Foolish political policies and military incompetence lead to bloody disaster for the British in the First Afghan War!
In 1876, George Armstrong Custer and some 268 some members of the US Army’s 7th cavalry were “massacred” in battle against native Lakota and Cheyenne warriors in the valley of the Little Bighorn River. This signal, but ultimately meaningless, defeat of a “modern” military force by technologically inferior tribal warriors is very well known in America; thanks to countless books and not a few films that deal with the subject.
What is almost universally forgotten is the far greater and more politically significant destruction of a much larger British army just 34 years earlier, by Afghan tribesman in the snowbound passes of eastern Afghanistan.
Afghanistan was a pawn in the “Great Game” for control of Central Asia and India. Seen here in a political cartoon of the day, Afghanistan is courted…
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