During the 19th Century Britain entered into three brutal wars with Afghanistan, each one an imperial struggle for power that saw the British forces trying, and failing, to gain control of an inhospitable and impenetrable region. The first two wars (1839 – 42, 1878 – 81) were attempts to expunge pro-Russian sympathies, and thehe third, in 1919, a result of an Afghan-declared holy war against British India. In the last of the three, over 100,000 Afghans answered the call for a holy war, generating a military force that would prove too great for the British Imperial army. Each of the three wars were plagued with military disasters, lengthy sieges and costly engagements for the British, and history has proved the Afghans a formidable foe and Afghanistan an unconquerable territory. This book reveals the history of these three Anglo-Afghan wars, the imperial power struggles that led to conflict and the torturous experiences of the men on the ground as they struggled against the inhospitable Afghan terrain and an unrelenting enemy. The book concludes with a brief overview of the motives for today’s conflict and draws the historical parallels between the past and present.
“Other recommendations for specialty military history collections include… Gregory Fremont-Barnes’ The Anglo-Afghan Wars 1839-1919, considering the history of Afghanistan and its military battles.” -The Bookwatch (January 2010)