Talk:First Anglo-Afghan War

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I vote we delete this. The article on Anglo-Afghan wars has all this information and then more

Make it a redirect to the main article instead of deleting? --Richard Clegg 09:41, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Regardless, some of this needs citations. It's nice to tell apocryphal stories about heroic behavior under insurmountable odds but citations are necessary. 6/19/06

Strange Death Tolls[edit]

I think the casualty mark is short-charging the Afghan deaths, as it says for the entire war the Afghans lost 200 KIA and Wounded. But in the Battle of Ghanzi, it says the Afghans had 500 KIA/WIA. So in other words, the Afghan casualties for one battle eclipse by 250% the supposed total of Afghan casualties for the WAR. I think this needs ironing out. ELV


Only a single soldier survived, but then the article goes on to reference "Ninety-five prisoners from the earlier massacre were rescued". I removed that sentence and suggest someone who knows something about this event correct the information. Elijahmeeks 21:05, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Please see William Brydon, the only European survivor -- Lost(talk) 15:34, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
There were rescued prisoners. I'll find sources. Most of them were women and officers, including Elphinstone. Karajanis 06:48, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

The "soldier" who "survived" was an army surgeon. But it really means that he was the only member of the military to make it back to India. Other survivors included camp followers, servants, etc. and some English offiers (including some English army wives and children). However, these were captured on the retreat and did not make it back unless they were eventually released. This is how we know what happened on the retreat. However, there are tales of English women who eventually were married to their captors. See Macrory's book. Thomas R. Fasulo (talk) 02:02, 24 May 2010 (UTC)


This page needs some serious updating and I'll start ASAP with Peter Hopkirk's The Great Game. Karajanis 06:48, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Who won?[edit]

How can this by any means be counted as a Limited British victory, ending with a rout? Norrefeldt (talk) 12:05, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

It didn't end with a route. I believe you are referring to the retreat from Kabul, in which 4,500 British and Indian soldiers, with 11,500 camp followers were massacred, save for about 96 members. However, two more battles took place after this, the Siege of Jellalabad and the Battle of Kabul, both of which were British victories. (Trip Johnson (talk) 15:48, 26 February 2008 (UTC))

OK then, but the outcome of the war seems to have been that the British had to give up their plans for Afghanistan for this time. If we are to call it "Limited British gains" it ought to be possible to read about those gains in the article.Norrefeldt (talk) 13:45, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Having read the instructions/style guide for the "Result", where it says: "How the war came to an end. What treaties were signed, and what were their conditions?" I think it should say: "British withdrawal from Afghanistan". Much more descriptive than the rather disputable "Afghan victory".Norrefeldt (talk) 14:23, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you Norrefeldt, British withdrawal sounds much better. (Trip Johnson (talk) 11:40, 5 April 2008 (UTC))
Indeed, Norrefelt; "Afghan victory" is a little too controversial. I've reverted changes to the outcome under NPOV. haz (talk) 10:48, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
The fact that some feel calling what happened an Afghan victory is "a little too controversial" accords well with the thinking that led England to this disaster. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:56, 23 April 2013 (UTC)


Shouldnt it be mentioned in 'Causes' that one of the main reasons for the invasion of Afghanistan was so that it could be used as a buffer state to limit the advance of Russia and protect British India. You have put to protect India but the extra detail would be nice. Also you could mention that one of the reasons the British left Kabul was because the cantonment was built on flat ground surrouded by mountains and that the ammunition dump was seperate from the cantonment. This made it indefensable. I would add this information myself if i new how, sorry!Willski72 (talk) 18:17, 4 May 2009 (UTC)


Bukhara was under the control of Amir Alim Khan. It was not under the control of the persian king muzaffar. In addition somebody edited the Bukhara part without citation. Even though it is a fact that the Emirate of Bukhara is what ruled Bukhara not the persian kingdom —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:52, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Extra info[edit]

I have taken the liberty of adding some extra info in about the causes of the war (Russia) and describing the indefensibility of the cantonement as a reason for the disastrous retreat. I hope this is fine with everyone if not you are quite free to change it back!--Willski72 (talk) 19:12, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Who won?(2)[edit]

In response to this query[1], which, I take it, is itself a reaction to recent edits, I have to say that Newcorps additions are entirely correct. It is clear that British plans to turn Afghanistan into a protectorate failed completely. Passing off the destruction of Eplhinstone's army as a minor setback would be mistake: it was a resounding defeat with a significant impact in the Victorian era. Pollocks subsequent expedition to Kabul went a little way to restoring British military pride, but did not alter the fact that the war as a whole was a failure for the British. The puppet ruler they had proposed to install(Shah Shuja) was murdered, and the leader they had set out to depose(Dost Mohammed) was reinstated. --Raoulduke47 (talk) 16:51, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

In terms of what might normally be seen to constitute a war however, the actual war was a successful invasion and reestablishment of the Shah's rule, followed by an evacuation of troops who were then massacred en route (while leaving) - hardly a victory for the Afghans in the traditional sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:23, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Shah Shuja's reestablishment was hardly successful, as the British were forced to abandon him to his fate, and he was murdered shortly afterwards. I'm rather puzzled as to what constitues this "traditional sense" of how a war's outcome should be defined, and how it is supposed to ignore the historical realities of the British military defeat and political failure. --Raoulduke47 (talk) 19:47, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Without being invited, the British Empire invaded the Afghan Empire (obviously with bad intention) and in the over all 2-3 years the British suffered a massive defeat and the Afghans have declared victory. We are not the judges here, we have to respect both sides. Did British declare victory? Answer: no. Did Afghans declare victory? Answer: yes they did. The invasion by the British Empire didn't gain anything for the British, it was regretful for them because they lost at least 16,500 lives. It is by every defintion a victory for the Afghans, especially at that time when the British were well known as the super power of the world that no single country stood a chance of refusing their demands. Of course the British may not accept this as a defeat. But look at the February 1989 withdrawl of the Soviets from Afghanistan, was that a victory for the Afghans or not? The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was basically the same shit as the British invasion, it just lasted about 6 years longer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:07, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

East India Company[edit]

How relatively involved were the British army and the presidential armies of the East India Company? They were separate entities. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:32, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

"Causes" section begins abruptly, possibly inappropriate tone[edit]

"To justify his plan, the Governor-General of India Lord Auckland issued the Simla Manifesto in October 1838, setting forth the necessary reasons for British intervention in Afghanistan."

This first line of the section is arranged awkwardly (who "his" refers to and what "plan" is being discussed only becomes apparent to the reader on second reading. In addition, the tone is inappropriately polemical. To "justify one's plan" carries an implication (in my humble interpretation) that the plan is somehow insidious and requires white-washing. This may or may not be true of Lord Auckland, but it is not usually the place of an encyclopedia to cast that sort of judgment. Paul Mumm (talk) 04:09, 24 June 2010 (UTC)


I was wondering if any negotiations occurred between Akbar Khan and the British on the issue of release of his family. The British had imprisoned his family including his wife and also his father Dost Mohammad Khan. It is important to remind ourselves that if the British reprisal was successful and Akbar Khan was "heavily defeated" then why on earth did the British released Dost Mohammad Khah and his family for nothing? Dost Mohammad Khan could have been used for political gains. It seems more logical to me that Akbar Khan may have had some concessions to the British to secure his family's release and the fact that the question of honour is a big issue in Afghan culture, re-enforces this notion.Haha1hoho (talk) 15:21, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Legacy: Alim Khan[edit]

I corrected the link to the "Manghit Dynasty". I noticed that the Alim Khan article states his DOB as Jan 3 1880, yet the text under Legacy on the First Anglo-Afghan War states "A peace treaty in 1873 with Amir Alim Khan of the Manghit Dynasty, the ruler of Bukhara, virtually stripped him of his independence. Russian control then extended as far as the northern bank of the Amu Darya."

The dates do not correspond, can someone with knowledge of this area please take a look and rectify either the Alim Khan article or the Legacy section, thanks. Kiwifaramir (talk) 23:56, 5 January 2012 (UTC)Kiwifaramir

Disruptive edits by user ༆[edit]

user:༆, has not provided proper reasons for his removal of cited information on the article. He instead has a history of engaging in edit-warring. Xtremedood (talk) 09:49, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Overciting and sources[edit]

As pointed by User:༆,[2] there is no need of further sources of temporary British victory. Half of the sources are incorrect, and others are not needed since there are few already. Also see WP:OVERCITE. Capitals00 (talk) 10:57, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

POV much[edit]

There appears to be a a huge number of sources in the article which shows that the British lost this war. It is stated as a simple fact in most of these sources, with few of them going as far as to claim that this was one of the most humiliating defeats for the British in their northwestern campaign. Now whenever this well sourced information about the Afghan victory is added into the infobox one or more editors take affront and try to remove it and replace it with "Temporary British victory", which appears to be highly POV and illogical. I hereby invite the various editors removing the Afghan victory from the infobox to this discussion so that they can perhaps explain why they are removing this, and would like them to explain who actually "WON" the war. pinging User:Charlesdrakew, User:DatGuy, User:SovalValtos, User:༆User:Xtremedood. ‎FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 08:07, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

@FreeatlastChitchat: First of all, if you look at the history you can see the horrible amount of edit-warring to so-called overall Afghan victory in. The symbol was, an edit-warrer, which didn't revert since the protection. I am also sure that there is some IP puppetry since most of the IPs only have one or two contributions, both to reverting to your preferred pages. Before you start shouting that I'm accusing you, I'm not. It might be IP sockpuppetry, and I might even check some of the long-term abuse cases. Pinging @AlexiusHoratius:, the administrator that protected the page for comments. Dat GuyTalkContribs 09:30, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
The British won the war but later failed to hold their gains, as seems to happen in that country. "Temporary British victory" is therefore the most appropriate summary and their is longstanding talkpage consensus for this. A POV-pusher has been socking to change this, resuming activity as soon as page protection expired. Further protection is needed.Charles (talk) 11:54, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
@Charlesdrakew: I made a request at WP:RFPP, and we have 1 year of PC protection. Dat GuyTalkContribs 14:06, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Great. Can we now revert to the status quo while discussion is going on? That is the norm rather than allowing POV changes to stand.Charles (talk) 14:27, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
@Charlesdrakew: I temporarily deleted the controversial material. Dat GuyTalkContribs 15:39, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Temporary British Victory seems to be correct, any other mention of victories must not be mentioned on the lead. Capitals00 (talk) 15:12, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

Removing self-published source[edit]

I am removing a long quote from a reference listed as "Afghanistan in the Age of Empires", written by one Farrukh Husain, published by Silk Road Books and Photos. Based on the website of this publisher (, Silk Road Books and Photos is also owned by Farrukh Husain, which would imply that this source is self-published. The quote attempts to link the date of an uprising to the Battle of Badr, which seems a bit of a stretch without a reliable source to back it up. PohranicniStraze (talk) 19:54, 1 January 2018 (UTC)

"4,000-meter high" mountain passes?[edit]

On the British invasion route into Afghanistan (via Quetta to Kandahar), there are nowhere mountains with any height close to 4,000 meters. The Bolan pass (also used by the British then) as the highest point reaches not quite 1,800 m. Maybe the number is supposed to be in feet. --Ubel (talk) 16:55, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

John William Kaye on Sex slaves[edit]

That one whole bit which is a paragraph mostly taken from John William Kaye's biography on how Afghan women would sleep with British officers and would become prostitutes. First of all this is totally made up and a complete lie to defame the Afghan people and their women and how they were savages, second it seems like some British fantasy of the invader bedding the women of the people they conquered. If this is true, then why aren't there reports of Indian women falling in love with British officers stationed throughout the country when the English actually ruled all of India but never Afghanistan? Thirdly, the Pashtuns are EXTREMELY overprotective of their women and do not let them step out of the house alone not even today in remote tribal areas. Such a thing is pure fantasy and there is no way the English could have done this without anyone finding out. Also i don't know who Mirza Ata is and i i could not find anything about him from a google search other then him being mentioned in the work of other British historians who seem to quote him.

The bit also goes on to say how Alexander Burnes had Afghan women in his harem, this is also false because all of his slave women were foreigners. The book called "Sikunder Burnes: Master of the Great Game" By Craig Maury clearly states that Alexander Brunes knew the danger and consequences of trying to seduce Afghan women which is why all his Sexual slaves were Kashmiri & Indian women. What's funny is this is the first time i am seeing this paragraph after the many times i have read this article.

I will remove this part because it is totally not true. Akmal94 (talk) 00:51, 12 February 2018 (UTC)