Battle of Gulnabad
|Battle of Gulnabad|
|Safavid dynasty||Hotaki dynasty|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Mohammad Qoli Khan
Ali Mardan Khan
|Casualties and losses|
|5,000-15,000 soldiers killed and 80,000+ killed during the entire war||unknown|
The Battle of Gulnabad (Sunday, March 8, 1722) was fought between the military forces from Afghanistan and the army of the Safavid Empire. The battle resulted in Afghanistan, under Shah Mahmud, winning and controlling much of Persia. It further cemented the eventual fall of the Safavid dynasty.
One account of the battle described the Safavid army as being beautifully outfitted, with lavish horses and uniforms, and over twice the number of the Afghan 20,000 force. On the contrary, the Afghan forces were described as being in loose formations, very few in anything that appeared to be a uniform, hungry and in need of equipment.
The sun had just appeared on the horizon when the armies began to observe each other with that curiosity so natural on these dreadful occasions. The Safavid army just come out of the capital, being composed of whatever was most brilliant at court, seemed as if it had been formed rather to make a show than to fight. The riches and variety of their arms and vestments, the beauty of their horses, the gold and precious stones with which some of their harnesses were covered, and the richness of their tents contributed to render the Safavid camp very pompous and magnificent.
On the other side there was a much smaller body of soldiers, disfigured with fatigue and the scorching heat of the sun. Their clothes were so ragged and torn in so long a march that they were scarce sufficient to cover them from the weather, and, their horses being adorned with only leather and brass, there was nothing glittering about them but their spears and sabres....—Jonas Hanway, 1712–1786
The Afghans won the war and began their conquest of the Safavid Empire. Numbers and casualty figures of the Gulnabad battle are believed to be between 5,000 to 15,000 dead Safavid soldiers, and in the siege that followed, over 80,000 Safavids died due to war and famine. It was following the battle that the Afghans laid siege to the city of Isfahan for six months, after which they took the capital of the Safavid Empire.
- Axworthy (2006), p. 47.
- Malleson, George Bruce (1878). History of Afghanistan, from the Earliest Period to the Outbreak of the War of 1878. London: Elibron.com. p. 246. ISBN 1-4021-7278-8. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
- "AN OUTLINE OF THE HISTORY OF PERSIA DURING THE LAST TWO CENTURIES (A.D. 1722-1922)". Edward G. Browne. London: Packard Humanities Institute. p. 30. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- "Last Afghan empire". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- Axworthy, Michael (2006). The Sword of Persia: Nader Shah, from Tribal Warrior to Conquering Tyrant. London: I.B. Tauris. p. 50. ISBN 1-85043-706-8. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
- Jonas Hanway. "Account of British Trade across the Caspian Sea". Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- "AN OUTLINE OF THE HISTORY OF PERSIA DURING THE LAST TWO CENTURIES (A.D. 1722-1922)". Edward G. Browne. London: Packard Humanities Institute. p. 31. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- Axworthy, Michael (2006). The Sword of Persia: Nader Shah, from Tribal Warrior to Conquering Tyrant. I.B. Tauris, London. ISBN 1-85043-706-8
- Malleson, George Bruce. History of Afghanistan, from the Earliest Period to the Outbreak of the War of 1878. Elibron.com, London. ISBN 1-4021-7278-8
- J. P. Ferrier (1858). History of the Afghans. Publisher: Murray.
- World Timelines - Battle of Gulnabad: Afghans defeat Safavids and take control of most of Persia
- Conflicts, some details on the battle
- Battle of Gulnabad, brief