History of the War in Affghanistan, from Its Commencement to Its Close


History of the War in Affghanistan, from its Commencement to its Close is a narrative of the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839–42). The book is based on the journal and letters of an anonymous, high-ranking British officer, who purportedly served many years in the British army in India. Published in London in 1843, the book was edited by Charles Barnes Nash (1815–92), a British lawyer who was extensively engaged in the affairs of public companies in Great Britain. The book is comprised of 14 chapters, beginning with a general description of the country and its people and a history of the Durrani Empire (1747–early 19th century), the predecessor state to modern Afghanistan. The war began when the British launched an invasion with the aim of overthrowing the Afghan ruler, Amir Dost Mohammad Khan, and replacing him with the supposedly pro-British former ruler, Shah Shujaʻ. The invaders were at first successful. They installed Shah Shujaʻ in Jalalabad and forced Dost Mohammad to flee the country. But in 1841 Dost Mohammad returned to Afghanistan to lead an uprising against the invaders and Shah Shujaʻ. The rebellion forced the British force to retreat to India; the force was then annihilated by Afghan tribesmen. In the end, the war proved futile, as Dost Mohammad eventually returned to rule Afghanistan. History of the War in Affghanistan, from its Commencement to its Close recounts the stages of the war in chronological order, beginning with the declaration of war at Simla, British India, and concluding with the complete British withdrawal from Afghanistan in October 1842.

Last updated: July 27, 2016