise engaged.
The native officers, seldom having an opportunity to command in
Peace, would be unreliable leaders in such an emergency. At the
action of Ali Musjid, November 21, 1878, the day before the
occupation of that fort, six British officers of a native battalion
were placed _hors de combat_, so that on the first day after
crossing the Afghan frontier there was but one European officer to
manage the regiment.

Besides the regular establishment there are about 10,000 European
volunteers (including 4,000 railway officials and employes)
available for local defence.

The feudatory chiefs of India enjoy an aggregate revenue of some
L15,000,000, equal to more than one third of the income of the
British Government of India. They maintain forces aggregating
350,000 men with 4,000 guns to perform the duties of court
ceremonial, garrison, military police, guards, and escorts,
throughout territories aggregating nearly 600,000 square miles with
50,000,000 of inhabitants. These forces are unreservedly held at the
disposal of the Crown by the native Princes.

_Transport and Supply_.--This essential feature of all wars will be
briefly considered in the light of the Anglo-Afghan War of 1879-80.
Large quantities of supplies were transported from the main base of
operations on the Indus, and distributed to the troops in the field
over four or five distinct lines of communication, and over roads,
and mountain paths of varied degrees of ruggedness. The country on
both sides of the Indo-Afghan frontier was severely taxed to furnish
the necessary animals. Part of the transport was hired--and as in
the case of the Brahuis camels--with the services of the owners, who
were easily offended and likely to decamp with their property in a
night. During the first year the system was under the direct control
of the commissariat department; but as this proved unsatisfactory,
in the subsequent campaign it was entirely reorganized and
superintended by an officer of engineers, with a large number of
officers from the Line to assist. This gave better satisfaction.
Immense numbers of camels died from heat, [Footnote: Of a train of
eighteen hundred unloaded camels on the road from Dadur to
Jacobabad, for six days in June, six hundred died of exhaustion. In
March, 1855 Col. Green, C.B., lost one hundred and seventeen horses
out of four hundred, from the heat, during a march of thirty miles.]
overwork, irregular food, and neglect. Owing to the dryness of the
climate and intense heat of the summer the bullock-carts were
perpetually falling to pieces. The mules, donkeys, and ponies gave
the best results, but do not abound in sufficient quantities to
enable an army in Afghanistan to dispense with camels. A successful
experiment in rafting, from Jelalabad to Dakka, was tried. The rafts
consisted of inflated skins lashed together with a light framework;
between June 4-13, seven thousand skins were used, and, in all, 885
soldiers and one thousand tons of stores were transported forty
miles down the Kabul River, the journey taking five hours. A great
deal of road-making and repairing was done under the supervision of
the transport corps. A system of "stages" or relays of pack-animals
or carts was organized, by which a regular quantity of supplies was
forwarded over the main lines, daily, with almost the regularity, if
not the speed, of rail carriage. The great number of animals
employed required a corresponding force of attendants, inspectors,
and native doctors, all of whom served to make up that excessive
army of "followers" for which Anglo-Indian expeditions are famous.
Drivers were required at the following rate: one driver for each
pair of bullocks, every four camels, every three mules and ponies,
every six donkeys. [Footnote: The average carrying power of certain
kinds of transport, in pounds, is as follows: _bullock-carts_ (with
two pairs), on fairly level ground, 1,400; on hilly ground, 1,000;
(with one pair) on fairly level ground, 850; on hilly ground, 650;
_camels_, 400; _mules_, 200; _ponies_, 175; _men_, 50.]

[Illustration: Khelat-i-Ghilzi, between Kandahar and Ghazni.]

The great obstacle to the satisfactory operation of the transport
system was its novelty and experimental character, and that its
organization had to be combined with its execution. Besides which,
cholera broke out in June and swept away three hundred employes.
Grazing camps were established in the neighborhood of the Bolan Pass
for the bullocks, and aqueducts built for the conveyance of a water
supply; one of these was of masonry, more than a mile in length,
from Dozan down to the Bolan. It has been stated that grazing was
scarce in the region of the Bolan: in 1879 more than four thousand
bullocks were grazed there during the summer, and large quantities
of forage were cut for winter use.

Any prolonged military operations in Afghanistan must, to a certain
extent, utilize hired transport, although there are many objections

Sir Richard Temple said (1879): "That the amount of transport
required for active service, such as the late campaign in
Afghanistan, is so great that to hire transport is synonymous to
pressing it from the people of the district from which it is hired,
and impressment of the means of transport must lead to impressment
of drivers, who naturally (having no interest whatever in the
campaign in which they are called upon to serve) render the most
unwilling service and take the earliest opportunity of rendering
their animals unserviceable in hopes of escaping a distasteful duty.
This service is frequently so unpopular that, sooner than leave the
boundaries of their native country, the impressed drivers desert,
leaving their animals in the hands of the transport authorities or
take them away with them. . . . For the above reasons I should
recommend that all transport for a campaign should be the property
of Government."

In commenting on this subject, Lord Wolseley relates that when
serving in China with Indian troops he "awoke one morning and found
that all our drivers had bolted. Our transport consisted of carts
supplied by the Chinese Government, by contractors, and by the
country generally. I do not think that the carts had been carried
away, but all the mules and men had disappeared except three drivers
who belonged to me. I was very much astonished that these men had
not bolted also. I had a small detachment of cavalry with me and a
very excellent duffadar in charge of it. I asked him how he had
managed to keep these drivers--having some time before said that
unless he looked after them well he would never get to Pekin. He
replied, with some hesitation: 'I remember what you told me, and the
fact is I tied the tails of those three men together, overnight, and
then tied them to the tent pole, and put a man over them.'"

The Elephant, like the stage coach, finds his field of usefulness,
as a means of transport, growing smaller by degrees. He is still a
feature in India, and has been used for military purposes to some
extent in the eastern part of Afghanistan. He will doubtless form
part of the means of transportation employed by the British forces
near their present base, and in rear of the Kabul-Kandahar line, and
for that reason is noticed here. [Footnote: The use of elephants in
transporting field guns in Afghanistan is emphatically discouraged
by those who served with it last; very few flankers were employed to
protect the Elephant artillery used in the Kuram valley, and its
success can only be interpreted by supposing the direct
interposition of Providence or the grossest stupidity to our feeble

The Superintendent of the Government Elephant Kheddahs at Dakka has
given us, in a recent paper, much information concerning the
elephant in freedom and captivity. He does not claim a high order of
intelligence, but rather of extraordinary obedience and docility for
this animal Very large elephants are exceptional. Twice round the
forefoot gives the height at the shoulder; few females attain the
height of eight feet; "tuskers," or male elephants, vary from eight
to nine feet; the Maharajah of Nahur, Sirmoor, possesses one
standing ten feet five and one half inches. The age varies from 80
to 150 years, according to the best authorities, and it is recorded
that those familiar with the haunts of the wild elephant have never
found the bones of an elephant that had died a natural death. In
freedom they roam in herds of thirty to fifty, always led by a
female; mature about twenty-five. In India the males only have
tusks; in Ceylon only the females. They are fond of the water, swim
well, [Footnote: Elephants have been known to swim a river three
hundred yards wide with the hind legs tied together.] but can
neither trot nor gallop; their only pace is a walk, which may be
Increased to a _shuffle_ of fifteen miles an hour for a very short
distance; they cannot leap, and a ditch eight by eight feet would be

[Illustration: Elephant with Artillery; on the Road to Ali Musjid.]

In Bengal and Southern India elephants particularly abound, and seem
to be increasing in numbers. In the Billigurungan Hills, a range of
three hundred square miles on the borders of Mysore, they made their
appearance about eighty years ago; yet prior to that time this
region was under high cultivation, traces of orchards, orange
groves, and iron-smelting furnaces remaining in what is now a
howling wilderness. Elephants are caught in stockades or kraals. The
Government employs hunting parties of 350 natives trained to the
work, and more than 100 animals are sometimes secured in a single

New elephants are trained by first rubbing them down with bamboo
rods, and shouting at them, and by tying them with ropes; they are
taught to kneel by taking them into streams about five feet deep,
when the sun is hot, and prodding them on the back with sharp

The total number of elephants maintained is eight hundred, of which
one half are used for military purposes. They consume about 400
pounds of green, or 250 pounds of dry fodder daily, and are also
given unhusked rice. An elephant is expected to carry about 1,200
pounds with ease. In the Abyssinian Expedition elephants travelled
many hundreds of miles, carrying from 1,500 to 1,800 pounds
(including their gear), but out of forty-four, five died from
exhaustion; they are capable of working from morning to night, or of
remaining under their loads for twenty hours at a stretch.
[Footnote: There is no "elephant gun-drill" laid down in the
Imperial Regulations, but when the gun goes into action the elephant
is made to kneel, and long "skids" are placed against the cradle
upon which the gun rests, so as to form an inclined plane to the
ground. The gun is then lifted off the cradle and down the skids by
levers and tackle.]

An elephant's gear consists of a _gaddela_, or quilted cloth, 1-1/2
inches thick, reaching half-way down his sides and from the neck to
the croup. On this is placed the _guddu_, or pad, 6x5 feet and 9
inches thick, formed of stout sacking stuffed with dried grass. The
whole is girthed with a long rope passed twice around the body,
round the neck as a breast-strap, and under the tail as a crupper.
The whole weighs 200 pounds. An improvement upon this has been made
by our authority (Mr. Sanderson), which seems to bear the same
relation to the old gear that the open McClellan saddle does to the
ordinary British hunting saddle. It consists (see illustration) of
two pads entirely detached, each 4 feet long, 15 inches wide, and 6
inches thick, made of blanket covered with tarpaulin, and encased in
stout sacking. One is placed on each side of the elephant's spine,
and retained there by two iron arches. There is no saddle-cloth, the
load rests on the ribs; the breast-strap and crupper hook into rings
on the saddle; there are rings to fasten the load to; it weighs 140
pounds. With foot-boards it is convenient for riding; a cradle can
also be attached for carrying field guns. Recent experiments have
shown the practicability of conveying elephants by rail in ordinary
open cattle-trucks; they were indifferent to the motion, noises, or
bridges; it is said that 32 elephants could be thus carried on one

[Illustration: Detail of Elephant Saddle.]

The excellent railway facilities for moving troops and supplies to
the Indo-Afghan frontier were described in 1880, by Traffic Manager
Ross, of the Scinde, Punjab, and Delhi Railway, before the United
Service Institution of India.

He stated that experiments had been made by the military and railway
authorities in loading and disembarking troops and war _materiel_,
and that much experience had been afforded by the Afghan operations
of 1878-9.

The movement of troops to and from the frontier commenced in
October, 1878, and ended June, 1879. During that period were
conveyed over his road 190,000 men, 33,000 animals, 500 guns,
112,000,000 pounds of military stores. The maximum number carried in
any one month was in November--40,000 men, 8,000 animals, and
20,800,000 pounds of stores. The greatest number of special trains
run in one day was eight, carrying 4,100 men, 300 animals, and
800,000 pounds of stores. As an instance of rapid loading, when the
both Bengal Cavalry left for Malta, 80 horses were loaded on a train
in 10 minutes appears to have been clean forgotten. The Politicals
were by no means silent, and the amount of knowledge they possessed
of border statistics was something marvellous. Did any step appear
to the military sense advisable, there was a much better, though
less comprehensible, _political_ reason why it should not be
undertaken. The oracle has spoken and the behest must be obeyed. An
enemy in sight who became afterwards hostile, must not be kept at a
distance; through political glasses they appear as 'children of
nature,' while the country out of sight must not be explored, the
susceptibilities of the sensitive 'Tammizais' having to be
respected. That much valuable service was performed by political
officers there can be no doubt, but that they caused great
exasperation among soldiers cannot be denied, and the example of the
War of 1839-40 causes them to be looked upon as a very possible
source of danger.

_Anglo-Afghan Operations_.--The observations of a participant
[Footnote: Lieut. Martin, R. E. (_Journal U. S. I. of India_).]
in the last British campaign in Afghanistan will be found of value
in the study of future operations in that country. Of the Afghan
tactics he says: "The enemy (generally speaking, a race of
Highlanders) vastly preferred the attack, and usually obtained the
advantage of superior numbers before risking an attack; . . . being
able to dispense (for the time) with lines of communication and
baggage and commissariat columns, the Afghan tribes were often able
to raise large gatherings on chosen ground. They could always attack
us; we were rarely able (except when they chose) to find them at
home." This observer says the regular troops of the Ameer were
not so formidable as the tribal gatherings. The presence of a
tactically immovable artillery hinders the action of an Asiatic
army. The mounted men are usually the first to leave when the
fight is going against their side in a general engagement. One of
the best specimens of their tactics was at Ahmed-Kheyl, on the
Ghazni-Kandahar road, when the British division was one hundred
miles from any support. The Afghans assembled a force outnumbering
the British ten to one. The attack was made in a series of rushes,
twice dispersing the British cavalry, and once driving back the
infantry. Exposed to a constant fire of field guns, the Afghans
stood their ground, although poorly armed with a variety of obsolete
weapons--from an Enfield to a handjar or a stick. Trouble may
always be expected from the night attacks of certain tribes like the
Alizais and Waziris.

The English infantry formation was an objectionably close one, and
Lieut. Martin says that the bayonets and rifle-barrels of the front
rank were sometimes struck and jammed _by bullets from the rear
rank_. The action of the English cavalry, as at Ahmed-Kheyl, was
suicidal in receiving the enemy's charge--practically at a halt.
Occasionally shelter trenches were used, but disapproved.

In the Kuram valley column, under General Roberts, the cavalry
(principally native, with one regular squadron and a battery of
horse artillery) formed a brigade, but was never used independently,
nor was it instructed (although well equipped) for modern cavalry
work. The opposition to dismounted cavalry duty is still so great,
in the British army, that the mounted arm is paralyzed for effective

Very little was done by the horse artillery with the Kuram column.
In the case of the field artillery it was found necessary on two
occasions to transfer the ammunition boxes from the bullock-carts to
the backs of elephants, on account of the steepness of the hills.
The mountain artillery (native) was the most serviceable; a Gatling
battery, packed on ponies, and in charge of a detachment of
Highlanders, was never used however.

The armament of the infantry included both Martini and Snider
rifles, requiring two kinds of ammunition, but, as the service by
pack-mules was ample, no confusion ensued, although Lieut. Martin
says: "In one case I heard a whisper that a regimental reserve of
ammunition was found to be _blank cartridges_, but this must be
a heavy joke." Intrenching tools were carried on camels. A mixture
of military and civil-engineer administration and operation
is mentioned as unsatisfactory in results. There was great
difficulty in getting tools and materials at the opening of the
campaign--particularly those required for road and bridge work,
although a railroad within two hundred miles had a large stock on

[Illustration: Noah's Valley, Kunar River.]

The art of camping and rough fortification was well practised. The
best defended camp was surrounded by bush abatis and flanked
by half-moon _sungas_ of boulder-stone work, which held the
sentries. The most approved permanent camps or "posts" were mud
_serais_ flanked by bastions at the alternate angles and overlooking
a yard or "kraal." These were established about ten miles apart, to
protect communications, and furnished frequent patrols. During the
latter part of the campaign these outposts were manned by the native
contingents of the Punjab who volunteered.

The rapid march of General Roberts from Kabul to Kandahar in August,
1880, and the final dispersion of the forces of Ayoub Khan,
illustrated British operations in Afghanistan under the most
favorable circumstances. The forces included 2,800 European and
7,000 Indian troops; no wheeled artillery was taken; one regiment of
native infantry, trained to practical engineering work, did the work
of sappers and miners; for the transportation of sick and wounded
2,000 doolie-bearers, 286 ponies, and 43 donkeys; for transport of
supplies a pack-train of 1,589 yabus, 4,510 mules, 1,224 Indian
ponies, 912 donkeys--a total of 10,148 troops, 8,143 native
followers, and 11,224 animals, including cavalry horses; 30 days'
rations, of certain things, and dependence on the country for fresh
meat and forage. The absence of timber on this route rendered it
difficult to obtain fuel except by burning the roofs of the villages
and digging up the roots of "Southern-wood" for this purpose. The
manner of covering the movement rested with the cavalry commander.
Usually the front was covered by two regiments, one regiment on each
flank, at a mile from the column, detaching one or more troops as
rear-guard; once movement had commenced, the animals, moving at
different gaits were checked as little as possible. With such a
number of non-combatants the column was strung out for six or seven
miles, and the rear-guard leaving one camp at 7 A.M. rarely reached
the next--fifteen to twenty miles distant--before sundown.

[Illustration: Watch-Tower in the Khaiber Pass.]

_Routes_.--For operations in Afghanistan the general British base is
the frontier from Kurrachee to Peshawur. These points are connected
by a railway running east of the Indus, which forms a natural
boundary to the Indian frontier, supplemented by a line of posts
which are from north to south as follows: Jumrud, Baru, Mackeson,
Michni, Shub Kadar, Abazai, and Kohut; also by fortified posts
connected by military roads,--Thull, Bunnoo, and Doaba.

From the Indus valley into the interior of Afghanistan there are
only four lines of communication which can be called military roads:
first, from _Peshawur_ through the Khaiber Pass to _Kabul_; second,
from _Thull_, over the Peiwar and Shuturgurdan passes to _Kabul_;
third, from _Dera Ismail Khan_ through the Guleir Surwandi and Sargo
passes to _Ghazni_; fourth, by _Quetta_ to Kandahar and thence to
_Herat_, or by Ghazni to _Kabul_. Besides these there are many
steep, difficult, mule tracks over the bleak, barren, Sulimani
range, which on its eastern side is very precipitous and impassable
for any large body of troops.

[Illustration: Fort of Ali Musjid, from the Heights above Lala
Cheena in the Khaiber Pass.]

The Peshawur-Kabul road, 170 miles long, was in 1880 improved and
put in good order. From Peshawur the road gradually rises, and after
7 miles reaches Jumrud (1,650 feet elevation), and 44 miles further
west passes through the great Khaiber Pass. This pass, 31 miles
long, can, however, be turned by going to the north through the
Absuna and Tartara passes; they are not practicable for wheels, and
the first part of the road along the Kabul River is very difficult
and narrow, being closed in by precipitous cliffs.

As far as Fort Ali Musjid the Khaiber is a narrow defile between
perpendicular slate rocks 1,460 feet high; beyond that fort the road
becomes still more difficult, and in some of the narrowest parts,
along the rocky beds of torrents, it is not more than 56 feet wide.
Five miles further it passes through the valley of Lalabeg 1-1/2
miles wide by 6 miles long, and then after rising for four miles it
reaches the top of the Pass, which from both sides offers very
strong strategical positions. From thence it descends for 2-1/2
miles to the village of Landi Khana (2,463 feet), which lies in a
gorge about a quarter of a mile wide; then on to Dakka (altitude
1,979 feet). This pass, 100 to 225 feet wide and 60 feet long, is
shut in by steep but not high slopes, overgrown with bushes.

[Illustration: Fort of Dakka, on the Kabul River.]

On the eleven miles' march from Dakka to Hazarnao, the Khurd Khaiber
is passed, a deep ravine about one mile long, and in many places so
narrow that two horsemen cannot pass each other. Hazarnao is well
cultivated, and rich in fodder; 15 miles farther is Chardeh (1,800
feet altitude), from which the road passes through a well-cultivated
country, and on through the desert of Surkh Denkor (1,892 feet
altitude), which is over 8-1/2 miles from Jelalabad. From this city
(elsewhere described) onward as far as Gundamuck the route presents
no great difficulties; it passes through orchards, vineyards, and
cornfields to the Surkhab River; but beyond this three spurs of the
Safed Koh range, running in a northeastern direction, have to be

[Illustration: The Ishbola Tepe, Khaiber Pass.]

Between Jelalabad [Footnote: The heat at Jelalabad from the end of
April is tremendous--105 degrees to 110 degrees in the shade.] and
Kabul two roads can be followed: the first crosses the range over
the Karkacha Pass (7,925 feet alt.) at the right of which is Assin
Kilo, thence through the Kotul defile, and ascending the Khurd Kabul
[Footnote: The Khurd Kabul Pass is about five miles long, with
an impetuous mountain torrent which the road (1842) crossed
twenty-eight times.] (7,397 feet alt.) to the north reaches the
high plateau on which Kabul is situated; the other leads over the
short but dangerous Jagdallak Pass to Jagdallak, from which there
are three roads to Kabul--the northernmost over the Khinar and the
third over the Sokhta passes; all these, more difficult than the
Khaiber, are impassable during the winter. It was here, as already
related, that the greater part of Elphinstone's command, in 1842,
perished. There is a dearth of fuel and supplies by this line of
communication. The second, or Thull-Kuram-Kabul, route, was taken by
General Roberts in 1878-9. It extends from Thull, one of the
frontier posts already mentioned, some forty miles into the Kuram
valley, and then inclining towards the west leads to the Kuram fort
(Mohammed Azim's), a walled quadrangular fortress with flanking
towers at an elevation of 6,000 feet. The Kuram valley is, up to
this point, well cultivated and productive; wood, water, and forage
abound. Winter only lasts with any severity for six weeks, and the
Spring and Autumn are delightful.

A short distance above the fort commences the ascent toward the
Peiwar Pass (8,000 feet alt.), twenty-four miles distant. The road,
thickly bordered with cedar and pine trees, is covered with boulders
and is very difficult, and from the village of Peiwar--one of many
_en route_, of the usual Afghan fortified type--it leads through a
winding defile to the top of the pass. Here the road is confined by
perpendicular chalk rocks, the summits of which are covered with
scrub timber and a luxurious growth of laurel. On the farther side
of the pass the road ascends to the height of the Hazardarakht,
(which is covered with snow in the winter), and then climbs to the
Shuturgurdan Pass (11,375 feet alt.), reaching a plateau on which
the snow lies for six months of the year; thence it descends into
the fertile Logar valley and reaches Akton Khel, which is only
fifty-one miles from Kabul. The total length of this route is about
175 miles.

The third, or Dera-Ismail-Khan-Sargo-Ghazni, route passes through a
region less frequented than those mentioned, and is not thought
sufficiently difficult for detailed description. Passing due west,
through seventy miles of mountain gorges destitute of supplies or
forage, it debouches, through the Gomal Pass, into a more promising
country, in which forage may be obtained. At this point it branches
to Ghazni, Kandahar, and Pishin respectively. A road exists from
Mooltan, crossing the Indus at Dera-Ghazi-Khan, Mithunkot, Rajanpur,
Rojan, Lalgoshi, Dadur to Quetta, and was utilized by General
Biddulph, from whose account of his march from the Indus to the
Helmund, in 1879, is gleaned the following. The main point of
concentration for the British forces, either from India or from
England via Kurrachee is thus minutely described.

"The western frontier of India is, for a length of 600 miles,
bounded by Biluchistan and territories inhabited by Biluch tribes,
and for 300 miles Biluch country intervenes between our border and
Afghanistan. The plains of the Punjab and Sind run along the
boundary of Biluchistan, and at a distance of from 25 to 50 miles
the Indus pursues a course, as far down as Mithunkot, from north to
south, and then winds south-west through a country similar to that
of Egypt. A belt of cultivation and beyond that the desert . . .
this line of hills (the Eastern Sulimani) extends as a continuous
rampart with the plains running up to the foot of the range, and
having an elevation of 11,000 feet at the Tukl-i-Suliman, and of
7,400 near Fort Munro (opposite Dera-Ghazi-Khan), gradually
diminishes in height and dwindles away till it is lost in the plains
near Kusmore, at a point 12 miles from the Indus. The strip of
low-land country on the west bank of the Indus up to the foot of
the hills is called the _Derajat_. It is cut up and broken by
torrents, the beds of which are generally dry wastes, and the
country is, except at a few places where permanent water is found,
altogether sterile and hot. If we view the physical aspect looking
north and north-west from Jacobabad, we notice a wide bay of plains
extending between the broken spur of the Sulimani, and a second
range of hills having a direction parallel to the outer range. This
plain is called the Kachi, extends in an even surface for 150 miles
from the Indus at Sukkur, and is bounded on the north by successive
spurs lying between the two great ranges. The Kachi, thus bounded by
barren hills on all sides but the south, is one of the hottest
regions in the world. Except where subject to inundations or within
reach of irrigation it is completely sterile--a hard clay surface
called _Pat_,--and this kind of country extends around to the east
of the spur of the Suliman into the Derajat country. Subject to
terrific heats and to a fiercely hot pestilential wind, the Kachi is
at times fatal even to the natives."

[Illustration: Entrance to the Bolan Pass, from Dadur.]

The range of mountains bounding the Kachi to the westward is a
continuous wall with imperceptible breaks only, and it bears
the local names of Gindari, Takari, and Kirthar. Through this
uniform rampart there are two notable rents or defiles, viz.: the
_Mulla_ opening opposite Gundana, leading to Kelat; and the _Bolan_
entering near Dadur, leading to Quetta, Kandahar, and Herat. The
Bolan is an abrupt defile--a rent in the range,--the bottom filled
with the pebbly bed of a mountain torrent. This steep ramp forms
for sixty miles the road from Dadur, elevation 750 feet, to the
Dasht-i-Bedowlat, elevation 6,225 feet. This inhospitable plateau
and the upper portion of the Bolan are subject to the most
piercingly cold winds and temperature; and the sudden change from
the heat of the Kachi to the cold above is most trying to the
strongest constitutions. Notwithstanding the difficulties of the
road, the absence of supplies and fuel, and the hostile character of
the predatory tribes around, this route has been always most in
favor as the great commercial and military communication from
Persia, Central Asia, and Khorassan to India.

The causes which led to the establishment of a British garrison at
Quetta are not unlike those which are urged as good Russian reasons
for the occupation of territory in certain parts of Central Asia.
Briefly stated, it seems that after the conquest of the Punjab, the
proximity of certain disturbed portions of Biluchistan, and the
annoyance suffered by various British military expeditions, in
1839-1874, from certain tribes of Biluchis--notably the Maris and
Bugtis,--made it desirable that more decisive measures should be
adopted. In 1876 a force of British troops was marched to Kelat, and
by mutual agreement with the Khan a political agency was established
at Quetta, ostensibly to protect an important commercial highway,
but at the same time securing a military footing of great value. But
the character of the lords of the soil--the Maris, for instance--has
not changed for the better, and the temporary general European
occupation of the country would afford an opportunity to gratify
their predatory instincts, which these bandits would not hesitate to
utilize. The Maris can put 2,000 men into the field and march 100
miles to make an attack. When they wish to start upon a raid they
collect their wise men together and tell the warriors where the
cattle and the corn are. If the reports of spies, sent forward,
confirm this statement, the march is undertaken. They ride upon
mares which make no noise; they travel only at night. They are the
most excellent outpost troops in the world. When they arrive at the
scene of action a perfect watch is kept and information by single
messengers is secretly sent back. Every thing being ready a rush of
horsemen takes place, the villages are surrounded, the cattle swept
away, the women and children hardly used--fortunate if they escape
with their lives. The villagers have their fortlets to retreat to,
and, if they reach them, can pull the ladders over after them and
fire away from their towers.

Dadur is an insignificant town at the foot of the Bolan. From here
the Kandahar road leads for sixty miles through the Pass--a gradual
ascent; in winter there is not a mouthful of food in the entire
length of the defile.

Quetta, compared with the region to the south, appears a very Garden
of Eden. It is a small oasis, green and well watered.

From Quetta to Pishin the road skirts the southern border of a vast
plain, interspersed with valleys, which extend across the eastern
portion of Afghanistan toward the Russian dominion. A study of the
Pishin country shows that it is, on its northwestern side supported
on a limb of the Western Sulimani. This spur, which defines the west
of the Barshor valley, is spread out into the broad plateau of Toba,
and is then produced as a continuous ridge, dividing Pishin from the
plains of Kadani, under the name of Khoja Amran. The Barshor is a
deep bay of the plain, and there is an open valley within the outer
screen of hills. A road strikes off here to the Ghilzai country and
to Ghazni. Though intersected by some very low and unimportant hills
and ridges, the Pishin plains and those of Shallkot may be looked
upon as one feature. We may imagine the Shall Valley the vestibule,
the Kujlak-Kakur Vale the passage, the Gayud Yara Plain an
antechamber, and Pishin proper the great _salle_. Surrounded by
mountains which give forth an abundant supply of water, the lands
bordering on the hills are studded with villages, and there is much
cultivation; there is a total absence of timber, and the cultivation
of fruit-trees has been neglected. The Lora rivers cutting into the
plain interferes somewhat with the construction of roads.

[Illustration: Entrance to the Khojak Pass, from Pishin, on the Road
to Kandahar.]

The Plain of Pishin possesses exceptional advantages for the
concentration and rendezvous of large bodies of troops, and has
already been utilized for that purpose by the British.

From the Khoja Amran, looking toward Kandahar, the plains, several
thousand feet below, are laid out like a sea, and the mountains run
out into isolated promontories; to the left the desert is seen like
a turbulent tide about to overflow the plains.

The rivers on the Quetta-Kandahar route do not present much
impediment to the passage of troops in dry weather, but in flood
they become serious obstacles and cannot be passed until the waters

The ascent from the east through the Khojak Pass is easy, the
descent on the west very precipitous. A thirteen-foot cart road was
made, over the entire length of twenty miles, by General Biddulph in
1878-9, by which the first wheeled vehicles, which ever reached
Khorassan from India, passed.

From Kandahar (elsewhere described)--which is considered by General
Hamley and other authorities, one of the most important strategic
points in any scheme of permanent defence for India--diverge two
main roads: one a continuation of the Quetta-Herat route bearing
N.W., and one running N.E. to Kabul.

Gen. Biddulph says: "The position of Kandahar near to the slopes of
the range to the westward of the city renders it impossible to
construct works close at hand to cover the road from Herat. The high
ridge and outlying hills dividing Kandahar and its suburbs from the
Argandab valley completely command all the level ground between the
city and the pass. Beyond the gap a group of detached mountains
extends, overlooking the approaches, and follows the left bank of
the Argandab as far down as Panjwai, fifteen miles distant.
Positions for defensive works must be sought, therefore, in front of
that place on the right bank of the river. To the N.E. of Kandahar
the open plain affords situations for forts, well removed from the
hills, at a short distance, and at Akhund Ziarut, thirty miles on
the road to Ghazni, there is a gorge which would, if held, add to
security on that quarter."

The country between Kandahar and the Helmund has the same general
characteristics--plains and mountain spurs alternately,--and while
generally fit for grazing is, except in a few spots, unfit for

According to the eminent authority just quoted, the great natural
strategic feature of this route is the elevated position of Atta
Karez, thirty-one miles from Kandahar. He says: "On the whole road
this is the narrowest gateway, and this remarkable feature and the
concentration of roads [Footnote: The roads which meet at Atta Karez
are: the great Herat highway passing through Kokeran and crossing
the Argandab opposite Sinjari, whence it lies along the open plain
all the way to Atta Karez; the road which crosses the Argandab at
Panjwai; and the road from Taktipul towards Herat.] here, give to
Atta Karez a strategic importance unequalled by any other spot
between India and Central Asia."

General Biddulph examined this position carefully in 1879, and
discovered a site for a work which would command the valley of the
Argandab and sweep the elevated open plain toward the west and

Abbaza is a village at the crossing of the Herat road over the
Helmund, forty-six miles west of Atta Karez. On the west bank lies
the ancient castle of Girishk. The country between the Argandab and
the Helmund is rolling and inclining gradually from the hills toward
the junction of these rivers. The plateau opposite Girishk is 175
feet above the river, which it commands.

The Helmund has already been described. There are numerous fords,
but, at certain times, bridges would be required for military
purposes. The land in the vicinity of the Helmund is very fertile
and seamed with irrigating canals.

From Girishk a road _via_ Washir runs through the hills to Herat;
this is said to be cool, well supplied with water and grazing, and
is a favorite military route. A road, parallel, to the south, goes
through Farrah, beyond which both roads blend into one main road to
the "Key." Still another road, by Bost, Rudbar, and Lash, along the
course of the river, exists. Although not so direct, it is an
important route to Herat; upon this road stand the ruins of the
ancient city of Bost in a wonderful state of preservation; here, as
elsewhere in this region, the remains of fortifications testify to
the former military importance of the spot. The citadel of Bost is
built on the debris of extensive works and rises 150 feet above the

_British Generals_.--Perhaps the most prominent of modern British
commanders, next to Lord Wolseley--is the young and successful
soldier, Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Roberts, G.C.B., C.I.E.,
commanding the Anglo-Indian Army of the Madras Presidency. He has
already seen service in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and has been
appointed to the command of one of the principal divisions of the
British forces intended to oppose the threatened advance of the
Russians on Herat. It was said of him by one of the most brilliant
military leaders of the age,--Skobeleff: "For General Roberts I have
a great admiration. He seems to me to possess all the qualities of a
great general. That was a splendid march of his from Kabul to
Kandahar. I think more highly of him than I do of Sir Garnet
Wolseley, but there is this to be said of _all_ your generals, they
have only fought against Asiatic and savage foes. They have not
commanded an army against a European enemy, and we cannot tell,
therefore, what they are really made of."

The Commander-in-chief of the Army of India, General Sir Donald M.
Stewart, G.C.B., C.I.E., to whom has been intrusted the conduct of
the British forces in Afghanistan, is also a very distinguished and
experienced officer--probably more familiar with the nature of the
probable field of operations than any other in Her Majesty's

Like the United States, the great latent power of England is
indisputable, and so long as superiority at sea is maintained, time
is given to render that latent power active. For the first year of
the coming struggle England must lean heavily upon her navy. Nearly
all the regiments of infantry are below the average peace limit, and
if filled up simultaneously to a maximum war strength will include
more than fifty per cent, of imperfectly trained men, and as the
practice has been to fill up those corps ordered abroad with men
transferred from other small regiments, it may come to pass that
so-called "regular" regiments will consist largely of raw material.
Colonel Trench of the British Army says "the organization of the
regular cavalry is very defective," and especially complains of the
maladministration we have just noted. Demands for cavalry for the
Soudan were met by a heavy drain on the already depleted strength of
regiments in England. The Fifth Dragoon Guards, which stood next on
the roster for foreign service, gave away nearly two hundred horses
and one hundred men. Colonel Trench says that the reserve cavalry
have no training, and that there is no reserve of horses. It is
doubtful if more than seventy per cent. of the enlisted strength and
fifty per cent. of the horses, on paper, could be put in the field

Allusion has already been made to the notorious weakness of the
British transport system. [Footnote: Captain Gaisford, who commanded
the Khaiber Levies in the Afghan campaign, recommended reforms in
the system of transport and supply. He advocated certain American
methods, as wind and water-mills to crush and cleanse the petrified
and gravelled barley, often issued, and to cut up the inferior hay;
the selection of transport employes who understand animals; and more
care in transporting horses by sea.] If this has been the case in
the numerous small wars in which her forces have been engaged for
the last twenty-five years, what may be expected from the strain of
a great international campaign.

On the other hand, Great Britain can boast of an inexhaustible
capital, not alone of the revenues which have been accumulating
during the last quarter of a century, but of patriotism, physical
strength, courage, and endurance, peculiar to a race of conquerors.



A mere glance at the ponderous military machine with which Russia
enforces law and order within her vast domain, and by which she
preserves and extends her power, is all that we can give here.

No army in the world has probably undergone, within the last thirty
years, such a succession of extensive alterations in organization,
in administrative arrangements, and in tactical regulations, as that
of Russia. The Crimean War surprised it during a period of
transition. Further changes of importance were carried out after
that war. Once more, in 1874, the whole military system was
remodelled, while ever since the Peace of San Stefano, radical
reforms have been in progress, and have been prosecuted with such
feverish haste, that it is difficult for the observer to keep pace
with them. [Footnote: Sir L. Graham (_Journal Royal U. S.

The military system of Russia is based upon the principles of
universal liability to serve and of territorial distribution. This
applies to the entire male population, with certain exemptions or
modifications on the ground, respectively, of age or education.
Annually there is a "lot-drawing," in which all over twenty, who
have not already drawn lots, must take part. Those who draw blanks
are excused from service with the colors, but go into the last
reserve, or "Opoltschenie."

The ordinary term of service is fifteen years,--six with the colors
and nine with the reserves; a reduction is made for men serving at
remote Asiatic posts; the War Office may send soldiers into the
reserve before the end of their terms. Reduction is also made, from
eleven to thirteen years and a half, for various degrees of
educational acquirement. Exemptions are also made for family reasons
and on account of peculiar occupation or profession. Individuals who
personally manage their estates or direct their own commercial
affairs (with the exception of venders of strong liquors) may have
their entry into service postponed two years. Men are permitted to
volunteer at seventeen (with consent of parents or guardians); all
volunteers serve nine years in the reserve; those joining the Guards
or cavalry must maintain themselves at their own expense. The total
contingent demanded for army and navy in 1880 was 235,000, and
231,961 were enrolled; of this deficit of 3,039, the greater number,
3,000, were Jews.

_Organization_.--The Emperor is the Commander-in-Chief, who issues
orders through the War Ministry, whose head is responsible for
the general efficiency of the Army. There is also the "Imperial
Head-quarters," under a general officer who, in the absence of the
War Minister, takes the Emperor's orders and sees to their
execution. The War Council, presided over by the War Minister,
supervises all financial matters in connection with the army. There
are also a High Court of Appeals, and the Head-quarters Staff, who
supervise the execution of all military duties. Commissariat,
artillery, engineer, medical, military education, Cossack, and
judge-advocate departments complete the list of bureaus.

The military forces are arranged into nineteen army corps: five
comprise three divisions of infantry; one, two divisions of cavalry;
the remainder, two divisions of cavalry and one of infantry; with a
due proportion of light artillery and engineers the war strength of
an army corps is 42,303 combatants, 10,755 horses, and 108 guns.

When war is declared an army is formed of two or more corps. The
general commanding exercises supreme control, civil and military, if
the force enters the enemy's country. His staff are detailed much as
usual at an American army head-quarters in the field.

There are in the active army--_Infantry_: 768 battalions (192
regiments, 48 divisions), 54 batt. riflemen. _Cavalry_: 56 regular
regiments (4 cuirassiers, 2 uhlans, 2 hussars, 48 dragoons); 29
regt. Cossacks, divided into 20 divisions, kept in time of peace at
768 men (864 with sub-officers) per regiment. _Artillery_: 51
brigades, or 303 batteries of 8 guns each; 30 horse-batteries of 6
guns each; besides 14 batteries with Cossack divisions. Fifty
"parks" and 20 sections of "parks" supply each infantry brigade and
cavalry division with cartridges.

[Footnote: Approximately from latest (1884-85) returns. (Combatants

    Field Troops
        Engineers.    21,335
        Cavalry.      52,902
        Infantry.     49,581
        Artillery.   323,701
        Total.       447,519
        Horses.       71,565
        Guns.          1,188
        Total.       821,243
        Horses.      155,149
        Guns.          2,172

    Reserve, Fortress, and Depot Troops
        Engineers.         -
        Cavalry.      10,504
        Infantry.     23,704
        Artillery.    54,995
        Total.        89,203
        Horses.        8,703
        Guns.            144
        Total.       891,404
        Horses.      109,822
        Guns.          1,236

    Field Troops
        Engineers.     1,548
        Cavalry.      12,364
        Infantry.      8,442
        Artillery.    59,254
        Total.        81,608
        Horses.       15,927
        Guns.            198
        Total.       150,313
        Horses.       31,700
        Guns.            366

    Reserve Fortress Troops
        Engineers.         -
        Cavalry.       5,480
        Infantry.      2,860
        Artillery.     2,270
        Total.        10,610
        Horses.        6,137
        Guns.              8
        Total.        51,776
        Horses.       36,862
        Guns.             12

        Engineers.       496
        Cavalry.       6,744
        Infantry.      2,468
        Artillery.    12,522
        Total.        22,230
        Horses.        8,246
        Guns.             48
        Total.        34,125
        Horses.       12,780
        Guns.             76

        Engineers.       244
        Cavalry.       2,606
        Infantry.      1,273
        Artillery.     7,752
        Total.        11,875
        Horses.        3,412
        Guns.             24
        Total.        29,779
        Horses.       14,745
        Guns.             58

  _Grand Aggregate of the Empire_.
        Engineers.    23,623
        Cavalry.      90,600
        Infantry.     83,328
        Artillery.   460,494
        Total.       663,045
        Horses.      113,990
        Guns.          1,610
        Total.     1,978,640
        Horses.      367,089
        Guns.          3,920

During 1884 the engineer corps was reorganized. Henceforward the
peace establishment will consist of seventeen battalions of sappers;
eight battalions of pontoniers; sixteen field-telegraph companies,
each of which is mounted, so as to maintain telegraphic
communication for forty miles, and have two stations; six
engineering parks or trains, each ten sections, carrying each
sufficient tools and material for an infantry division; four
battalions of military railway engineers; four mine companies; two
siege trains, and one telegraph instruction company. The whole is
divided into six brigades, and provisions are taken for training
recruits and supplying the losses during war. The fortress troops,
for the defence of fortresses, consist of forty-three battalions of
twelve hundred men each in time of war, and nine companies of three
hundred men each. The depot troops, for garrison service, consist of
thirteen battalions and three hundred detachments.

The reserve troops supply 204 battalions of infantry, 56 squadrons
of cavalry, 57 batteries of artillery, and 34 companies of sappers.
If mobilized, they are intended to supply 544 battalions, 56
squadrons, 144 batteries, and 34 companies of engineers. The second
reserve, or "Zapas," consists of "cadres" for instruction, organized
in time of war.

The training of the Russian infantry comprises that of skirmishing
as of most importance; the whistle is used to call attention; the
touch is looser in the ranks than formerly; squares to resist
cavalry are no longer used; [Footnote: A British officer, who has
had good opportunities, says the infantry drill is second to none.]
the Berdan breech-loader is the infantry arm; sergeant-majors wear
officers' swords, and together with musicians carry revolvers.

A great stimulus has been given to rifle practice in the Russian
army, with fair results, but complaint is made of want of good
instructors. The dress and equipment of the infantry is noted for an
absence of ornament, and hooks are substituted for buttons. Every
thing has been made subordinate to comfort and convenience. Woollen
or linen bandages are worn instead of socks. The entire outfit of
the soldier weighs about fifty pounds. The Guards, alone, are yet
permitted to wear their old uniform with buttons. The arms of the
Turkestan troops are mixed Berdan and Bogdan rifles. The field
clothing is generally linen blouse with cloth shoulder-straps,
chamois-leather trousers, dyed red, and a white kepi. Officers wear
the same trousers in the field. Cossacks wear gray shirts of camel's

The artillery is divided into field artillery and horse artillery,
of which the strength is given elsewhere. The horse batteries have
the steel four-pound gun.

Col. Lumley, of the British army, says: "In Russia it is believed
that the field artillery is equal to that of any other Power, and
the horse artillery superior." Lieut. Grierson, R.A., from his
personal observation, confirms this opinion.

It is not too much to say that, in any European conflict in the near
future, the Russian cavalry will be conspicuous and extraordinarily
effective. In a war with England, in Asia, the use of large bodies
of cavalry, organized, instructed, and equipped after the American
plan, must become the main feature.

From the wonderful reforms instituted by Russia in her huge army of
horsemen, which have put her before all other nations, not excepting
Germany, we may expect to hear of wonderful mobility, stunning blows
at the enemy's depots, and the appropriation of choice positions
under his nose: of stubborn contests with the Anglo-Indian infantry,
the only weapon a Berdan carbine; of communications destroyed by
high explosives: especially, of the laying waste smiling Afghan
valleys, inexpedient to occupy:--these are a few of the surprises to
which we may be treated if Russia gets the chance. In this manner
she is doubtless prepared to take the initiative in her next war.

[Footnote: The bold operations of General Gourko in the
Russo-Turkish war of 1878, afford the best illustration of the
versatile qualities of the progressive military horseman since the
American war, 1861-5. An Austrian officer says: "The Russian cavalry
reconnoitred boldly and continuously, and gave proof of an
initiative very remarkable. Every one knows that Russian dragoons
are merely foot soldiers mounted, and only half horsemen: however,
that it should come to such a point as making dragoons charge with
the bayonet, such as took place July 16th near Twardista, seems
strange. Cossacks and Hussars dismounted on the 30th, formed
skirmishing lines, coming and going under the fire of infantry,
protecting their battery, and conducting alone an infantry fight
against the enemy. At Eski Zagra, July 31st, the dragoons did not
leave the field until all their cartridges were exhausted. On the
other hand, the _offensive_ action, and the spirit of enterprise and
dash, which are the proper qualifications of cavalry, were not
wanting in the Russians."]

The whole of the regular cavalry of the line has been converted into
dragoons armed with Berdan rifle and bayonet; the Guard regiments
must adopt the same change when ordered into the field, and the
Cossacks have been deprived of the lance (excepting for the front
rank); new musketry regulations have been prescribed. Great stress
is now laid upon the training of both horses and men in the
direction of long marches, and the passage of obstacles. Forced
marches are also made to cover the greatest possible distances in
the shortest possible time.

[Footnote: Among other experiments are noted that of 7 officers and
14 men of the Orenburg Cossacks who in November last in bad weather
travelled 410 versts between Niji Novgorod and Moscow in 5
days--about 53 miles a day; then covering 685 versts from Moscow to St.
Petersburg in 8 days--56 miles a day; on arrival an inspector
reported horses fresh and ready for service; the party was mentioned
in orders, and presented to the Czar. A month before, in snow and
intense cold, 7 officers and 7 men of the cavalry school covered 370
versts in 4 days--60 miles a day. It is asserted that the best
Russian cavalry can travel 70 miles a day, continuously, without
injury. General Gourko recently inspected two sotnias of Don
Cossacks who had cleared 340 versts in 3 days, or 74 miles a day.]

Swimming was practised in the Warsaw, Odessa, and Moscow districts,
the horses being regularly taught with the aid of inflated bags tied
under them. The Suprasl was crossed by the entire 4th Cavalry
Division swimming. In order to acquire a thorough knowledge of
pioneer duty, both the officers and non-commissioned officers of
cavalry are attached to the engineer camp for a short course of
instruction. In one division a regular pioneer squadron has been
formed for telegraphic and heliographic duty. The mounted force,
provided for in the Russian establishment, comprises twenty-one
divisions of 3,503 sabres and 12 guns each, or an aggregate of
73,563 men and 252 field guns.

A feature of the Russian cavalry equipment is the pioneer outfit,
consisting of tools for construction or destruction, as they desire
to repair a bridge or destroy a railroad; this outfit for each
squadron is carried on a pack-mule; dynamite is carried in a cart
with the ammunition train.

The Cossack (except of the Caucasus) is armed with a long lance
(front rank only), a sabre without guard, and a Berdan rifle. Those
of the Caucasus have in addition pistol and dagger, besides a
_nagaska_ or native whip. The uniform is blue, high boots, fur cap,
cloak with cape. The snaffle-bit is universally used, even by the
officers, although the average Russian troop-horse is noted for his
hard mouth.

In the mounted drill of the Cossacks there is a charge as
skirmishers (or "foragers") called the "lava," which is executed at
a great pace and with wild yells of "Hourra!"

Lieut. Grierson, of the British army, writes that: "A big fine man
mounted on a pony, with his body bent forward and looking very
top-heavy, always at a gallop, and waving his enormous whip, the
Cossack presents an almost ludicrous appearance to one accustomed
to our stately troopers. But this feeling is dashed with regret that
we possess no such soldiers."

_Transport and Supply_.--The Russian system of transport is in a
very experimental and unsatisfactory state. It is the only army
which provides regimentally for the _personnel_ and _materiel_ of
this department. In each regiment is a non-combatant company, in
which all men required for duty without arms are mustered.

All military vehicles required for the regiment are under charge of
this company. The intention of the system now developing is to
reduce the quantity of transportation required. [Footnote: In 1878
the head-quarters baggage of the Grand Duke Nicholas required five
hundred vehicles and fifteen hundred horses to transport it.]
Besides the wagons and carts used for ordinary movements of troops,
Russia will, in Afghanistan, depend upon the animals of the country
for pack-trains and saddle purposes. After the _Camel_, of which
large numbers exist in the region bordering Afghanistan on the
north, the most important aid to Russian military mobility is the
remarkable _Kirghiz Horse_. The accounts of the strength, speed,
endurance, and agility of this little animal are almost incredible,
[Footnote: In 1869 a Russian detachment of five hundred men, mounted
on Kirghiz horses, with one gun and two rocket-stands, traversed in
one month one thousand miles in the Orenburg Steppe, and only lost
three horses; half of this march was in deep sand. In October, M.
Nogak (a Russian officer) left his detachment _en route_, and rode
one horse into Irgiz, 166-2/3 miles in 34 hours.] but they are
officially indorsed in many instances. He is found in Turkestan, and
is more highly prized than any other breed. The Kirghiz horse is
seldom more than fourteen hands, and, with the exception of its
head, is fairly symmetrical; the legs are exceptionally fine, and
the hoofs well formed and hard as iron. It is seldom shod, and with
bare feet traverses the roughest country with the agility of a
chamois, leaping across wide fissures on the rocks, climbing the
steepest heights, or picking its way along mere sheep-tracks by the
side of yawning precipices, or covering hundreds of versts through
heavy sand, with a heavier rider, day after day. Its gaits are a
rapid and graceful walk of five and one half to six miles an hour,
and an amble [Footnote: Moving both feet on a side almost
simultaneously.] at the maximum rate of a mile in two minutes. This
animal crosses the most rapid streams not over three and one half
feet deep, lined with slippery boulders, with ease. They are good
weight carriers. [Footnote: The mounted messengers (pony express)
over the steppes, use these horses, and carry with them, over stages
of 350 miles in 8 days, an equipment and supplies for man and horse
of nearly 300 pounds.] With a view of stimulating horse-breeding in
Turkestan, the government in 1851 offered prizes for speed.
[Footnote: The greatest speed recorded (1853.) was 13-1/2 miles (on
a measured course) in 27 minutes and 30 seconds.] Kirghiz horses
have been thoroughly tested in the Russian army. For modern cavalry
and horse-artillery purposes they are unsurpassed. The average price
is L6, but an ambler will bring L12. Great Britain is said to
possess 2,800,000 horses, while Russia, in the Kirghiz steppes
alone, possesses 4,000,000 saddle or quick-draught horses.

The supply of the Russian army is carefully arranged under the
central Intendance. The ration in the field was, in 1878, 14.3
ounces of meat, 14.9 black bread, preserved vegetables and tea, with
an issue of brandy in the winter. Immense trains follow each
division, at intervals, forming consecutive mobile magazines of
food. A division provision train can carry ten days' supply for
230,000 men.

Forage is now supplied for transport in compressed cakes, of which
20,000,000 were used by Russia in her last war. [Footnote: A
compressed ration of forage was extensively used by the Russians in
1878, weighing 3-1/2 pounds; 5 days' supply could be carried on the
saddle with ease.]

Clothing is furnished by the supply bureau of certain regions in
which there are large government factories; it is usual to keep on
hand for an emergency 500,000 sets of uniform clothing.

_Routes_.--Having devoted a share of our limited space to an account
of the roads leading to Herat, from India, we may consider, briefly,
certain approaches to Afghanistan or India from the northwest. This
subject has been so clearly treated in a recent paper read before
the Royal United Service Institution by Captain Holdich, R.E., who
surveyed the region referred to, in 1880, that we quote liberally as

    In improving our very imperfect acquaintance, both with the
    present military resources and position of Russia in Central
    Asia, and of the difficulties presented both geographically and
    by the national characteristics of the races that she would have
    to encounter in an advance south of the Oxus, a good deal has
    been already learned from the Afghans themselves. Among the
    turbulent tribes dwelling in and around Kabul, whose chief and
    keenest interest always lies in that which bears, more or less
    directly, on their chances of success in mere faction fights,
    which they seem to regard as the highest occupation in life, the
    Russian factor in the general game must be a matter of constant
    discussion. Thus it may possibly arise from their individual
    interest in their national position that there is no better
    natural geographer in the world than the Afghan of the Kabul
    district. There is often an exactness about his method of
    imparting information (sometimes a careful little map drawn out
    with a pointed stick on the ground) which would strike one as
    altogether extraordinary, but for the reflection that this one
    accomplishment is probably the practical outcome of the
    education of half a lifetime.

    Russia's bases of military operations towards India are two: one
    on the Caspian Sea at Krasnovodsk, and Chikishliar, with
    outposts at Chat and Kizil Arvat; and the other on the line of
    Khiva, Bokhara, Samarcand, and Margillan, which may roughly be
    said to represent the frontier held (together with a large
    extent of boundary south of Kuldja) by the Army of Tashkend,
    under General Kaufmann. But between this latter line and the
    Oxus, Russia is undoubtedly already the dominant Power. The mere
    fact of Russia having already thoroughly explored all these
    regions, gives her the key to their future disposal. There is no
    doubt that in all matters relating to the acquirement of
    geographical knowledge, where it bears on possible military
    operations, Russian perceptions are of the keenest. Her
    surveying energies appear to be always concentrated on that
    which yet lies beyond her reach, rather than in the completion
    of good maps to aid in the right government of that which has
    already been acquired.

    With what lies north of the Oxus we can have very little to say
    or to do; therefore it matters the less that in reality we know
    very little about it. The Oxus is not a fordable river. At Khoja
    Saleh, which is the furthest point supposed to have been reached
    by the Aral flotilla, it is about half a mile wide, with a slow
    current. At Charjui it is about the same width, only rapid and
    deep. At Karki it is said to be one thousand yards wide, and at
    Kilif perhaps a quarter of a mile. But at all these places there
    are ferries, and there would be ample means of crossing an army
    corps, if we take into account both the Aral flotilla and the
    native material, in the shape of large flat-bottomed boats,
    capable of containing one hundred men each, used for ferrying
    purposes, of which there are said to be three hundred between
    Kilif and Hazarasp. These boats are drawn across the river by
    horses swimming with ropes attached to their manes. But under
    any circumstances it seems about as unlikely that any British
    force would oppose the passage of a Russian army across the Oxus
    as that it would interfere with the Russian occupation of the
    trans-Oxus districts; but once south of the Oxus, many new
    conditions of opposition would come into play, arising
    principally from the very different national characteristics of
    the southern races to those farther north. It would no longer be
    a matter of pushing an advance through sandy and waterless
    deserts, or over wild and rugged mountains, difficulties which
    in themselves have never yet retarded the advance of a
    determined general, but there would be the reception that any
    Christian foe would almost certainly meet at the hands of a
    warlike and powerful people, who can unite with all the cohesion
    of religious fanaticism, backed up by something like military
    organization and a perfect acquaintance with the strategical
    conditions of their country. Most probably there would be no
    serious local opposition to the occupation by Russia of a line
    extending from Balkh eastwards through Khulm and Kunduz to
    Faizabad and Sarhadd, all of which places can be reached without
    great difficulty from the Oxus, and are connected by excellent
    lateral road communications. But the occupation of such a line
    could have but one possible object, which would be to conceal
    the actual line of further advance. Each of these places may be
    said to dominate a pass to India over the Hindoo Kush. Opposite
    Sarhadd is the Baroghil, leading either to Kashmir or to Mastuj
    and the Kunar valley. Faizabad commands the Nuksa Pass. Khulm
    looks southwards to Ghozi and the Parwan Pass into Kohistan,
    while from Balkh two main routes diverge, one to Bamian and
    Kabul, the other to Maimana and Herat.

    It would be a great mistake to suppose that this short list
    disposes of all the practicable passes over the Hindoo Kush. The
    range is a singularly well-defined one throughout its vast
    length; but it is not by any means a range of startling peaks
    and magnificent altitudes. It is rather a chain of very elevated
    flattish-topped hills, spreading down in long spurs to the north
    and south, abounding in warm sheltered valleys and smiling
    corners, affording more or less pasture even in its highest
    parts, and traversed by countless paths. Many of these paths are
    followed by Kuchis in their annual migrations southward, with
    their families and household goods piled up in picturesque heaps
    on their hardy camels, or with large herds of sheep and goats,
    in search of fresh pasturage. South of the Hindoo Kush we find
    most of the eastern routes to our northwest frontier to converge
    in one point, very near to Jelalabad. There are certain routes
    existing between the Russian frontier and India which pass
    altogether east of this point. There is one which can be
    followed from Tashkend to Kashgar, and over the Karakoram range,
    and another which runs by the Terek Pass to Sarhadd, and thence
    over the Baroghil into Kashmir; but these routes have justly,
    and by almost universal consent, been set aside as involving
    difficulties of such obvious magnitude that it would be
    unreasonable to suppose that any army under competent leadership
    could be committed to them. The same might surely be said of the
    route by the Nuksan Pass into the valley of Chitral and the
    Kunar, which joins the Khyber route not far from Jelalabad. Its
    length and intricacy alone, independently of the intractable
    nature of the tribes which border it on either side, and of the
    fact that the Nuksan Pass is only open for half the year, would
    surely place it beyond the consideration of any general who
    aspired to invade India after accomplishing the feat of carrying
    an army through it. West of Kafirstan across the Hindoo Kush
    are, as we have said, passes innumerable, but only three which
    need be regarded as practicable for an advancing force, all the
    others more or less converging into these three. These are the
    Khak, the Kaoshan (or Parwan, also called Sar Alang), and the
    Irak. The Khak leads from Kunduz _via_ Ghori and the valley of
    the Indarab to the head of the Panjshir valley. Its elevation is
    about thirteen thousand feet. It is described as an easy pass,
    probably practicable for wheeled artillery. The Panjshiris are
    Tajaks, and, like the Kohistanis generally, are most bigoted
    Suniu Mohammedans. The rich and highly cultivated valley which
    they inhabit forms a grand highway into Kohistan and Koh Dahman;
    but all this land of terraced vineyards and orchards, watered by
    snow-cold streams from the picturesque gorges and mountain
    passes of the Hindoo Kush and Paghman mountains,--this very
    garden of Afghanistan, stretching away southwards to the gates
    of Kabul, is peopled by the same fierce and turbulent race who
    have ever given the best fighting men to the armies of the
    Amirs, and who have rendered the position of Kabul as the ruling
    capital of Afghanistan a matter of necessity; with their
    instincts of religious hostility, it will probably be found that
    the Kohistani, rather than the Hindoo Kush, is the real barrier
    between the north and the south. The Sar Alang or Parwan Pass
    leads directly from Kunduz and Ghori to Charikar and Kabul. It
    is the direct military route between Afghan Turkestan and the
    seat of the Afghan Government, but is not much used for trade.
    It cannot be much over eleven thousand feet elevation, and it is
    known to be an easy pass, though somewhat destitute of fuel and
    forage. The next route of importance is that which leads from
    Balkh, _via_ Bamian, to the Irak Pass on the Hindoo Kush, and
    into the upper watercourse of the Helmund River, and thence by
    the Unai over the Paghman range to Kabul. This is the great
    trade route from the markets of Turkestan and Central Asia
    generally to Kabul and India. The Irak, like the Parwan, is not
    nearly so high as has been generally assumed, while the Unai is
    a notoriously easy pass. This route is at present very much
    better known to the Russians, who have lately frequently
    traversed it, than to ourselves. Like the Parwan and the Khak,
    it is liable to be closed for three or four months of the year
    by snow. During the winter of 1879-80 they were open till late
    in December, and appear to be again free from snow about the
    middle of April. Between these main passes innumerable tracks
    follow the "durras," or lines of watercourse, over the ridges of
    the Hindoo Kush and Paghman, which afford easy passage to men on
    foot and frequently also to "Kuchi" camels. These passes (so far
    as we can learn) could, any of them, be readily made available
    for mountain artillery with a very small expenditure of
    constructive labor and engineering skill. In Koh Dahman nearly
    every village of importance lying at the foot of the eastern
    slopes of the Paghman (such as Beratse, Farza, Istalif, etc.)
    covers a practicable pass over the Paghman, which has its
    continuation across the Shoreband valley and over the ridge of
    the Hindoo Kush beyond it. But between the Khak Pass and the
    Irak, the various routes across the Hindoo Kush, whether
    regarded as routes to India or to Kandahar, although they by no
    means converge on Kabul City, must necessarily pass within
    striking distance of an army occupying Kabul. Such a force would
    have, first of all, thoroughly to secure its communication with
    the Oxus, and a strong position at Kabul itself.

Having the official statement of a military engineer with reference
to the Oxus-Hindu-Kush line, as a barrier or base or curtain, we may
pass to the principal approach to Herat from the northwest.

There are four distinct lines by which Russia could move on Herat:

I. From the _Caspian_ base a trans-Caucasian army corps could move
(only with the concurrence and alliance of Persia) by the Mashed
route direct;

II. Or it could move outside Persian territory, from _Chikishliar_
by the Bendessen Pass to Asterabad, and would then have to pass
through Persian territory to Sarakhs, or across the desert to Merv;

III. From the _Tashkend-Bokhara_ base a route exists _via_ Charjui,
the Oxus, direct to Merv; and there is

IV. Also the well-known road by _Balkh_ and Mamiana, direct to

Routes III. and IV. having just been discussed, let us look at
Routes I. and II.

Referring to the small outline map of the trans-Caspian region,
herewith, it will be seen that troops could embark from Odessa in
the fleet of merchant steamers available, and, if not molested _en
route_ by hostile cruisers, would reach Batum in from 2 to 3 days,
thence by rail to Baku in 24 hours, another 24 hours through the
Caspian Sea to Krasnovodsk, a transfer in lighters to the landing at
Michaelovsk, and the final rail transportation to the present
terminus of the track beyond Kizil Arvat; this, it is said, will
soon reach Askabad, 310 miles from Herat. The Secretary of the Royal
Asiatic Society, Mr. Cust, with his wife, passed over this route in
1883, and testifies to the ease and comfort of the transit and to
the great number of vessels engaged in the oil trade, which are
available for military purposes, both on the Black and Caspian seas.
He estimates that they could easily carry 8,000 men at a trip.
[Footnote: Mr. Cust says: "There are three classes of steamers on
the Caspian. 1, the Imperial war steamers with which Russia keeps
down piracy; 2, the steamers of the Caucasus and Mercury Company,
very numerous and large vessels; 3, petroleum vessels--each steamer
with a capacity of 500 men."]

General Hamley [Footnote: Lecture before R. U. S. Institution
(London), 1884.] says: "We may assume that if on the railway (single
track) the very moderate number of 12 trains a day can run at the
rate of 12 miles an hour, the journey would occupy 40 hours. The
successive detachments would arrive, then, easily in two days at
Sarakhs. A division may be conveyed, complete, in 36 trains. Thus,
in six days a division would be assembled at Sarakhs ready to move
on the advanced guard. An army corps, with all its equipments and
departments, would be conveyed in 165 trains in 17 days. It would
then be 200 miles--another 17 days' march--from Herat. Thus, adding
a day for the crossing of the Caspian, the army corps from Baku
would reach Herat in 35 days. Also the advance of a corps from
Turkestan upon Kabul is even more practicable than before."
[Footnote: In his plan of invasion, Skobeleff thought 50,000 men
might undertake the enterprise without fear of disaster. This force
could be doubled from the Caucasus alone.]

The route from Tchikishliar _via_ Asterabad (where it strikes the
main Teheran-Mashed-Herat road) would be an important auxiliary to
the railway line, _via_ Asterabad. There is also a more direct
caravan track running south of this across the Khorassan, from
Asterabad (through Shahrud, Aliabad, Khaf, Gurian) to Herat; or, at
Shahrud, an excellent road running between the two already described
straight (_via_ Sabzawar and Nishapar) to Mashed.

From Sarakhs to Merv the road is said to be good and fairly supplied
with water. From Merv to Herat the well-worn expression "coach and
four" has been used to denote the excellent condition of the road.
[Footnote: For the first 100 miles the road follows the Murghab,
which Abbott describes as "a deep stream of very pure water, about
60 feet in breadth, and flowing in a channel mired to the depth of
30 feet in the clay soil of the valley; banks precipitous and
fringed with lamarisk and a few reeds."] Yalatun is described as
fertile, well populated, and unhealthy. [Footnote: Band-i-Yalatun,
or "bank which throws the waters of the Murghab into the canal of
Yalatun."] From Penjdeh, where the river is sometimes fordable, the
road follows the Khusk River, and, ascending the Koh-i-Baber Pass,
descends into the Herat valley, immediately beneath it. [Footnote:
Before closing the chapter on the "Russian Forces," a brief
description of the order of march customary in Central Asia may be
proper. From a translation by Major Clarke, R.A., from Kotensko's
"Turkestan," it appears that the horses accompanying Central Asian
detachments are so considerable that the latter form, as it were,
the escort of the former. As an Asiatic enemy nearly always attacks
from every side, the distribution of the troops, during the march,
must be such that they may be able to repulse the enemy no matter
where he may appear. Usually, a half sotnia (70 men) of cavalry
marches in advance at a distance from 3/4 to 1-1/3 miles, so as to
be in view of main body. Immediately in front of main body marches a
detachment of sappers and a company or two of infantry; then part of
the artillery; then more infantry; the train; behind the train,
remainder of artillery and infantry; as a rear guard, a sotnia of
cavalry. Bivouacs in the Steppe are usually chosen at wells, and
are, in many respects, similar to those customary in the Indian
country in America. First, an outer line of carts or wagons; then
the troops; and inside, all the animals. The accompanying diagram is
from _The Journal Royal United Service Institution_ (London).]




The purpose of this volume has been to give as much reliable
information upon the cause of the Anglo-Russian dispute, the nature
of the probable theatre of operations in case of war, and of the
armies of the Powers concerned, as could be obtained and printed
within a single fortnight. The richness of the available material
made this especially difficult, comprising as it did the record of
recent campaigns in Afghanistan, as well as the opinions of those
who, like Vambery, Veniukoff, Rawlinson, Napier, and Cust, are
authorities upon Asiatic topics.

As these lines are written [Footnore: April 18, 1885.] the civilized
nations of the world await with bated breath the next scene upon the
Afghan stage.

Seldom when two gladiators, armed and stripped, enter the arena does
a doubt exist as to their purpose. Yet such an exceptional
uncertainty attends the presence of England and Russia on the border
of Afghanistan.

[Illustration: Gorge in the Tirband-i-Turkestan through which the
Murghab Flows.]

At least 50,000 British soldiers are drawn up in front of the Indus
awaiting a signal from their Queen. Nearly twice that number of
Russian troops are massed on or near the northwestern angle of the
Ameer's country. [Footnote: Since the events noted in our first
chapter (page 12) transpired, another page has been added to
Afghanistan's blood-stained record.  After confronting each other on
the Khusk River for some weeks a large Russian force under General
Komaross attacked (March 30, 1885) the Afghan troops at Penjdeh, and
after a gallant resistance on the part of the native garrison it was
utterly routed and the town occupied by the victors. The Russian
casualties were inconsiderable, but the Afghans lost nearly 1,000

It is impossible to eliminate, altogether, from a study of the
present military situation, certain political elements.

It is apparent that the Russians near Herat stand practically at
"the forks of the road"; it is a three-pronged fork--one branch
running due south to the sea and two branches due east to India. The
first-named requires but passing comment and only as it relates to
Herat, planted on a route which cannot be controlled without its
possession, for military and commercial reasons well understood.

As already explained, the routes to India, available to Russia,
enable her to move from her base on the Merv-Herat line, both _via_
Balkh and Kabul, for the purpose of flanking a British column moving
from Quetta westward, or of raiding the rich valley of the Helmund;
from Turkestan above this route, a British force moving from Kabul
to Balkh could also be threatened. By the main Herat-Kandahar route
an advance from the east could also be directly opposed; the
crossing of the Helmund by either army would probably be contested.

In case of war, whether Anglo-Russian or Russo-Afghan, the first
great battle would doubtless be fought on the Kandahar-Ghazni-Kabul

[Illustration: Jelalabad from Piper's Hill.]

General Hamley, the leading British military authority, [Footnote:
Lieut.-General Sir. E. Hamley, K.C.B.] shows that this line is, of
all proposed, at once the most practicable and desirable line for
the defence of India. [Footnote: Three lines had been considered:
first, the line of the Eastern Sulimani, but this would leave the
seaport of Kurrachee unprotected; second, from Pishin northeast to
Kabul.] He says: "We should have a strong British governor in
Kandahar, and a strong British force on the Helmund and on the road
to Kabul; the railway completed to Kandahar, and, in case of a
movement from Turkestan against Kabul, a force on our side on its
way to occupy that city, and new recruiting grounds open to us amid
warlike populations. Surely there can be no question as to which of
these two sets of circumstances would give us most influence in
Afghanistan, most power to oppose Russia and to maintain confidence
in India." [Footnote: Gen. Hamley's remarks were made before the
Royal United Service Institution (May 18, 1884), and, in the
discussion which followed, Colonel Malleson said: "Recently in India
some influential natives said to me: 'Russia will continue her
advance; she will not stop until she has gained the fertile country
of Herat, and then she will intrigue with the native princes behind
the Indus, and when you send an army to meet her, you will find
those native princes rising in your rear.' I may fortify my own
experience by what was told me by an Austrian gentleman who visited
India about seven years ago. He paid a visit to the Maharaja, of
Cashmere, who said to him: 'From you I hope to get the truth; you
are not an Englishman nor a Russian. Tell me which is the stronger--the
English power or the Russian; because it will be necessarily my
duty, if Russia should advance, and if I should find Russia stronger
than England, to go for the defence of my throne on the side of

The same authority approves Sir Michael Biddulph's recommendation to
utilize the strong natural positions near Girishk on the Helmund. As
to Afghanistan he testifies: "With a power like Russia closing on
it, holding Persia and Persian resources subject to its will, it is
in vain to think that Afghanistan will be long independent even in
name. It is between hammer and anvil, or, to use a still more
expressive metaphor, between the devil and the deep sea. Bound to us
by no traditions, by no strong political influences such as might
have been used to constrain them, the Afghan tribes, mercenary and
perfidious to a proverb, an aggregate of tribes--not a nation,--will
lose no time, when the moment occurs, in siding with the great power
which promises most lavishly, or which can lay strongest hold on

The burning words with which General Hamley closed his lecture one
year ago are singularly true to-day, and form a fitting termination
to this sketch:

"I do not undervalue the many influences which will always oppose
any policy entailing expense. But if the present question is found
to be--How shall we guard against a terrible menace to our Indian
Empire? any cost to be incurred can hardly be admitted as a reason
which ought to influence our course. Magnanimous trustfulness in the
virtue and guilelessness of rival states; distrust and denunciation
of all who would chill this inverted patriotism by words of warning;
refusal of all measures demanding expense which do not promise a
pecuniary return:--such is the kind of liberality of sentiment which
may ruin great nations. The qualities of the lamb may be very
excellent qualities, but they are specially inapplicable to dealings
with the wolf. Do those who shrink from expense think that the
presence of Russia in Afghanistan will be inexpensive to us? Will
the weakness which will be the temptation and the opportunity of
Russia be less costly than effectual defence? When we enter the
councils of Europe to assert our most vital interests, shall we
speak as we have been accustomed to speak, when our free action is
fettered by the imminent perpetual menace to India? These are
questions which, now put forth to this limited audience, will,
perhaps, within the experience of most of us, be thundered in the
ears of the nation. England is just now not without serious
perplexities, but none are so fraught with possibilities of mischief
as the storm which is now gathering on the Afghan frontier."


[Footnote: Unless otherwise designated, the authors named are
officers of the British Army, and nearly all the works are in the
Library of the Military Service Institution of the United States,
(Governor's Island, N. Y. H.).]

[Source 1: Journal Royal United Service Institution (London).]

[Source 2: Journal of the United Service Institution of India

ANDERSON, Capt. "A Scheme for Increasing the Strength of the Native
Armies," etc. [2]

ARMY LIST, British Official, 1885.

BIDDULPH, Gen. "The March from the Indus to the Helmund." [2]

BELLEW, H. W., C.S.I. "A New Afghan Question." [2]

BENGOUGH, Lieut-Col. "Mounted Infantry." [2] (From the Russian.)

BISCHOFF, Major. "The Caucasus and its Significance to Russia."
(Ger.) [2]

BLUNDELL, Col. "British Military Power with Reference to War
Abroad." [1]

BAKER, Col. "The Military Geography of Central Asia." [1]

COLQUHOUN, Capt. "On the Development of the Resources of India in a
Military Point of View." [2]

CANTLEY, Major. "Reserves for the Indian Army." [2]

CALLEN, Major. "The Volunteer Force of India," etc. [2]

CAVENAGH, Gen. "Our Indian Army." [1]

CHAPMAN, Lieut-Col. "The March from Kabul to Kandahar in 1880." [1]

CLARKE, Capt, "Recent Reforms in the Russian Army." [1]

CUST, R., Sec. R.A.S. "The Russians on the Caspian and Black Seas."

DAVIDSON, Major. "The Reasons why Difficulty is Experienced in
Recruiting for the Native Army." [2]

DALTON, Capt. "Skobeleff's Instructions for the Reconnaisance and
Battle of Geok-Tepe." [1] (From the French.)

ELIAS, Capt. "A Streak of the Afghan War." [1]

ESME-FORBES, Lieut. "Cavalry Reform." [2]

FURSE, Major. "Various Descriptions of Transport." [1]

GAISFORD, Capt. "New Model Transport Cart for Ponies and Mules." [2]

GLOAG, Col. "Military Reforms in India." [2]

GOWAN, Major. "Progressive Advance of Russia in Central Asia." [2]
"The Army of Bokhara." [2] "Russian Military Manoeuvres in the
Province of Jaxartes." [2] (From the Russian.)

GRAHAM, Col. "The Russian Army in 1882." [1]

GORDON, Capt. "Bengal Cavalry in Egypt." [2]

GRIERSON, Lieut. "The Russian Cavalry,"  and "The Russian Mounted
Troops in 1883." [2]

GREENE, Capt. "Sketches of Army Life in Russia." (New York, 1881.)

GRIFFITHS, Major. "The English Army." (London.)

GREY, Major. "Military Operations in Afghanistan." [2]

GERARD, Capt. "Rough Notes on the Russian Army in 1876." [2]

GOLDSMID, Gen. "From Bamian to Sonmiani." [1] "On Certain Roads
between Turkistan and India." [1]

HEYLAND, Major. "Military Transport Required for Rapid Movements."

HOLDICH, Capt. "Between Russia and India." [1]

HENNEKEN, Gen. "Studies on the Probable Course and Result of a War
between Russia and England." [2] (From the Russian.)

HILDYARD, Lieut.-Col. "The Intendance, Transport, and Supply Service
in Continental Armies." [2]

HASKYNS, Capt. "Notice of the Afghan Campaigns in 1879-81. From an
Engineer's View." [1]

HAMLEY, Lieut.-Gen., Sir E. "Russia's Approaches to India." (1884.)

JOURNAL of the Military Service Institution of the United States.

KELTIE, J. S. "The Statesman's Year-Book." (London, 1885.)

KIRCHHAMMER, A. "The Anglo-Afghan War." [2] (From the German.)

KOTENSKO. "The Horses and Camels of Central Asia." [2] "Turkestan."
[1] (From the Russian.)

LITTLE, Col. "Afghanistan and England in India." [2] (From the

LEVERSON, Lieut. "March of the Turkistan Detachment across the
Desert," etc. [1] (From the Russian.)

MARTIN, Capt. "Tactics in the Afghan Campaign," [2] "Notes on the
Operations in the Kurrum Valley." [2] "Horse-Breeding in Australia
and India." [2] "Notes on the Management of Camels in the 10th
Company Sappers and Miners on Field Service." [2] "British Infantry
in the Hills and Plains of India." [2]

MORGAN, D. "A Visit to Kuldja, and the Russo-Chinese Frontier." [1]

MORTON, Capt. "Gourko's Raid." [2] (From the French.)

MACKENZIE, Lieut.-Gen. "Storms and Sunshine of a Soldier's Life."

MOSA, P. "The Russian Campaign of 1879," etc. [2] (From the

MEDLEY, Col. "The Defence of the Northwest Frontier." [2]

NEWALL, Lieut.-Col. "On the Strategic Value of Cashmere in
Connection with the Defence of Our Northwest Frontier." [2]

O'DONOVAN, E. "The Merv Oasis." (New York, 1883.)

PRICE, Capt. "Notes on the Sikhs as Soldiers for Our Army." [2]

PITT, Lieut. "A Transport Service for Asiatic Warfare," etc. [1]

ROSS, D., (Delhi Railway). "Transport by Rail of Troops, Horses,
Guns, and War Materials." [2]

ST. JOHN, Major. "Persia: Its Physical Geography and People." [2]

STRONG, Capt. "The Education of Native Officers in the Indian Army."

STEEL, Veterinary-Surgeon. "Camels in Connection with the South
African Expedition, 1878-1879." [2]

SHAW, Major. "Army Transport." [1]

SANDERSON, G. P. "The Elephant in Freedom and in Captivity." [2]

TEMPLE, Lieut. "An Historical Parallel--The Afghans and Mainotes."

TYRRELL, Lieut.-Col. "The Races of the Madras Army." [2]

TROTTER, Capt. "The Tribes of Turkistan." [2]

TRENCH, Col. "Cavalry in Modern War." (London, 1884.)

UPTON, Gen. "The Armies of Asia and Europe." (New York, 1878.)

VENIUKOFF, Col. "The Progress of Russia in Central Asia." [2] (From
the Russian.)

YALDWYN, Capt. "Notes on the Camel." [2]



Abazai, mil. post
Abbaza, village
Abdurrahman, the Ameer
Absuna, pass
  Territory; mountains; rivers;
  roads, animals; people;
  army; cities; military history
Ahmed-Kheil, city
Akbar Khan
Akbar, the Great
Akhunt Ziarut, city
Akton Khel, city
Alexander I.
Alexander, Czar
Alexander of Macedon
Ali Musjid, fort
Altai, river
Amu Daria (Oxus), river
Aral, sea
Argandab, valley; river
Army, British:
  Strength; organization; transport;
    supply; routes; operations
Army, Russian:
  Strength; organization; transport;
  supply; routes
Aryan, race
Assin Killo, city
Atta Karez, mountain
Attreck, river
Auckland, Lord
Aulicata, city
Auran, mountain
Ayoub Khan


Baber Khan
Balkash, mountain
Balkh, city
Bamian, pass
Baroghil, pass
Barshor, valley
Baru, military post
Bekovitch, Gen.
Beloochistan, state
Bendessen, pass
Bengal, city
Beratse, village
Berlin, city
Biddulph, Sir M.
Billigarungan, hills
Bolan, pass
Bokhara, province
Bombay, city
Bori, valley
Bost, city
Broadfoot, Capt.
Browne, Gen.
Brydon, Dr.
Bunnoo, mil. post
Burnes, agent
Burrows, Gen.


Cashmere, Maharaja
Caspian, sea
Catharine II.
Cavagnari, Major
Ceylon, island
Chapman, Col.
Charikar, town
Chat, town
Charjui, town
Chelmsford, Lord
Chemkent, city
Chikishliar, town
Chitral, town
Clarke, Major
Conolly, M.
Cust, Mr.


Dadur, city
Dakka, city
Dasht-i-Bedowlat, mountain
Delhi, city
Dera Ghazi Khan, village
Dera Ismail Khan, city
Derajat, district
Djungaria, province
Doaba, military post
Dost, Mohammed
Dozan, city


Ellenborough, Lord
Elphinstone, Gen.
Eski Zagra, town


Faizabad, city
Farrah, town
Farza, village
Fergana, province
Ferrier, Gen.


Gaisford, Capt.
Gayud Yara, plain
Geok Tepe, fort
Genghiz Khan
Ghazgar, valley
Ghazni, city
Ghilzai, district
Ghori, valley
Gilan, province
Gindari, mountain
Girishk, city
Gordon, Col.
Gourko, Gen.
Graham, Sir L.
Green, Col.
Grierson, Lieut.
Guikok, range
Gujrat, city
Guleir Surwandi, pass
Gundamuck, city
Gundana, town
Gurian, city


Haines, Sir F.
Hamley, Gen.
Hazaristan, river
Hazarasp, city
Hazardarakht, mountain
Hazarnao, city
Helmund, river
Herat, city; river
Himalayas, mountain
Hindu Kush, mountain
Hobhouse, Sir J. C.
Hodjeni, province
Holdich, Capt.
Horse, yabu; khirgiz


Inderabad, river
India, On the threshold of
Indus, river
Irak, pass
Irgiz, fort
Irtish, river
Ispahan, city
Istalif, village


Jacobadad, city
Jagdallack, pass
Jamrud, city
Jelalabad, city
Jizakh, province
Jumrud, military post


Kabul, city; river
Kachi, plains
Kadani, plains
Kafristan, province
Kabriz, fort
kalat, city
Kandahar, city
Karakoran, mountain
Karkacha, pass
Karki, town
Kash, river; city
Kashmir, city
Kaufmann, Gen.
Kelat, town
Khaiber, pass
Khanikoff, M.
Khak, pass
Khinar, pass
Khiva, province
Khoja-Saleh, city
Khokand, province
Khoja-Amran, mountain ridge
Khorassan, province
Khulm, city
Khurd-Kabul, pass
Khurd-Khaiber, pass
Khusk', river
Khirtar, mountain
Kilif, city
Kizil Arvat, city
Koh Daman, mountain
Kohut, mil. post
Kohistan, province
Koh-i-Baber, mountain
Kokiran, district
Komaroff, Gen.
Krasnovodsk, city
Kuh-i-Baba, mountain
Kujlak-Kekur, valley
Kuldja, city
Kunar valley
Kunduz, city
Kurrachee, city
Kuram, river; valley; fort
Kusmore, village
Kussun, fort


Lalaberg, valley
Lalgoshi, village
Lahore, city
Landi Khana, village
Lash Jowain, city
Lakhareff, Gen.
Logar, valley
London, city
Lora, river
Lumsden, Sir P.
Lumley, Col.


Mackenzie, Gen. C.
Mackeson, fort
McNaghten, Sir W.
Mahmoud, sultan
Mahommed Azim
Maimana, town
Malleson, Col.
Margilan, town
Maris, tribe
Martin, Lieut.
Marvin, C.
Mashed, city
Mastuj, town
Maude, Gen.
Mazanderan, province
McClellan, saddle
Merv, province
Michaelovsk, town
Michni, fort
Mithunkot, town
Mooktur valley
Mooltan, city
Moscow, city
Mulla, pass
Munro, fort
Murchat, town
Murghab, river
Mysore, province


Nadir, Shah
Nahur, Maharajah of
Napier, Lord
Nicholas, Grand Duke
Nijni Novgorod, town
Nishuper, town--
Nogak, M.
Nott, Gen.
Nuksan, pass


Odessa, city
O'Donovan, M.
Orenburg, province
Orloff, Gen.
Outram, Capt.
Oxus, (See Amer. Daria)


Paghman, mountains
Panjshir, valley
Panjwai, town
Paropismus, mountains
Parwan, pass
Pat, clay
Paul, Emperor
Peiwar, pass
Penjdeh, town
Perwan, pass
Perovsky, fort
Peter the Great
Petropanlovsk, province
Peshawur, city
Pishin, village; plain
Pollock, Gen.
Pottinger, Major
Primrose, Gen.


Quetta, city


Raganpur, city
Rawlinson, Sir H.
Roberts, Gen.
Rogan, village
Ross, railway manager
Rudbar, town
Russian Army: strength; organization;
  transport; supply; routes


Sabzawar, city
Sale, Sir R.
Samarcand, city
San Stefano
Sarahks, town
Sargo, pass
Sarhadd, town
Saunders, Major
Scinde, province
Seistan, district
Shahrud, town
Shere Ali
Shikapur, town
Shul Kadar, fort
Shurtargurdan, pass
Singh Runjit
Sirpul, town
Skobeleff, Gen.
Stewart, Sir D.
Stolietoff, Gen.
St. Petersburg
Sufed Koh, mountain
Sujah Shah
Sulimani, mountains
Suprasl, river
Surkh Denkor
Surkhab river


Takwir, mountain
Taktipul, town
Targai, fort
Tartara, pass
Tashkend, city
Tehernayeff, Gen.
Tejend, river
Temple, Sir R.
Terek, pass
Trench, Col.
Troitsk, province
Turnak, valley
Twarditsa, town


Unai, river
Ural, mountains


Vambery, M.
Veniukoff, M.
Vernoye, fort
Volga, river


Warsaw, city
Washir, town
Wolseley, Lord


Yakoub, Khan
Yalatun, town
Yaldwin, Capt.
Yaxartes, river


Zurmat, district
Zohak, fort

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Afghanistan and the Anglo-Russian Dispute" ***

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