59 results in English
Ali Masjid and the British Camp, 1878
This photograph of the British camp at Ali Masjid is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Ali Masjid is located in the narrowest part of the Khyber Pass, and was the first location captured by General Sir Samuel Browne (1824–1901) on his march with the Peshawar Valley Field Force towards Kabul at the start of war. The battle took place on November 21, 1878. Browne’s victorious British and Indian troops faced the Afghan army and tribesmen led ...
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Captured Guns at Ali Masjid
This photograph of artillery pieces captured by British forces in the Battle of Ali Masjid is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. In the battle, which took place in November 1878, a British and Indian force led by General Sir Samuel Browne (1824–1901) won a victory over the Afghan Army and tribesmen led by Gholam Hyder Khan. Browne captured the fort at Ali Masjid and then marched to Kabul, prompting the Afghan amir, Sher ʻAlī Khān (1825–79 ...
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Landi Kotal
This photograph of Landi Kotal is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Landi Kotal is a small town at the western edge of the Khyber Pass that traditionally marks the entrance to Afghanistan. It is the highest point along the pass. Pictured here is the encampment of the 12,000-strong Peshawar Valley Field Force, under General Sir Samuel Browne (1824–1901), as it crossed the Khyber Pass on the march towards Kabul at the start of the war. The ...
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Suffain Koh Panorama
This panoramic photograph of the Suffain Koh or Safed Koh (meaning White Mountain) range is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The Safed Koh range reaches up to 4,671 meters, creating a natural border between eastern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan. A range of smaller hills runs across the middle distance of the photograph, while the Safed Koh looms behind them. The British military camp can be seen stretching across the plain in the foreground. The Second Anglo-Afghan War ...
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Captured Guns, Kabul
This photograph of Afghan artillery captured during the British occupation of Kabul in October–December 1879 is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Sir Frederick Roberts (1832–1914), the commander of the Kabul Field Force, brought at least 20 field guns (usually horse-drawn mobile cannons) with his army during the conquest and occupation of Kabul during the second phase of the war. His move against Kabul was sparked by the assassination in September 1879 of Sir Pierre Louis Napoleon ...
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Camp on Shagai Heights
This photograph of the British camp on the Shagai Plateau is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The ascent to the Shagai Plateau begins shortly after the entrance to the Khyber Pass from the southeast (at Peshawar, in present-day Pakistan). The encampment of the conical tents of the Peshawar Valley Field Force stretches off into the horizon. The camels seen among the tents were used by the British and Indian troops to transport supplies and equipment. Smaller hills in ...
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Guns Captured at the Peiwar Kotal. Parked at Kohat
This photograph of captured Afghan artillery pieces at Peiwar Kotal is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Mobile field guns of various sizes are arrayed in front of a line of British tents. In the foreground is a row of trees, probably watered from the irrigation ditch alongside. Peiwar Kotal was the site of a battle in late November 1878 between British forces under Sir Frederick Roberts (1832–1914), who outmaneuvered Afghan forces under an unknown commander. The result ...
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Means of Carrying the Wounded
This photograph of a makeshift transport for a wounded British (Indian) soldier is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Two soldiers wearing sun-shielding pith helmets stand at the front of the photograph. They flank two Afghan camel drivers who likely are escorting the wounded soldier. The soldier’s head is swathed in bandages and he lies on a platform atop another dromedary camel. Because of their greater endurance in the harsh Afghan climate, camels were generally preferable to horses ...
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Engagement in the Khost Country from a Drawing
This photograph of a drawing of a military engagement near Khost (now Khowst), Afghanistan, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The identity of the artist is unknown. The image appears to show a skirmish in late 1878–January 1879 that involved the Kurram Valley Field Force fighting against unidentified Afghan adversaries. In the foreground are massed British cavalry and dragoons (mounted infantry), while ahead of them infantrymen fire upon the enemy in the distance. A section of the ...
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Mule Battery
This photograph of a battery of mules is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Mules historically were used by armies to transport supplies in difficult terrain and, occasionally, as mobile firing platforms for smaller cannons. Mules were also used to tow heavier wheeled field guns through treacherous mountain trails in Afghanistan. One of these slightly larger field guns sits in the left foreground of the photograph, surrounded by sepoys (Indian soldiers in the British Army). The Second Anglo-Afghan War ...
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Elephant and Mule Battery ("Dignity & Impudence")
This photograph of an elephant and mule battery is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The mule team on the left side of the photograph would have hauled supplies or towed the small field gun, while the elephants towed the larger gun. The men in the photograph are a mix of British soldiers and Indian sepoys. The group kneeling around the smaller, muzzle-loaded field gun is preparing to fire after the soldier at front left has used the ramrod ...
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Elephant Battery on the March
This photograph is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Elephants were commonly used as shock cavalry in the front lines of military campaigns throughout South and Southeast Asia until the end of the 19th century, when the introduction of advanced artillery and Gatling guns made them vulnerable to enemy fire. The British Indian Army, like their Mughal imperial predecessors, used war elephants to transport large quantities of cargo, but the main advantage of the elephant in late-19th-century military tactics ...
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Mule Battery on the March
This photograph of a mule battery on the march is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The British soldiers facing the camera are wearing pith helmets, which were made of spongy plant tissues, or occasionally of cork, and provided light-weight protection from the sun. The mules are carrying dissembled field guns, including wheels, barrels, and other parts. Mules had considerable advantages as pack animals in the rough terrain, being hardy, sure footed, and habituated to the altitude. The Second ...
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Gatling Guns in Action
This photograph of two British Army Gatling guns is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The Gatling gun, an American invention of the early 1860s, was among the first rapid-fire weapons. Used by European powers in colonial warfare as a means of countering attacks by numerically superior infantry, the guns were capable of inflicting massive casualties. The first use of the Gatling by the British Army was in the Afghan war, at the Battle of Charasia in October 1879 ...
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Afghan Trophies, Peiwar Kotal
This photograph of a pile of military "trophies" after the Battle of Peiwar Kotal in November 1878 is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Peiwar Kotal was the site of a battle in late 1878, between British forces under Sir Frederick Roberts (1832–1914), who outmaneuvered Afghan forces under an unknown commander. The result was a British victory and seizure of the Peiwar Kotal Pass. A young boy is perched atop the pile; he leans against a huge bass ...
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Group of Afghans
This photograph of a group of Afghan men is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Most of the men are armed with rifles or jezails (heavy Afghan muskets) and wear distinctive turbans. Pashtuns generally leave a length of turban cloth hanging down, so these men are probably from a smaller ethnic group. One lone exception has no head covering at all, and there is a Sikh soldier sitting on a chair in the center of the photograph. He wears ...
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Group of Afghans
This photograph of a group of Afghan men is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Most of the men are armed with jezails (elongated heavy muskets) and long daggers and wear distinctive turbans. Pashtuns generally leave a length of turban cloth hanging down, so these men are probably from a smaller ethnic group. The lone exception is the Sikh soldier standing in front of a tent at the back center of the photograph. He wears a British Army uniform ...
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General Hume and Staff at Kandahar, 1881
This photograph of the staff of Major-General Robert Hume at Kandahar is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Hume led the Southern Afghanistan Field Force and supervised the British withdrawal from Kandahar in April 1881. He is in the center, with a full beard and a sash across his chest. Surrounding him are the staff members who assisted him in coordinating the evacuation, along with two Baluch orderlies. The withdrawal from Kandahar marked the end of the war. The ...
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Medical Officers at Kandahar, 1881
This photograph of 24 medical officers of the Southern Afghanistan Field Force in Kandahar is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. It is estimated that at least 30 surgeon officers accompanied the field force in 1880 in the fighting that culminated at the Battle of Kandahar. The men pictured here were withdrawn from Kandahar by April 1881. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began in November 1878 when Great Britain, fearful of what it saw as growing Russian influence in Afghanistan ...
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Barrack Square, Kandahar, 78th Highlanders
This photograph of the 78th Highlanders at Barrack Square in Kandahar is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The 78th Highlanders, a Scottish infantry regiment then commanded by Colonel A.E. Warren, did not arrive in Afghanistan until November 1880. Most of the fighting was over by then, as the British victory at the Battle of Kandahar several months earlier was the last major battle of the war. In this photograph, the 78th Highlanders pose for a group portrait ...
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Signal Tower, Kandahar
This photograph of a ruined building in use as a British Army signal tower in Kandahar is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Soldiers are seen at various levels of the building, with officers at the top holding a tripod, a telescope, and other devices. The British Army of the 1870s used various signaling technologies, including where possible the telegraph, and heliographic semaphores, which transmitted Morse code by means of sunlight flashed from mirrors. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began ...
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Heyland Cart and Pack Mules
This photograph of a cart and pack mules outside of the Durrani Gate in Kandahar is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Mules were important pack animals in the often-difficult terrain, valued for their strength and patient, mild temperament. The photograph shows some of the different kinds of pack harnesses. The massive brick walls at the entrance gate to the city are visible in the background. The photograph is by Sir Benjamin Simpson (1831–1923), who captured many scenes ...
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Artillery Square, Kandahar
This photograph of British Army artillery unit in Kandahar is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. A large citadel, possibly Kandahar Bala Hissar (High Fort), dominates the skyline of the photograph, while the Kirka Sharif (Mosque of the Sacred Cloak) is visible in the left background. British soldiers are encamped across the square, near their light and heavy field guns. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began in November 1878 when Great Britain, fearful of what it saw as growing Russian ...
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Afghanistan, 1879-80
Afghanistan, 1879-80 is an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–80). The war began in November 1878 when Great Britain, fearful of what it saw as growing Russian influence in Afghanistan, invaded the country from British India. The first phase of the war ended in May 1879 with the Treaty of Gandamak, which permitted the Afghans to maintain internal sovereignty but forced them to cede control over their foreign policy to the British. Fighting resumed in September 1879 after an ...
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The First Afghan War
This book is a brief account, written for a popular audience, of the First Anglo-Afghan War, published in 1878, the year that marked the start of the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–80). The First Anglo-Afghan War began in June 1838 when the British launched an invasion of Afghanistan from India with the aim of overthrowing the Afghan ruler, Amir Dōst Moḥammad Khān, and replacing him with the supposedly pro-British former ruler, Shāh Shujāʻ. The British were at first successful. They installed Shāh Shujāʻ as ruler in Jalalabad and forced Dōst ...
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Afghanistan: A Map
This map, published in New York in 1879, appears to have been made to inform American audiences about the war then underway in Afghanistan. The conflict, which became known as the Second Anglo-Afghan War, began in November 1878, when Great Britain invaded Afghanistan from British India in order to check what it perceived as the growth of Russian influence in the country. The map was compiled, drawn, and published by Captains Jackson and Wyndham, who are identified only as “Late, H.B.M. Service,” meaning recently in the service of ...
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Letts's Bird's Eye View of the Approaches to India
This panoramic map dramatizes the approaches to British India through Afghanistan by offering a bird’s-eye view of the mountainous territory between the then-Soviet Union and the Indus River valley (present-day Pakistan). The map was produced, probably in the 1920s, by Letts, a famous London stationer and publisher of diaries that was established in 1796 by John Letts. The map was clearly intended for hobbyists and armchair strategists who, as advertised, could buy for six pence a packet of flags for sticking into the map to plan or follow military ...
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The Sun of the Day, Volume 1, Number 9, January 1874
Shams al-nahār (The sun of the day) is the earliest printed periodical published in Afghanistan. It is written in the Dari language. The Afghan ruler Sher ʻAlī Khān (reigned 1863−66 and 1868−79) introduced the printing press to Afghanistan following a trip to India, where he appears to have been impressed by technological advances under the British Raj. At least three lithographic presses are known to have been operating in Kabul during the second period of Sher ʻAlī Khān’s rule: the Shams al-nahār, the Murtaḍāwī, and the Muṣṭafawī ...
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Scenes and Adventures in Affghanistan
Scenes and Adventures in Affghanistan is a personal account, by a soldier in the army of the British East India Company, of his experiences during the First Anglo-Afghan War (1838−42). The author, Sergeant-Major William Taylor, tells of the march of his regiment from the vicinity of Bombay (present-day Mumbai) in India to the borders of Afghanistan. In the preface he states: “Mine is a simple, straightforward narrative of a soldier, more accustomed to wielding the sword than the pen…” The action takes place in 1838 and 1839. In Taylor ...
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The Afghan War, 1838−1842, from the Journal and Correspondence of the Late Major-General Augustus Abbott
Augustus Abbott (1804−67) was the eldest of five brothers, all of whom distinguished themselves as British soldiers. He joined the army at age 15 and served until his retirement in 1859 with the rank of major-general. During the First Anglo-Afghan War (1838−42), Abbott saw much action as commander of an artillery battery. This book is an account of the war, based on Abbott’s journals and correspondence, published during the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878−80), when reader interest in Afghanistan was high. The book was edited, with an ...
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Sale’s Brigade in Afghanistan, with an Account of the Seisure and Defence of Jellalabad
This book is a laudatory account of the actions of the First Bengal Brigade, commanded by Colonel Robert Henry Sale (1782−1845), in the First Anglo-Afghan War (1838−42). The war began in June 1838 when the British launched an invasion of Afghanistan from India with the aim of overthrowing its ruler, the amir, Dōst Moḥammad Khān, and replacing him with the supposedly pro-British former ruler Shah Shujāʻ. Sale’s brigade fought its way into the country and helped to install Shah Shujāʻ as ruler in Jalalabad. Dōst Moḥammad fled ...
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History of Afghanistan: Official Text-Book for the Examination of Military Officers in Interpretership Pushtu
Tārīkh-i-Afghānistān (History of Afghanistan) is a translation into Pashto of G.B. Malleson’s History of Afghanistan, from the Earliest Period to the Outbreak of the War of 1878 (1879). Published in Peshawar in 1930, the book was used as a textbook for British military officers serving in the Pashto-speaking areas of northwestern India (present-day Pakistan) and Afghanistan. Its purpose was to provide a language learning text that would at the same time introduce its readers to the history of the Pashto lands. The translation was done by Ahmad Jan ...
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Front View of the Church of Saint-Eustache, Occupied by the Insurgents
This engraving depicts a scene from the rebellions of 1837−38 in Canada, which were sparked by dissatisfaction with the political status quo. Discontent raged in particular over British dominance of the affairs of what were then still two separate colonies, Lower Canada (the southern portion of the present-day province of Quebec) and Upper Canada (the southern portion of the present-day province of Ontario). In the rebellion, the reform leaders of Lower Canada, the most prominent being Louis Joseph Papineau (1786−1871), drew on long-simmering political tensions to recruit a ...
Back View of the Church of Saint-Eustache and Dispersion of the Insurgents
This engraving depicts a scene from the rebellions of 1837−38 in Canada, which were sparked by dissatisfaction with the political status quo. Discontent raged in particular over British dominance of the affairs of what were then still two separate colonies, Lower Canada (the southern portion of the present-day province of Quebec) and Upper Canada (the southern portion of the present-day province of Ontario). In the rebellion, the reform leaders of Lower Canada, the most prominent being Louis Joseph Papineau (1786−1871), drew on long-simmering political tensions to recruit a ...
A Fortified Pass. Colonel Wetherall Advancing to the Capture of Saint-Charles
This engraving depicts a scene from the rebellions of 1837−38 in Canada, which were sparked by dissatisfaction with the political status quo. Discontent raged in particular over British dominance of the affairs of what were then still two separate colonies, Lower Canada (the southern portion of the present-day province of Quebec) and Upper Canada (the southern portion of the present-day province of Ontario). In the rebellion, the reform leaders of Lower Canada, the most prominent being Louis Joseph Papineau (1786−1871), drew on long-simmering political tensions to recruit a ...
Passage of the Richelieu River by Night
This engraving depicts a scene from the rebellions of 1837−38 in Canada, which were sparked by dissatisfaction with the political status quo. Discontent raged in particular over British dominance of the affairs of what were then still two separate colonies, Lower Canada (the southern portion of the present-day province of Quebec) and Upper Canada (the southern portion of the present-day province of Ontario). In the rebellion, the reform leaders of Lower Canada, the most prominent being Louis Joseph Papineau (1786−1871), drew on long-simmering political tensions to recruit a ...
Colonel Wetherall's Bivouac Shelter at Saint-Hilaire de Rouville
This engraving depicts a scene from the rebellions of 1837−38 in Canada, which were sparked by dissatisfaction with the political status quo. Discontent raged in particular over British dominance of the affairs of what were then still two separate colonies, Lower Canada (the southern portion of the present-day province of Quebec) and Upper Canada (the southern portion of the present-day province of Ontario). In the rebellion, the reform leaders of Lower Canada, the most prominent being Louis Joseph Papineau (1786−1871), drew on long-simmering political tensions to recruit a ...
The Uganda Journal, Volume I, Number 1, January 1934
The Uganda Literary and Scientific Society was established at Entebbe, Uganda Protectorate, in 1923. Its main activity consisted of the reading of papers and the delivery of lectures on topics relating to Uganda. In 1933 the society moved its headquarters to Kampala and decided to issue a regular publication, The Uganda Journal. The journal’s declared aim was “to collect and publish information which may add to our knowledge of Uganda and to record that which in the course of time might be lost.” Four issues per year were published ...
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A Memoir of India and Avghanistaun
Josiah Harlan (1799−1871) was an adventurer and soldier of fortune who possibly was the first American to travel to Afghanistan. Born in Pennsylvania into a large Quaker family, he went to Asia in 1823, where he found employment as a surgeon with the British East India Company. In 1827 he entered the service of Shah Shooja-ool-Moolk, the former leader of Afghanistan who had been deposed in 1810. Harlan remained in Afghanistan for 14 years, where he engaged in various intrigues with rival Afghan leaders, several times changing allegiances. During ...
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Campaign of the Indus: In a Series of Letters from an Officer of the Bombay Division
Campaign of the Indus: In a Series of Letters from an Officer of the Bombay Division is a privately published collection of letters, written by Lieutenant T.W. Holdsworth between November 27, 1838, and April 21, 1840. Holdsworth’s division was part of the Anglo-Indian force that invaded Afghanistan during the First Anglo-Afghan War of 1839–42. Most of the letters are addressed to Holdsworth’s father, A.H. Holdsworth, who wrote the introduction and edited and published the book. The introduction sketches some of the history of Afghanistan, from ...
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The Dome Hospital
This is a photograph of the interior of the Dome Hospital in Brighton, on the south coast of Britain. Several buildings in Brighton were converted into hospitals during the First World War to treat the thousands of Indian soldiers who were wounded while fighting in France. The most spectacular of these was the converted Royal Pavilion in Brighton, originally built in the “oriental” style for King George IV in the early 1800s. There were over 680 beds for wounded Indian soldiers in this hospital, and it was “fitted with every ...
Contributed by The British Library
Garvin Papers. Bound Notebook
In April 1915 Second Lieutenant Roland Gerard Garvin of the British Army enrolled in a course of instruction at Staff College in Camberley, Surrey, England. There he attended lectures on tactical instruction, topography, field engineering, administration, organization, military law, and hygiene. One of his lecturers was Major Hubert Conway Rees, who had commanded a battalion during the retreat from Mons in 1914. These notes and drawings by Garvin are from a tour of field works that he made as part of the course and that was led by Major Rees ...
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