Crisis on the frontier: the Third Afghan War and the campaign in Waziristan 1919-1920

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Spellmount, 2004 - History - 318 pages
This is the first serious study of the little known Third Anglo-Afghan War and the subsequent campaign in Waziristan and it is based on original official and private papers backed by contemporary photographs and specially drawn maps. Using contemporary sources, as well as analysis based on a lifetime study of military history, the author provides a vivid and thoughtful study of perhaps the last of the great Imperial campaigns. The British deployed virtually the full panoply of contemporary military technology--artillery, machine guns, trench mortars, armored cars, mechanical transport and aircraft. When the Indian infantry proved unable to cope with the tribesmen there were even calls for the use of poison gas. Yet in the end it all came down, as always, to the infantry with rifle, bayonet and grenade and the book has tales of sacrifice and gallantry, as well as panic where generals jostled with soldiers in an effort to find a way out. The author brings out the vital nature of the RAF's contribution and of the gallantry of the pilots flying obsolescent and unreliable aircraft over difficult mountainous terrain in hot weather and with the raid on Kabul, strategic bombing could be said to have arrived. Above all, the author has created a vivid portrait of the Frontier warfare in which generations of British soldiers learned their trade--Slim, Montgomery, Alexander, Auchinleck, Wavell to name a few.

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n The Battlefield and the Antagonists
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MayJuly 1919

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