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The Raj and Afghanistan

The Raj and Afghanistan

Old Dec 25th 2019, 11:20 am
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Default The Raj and Afghanistan

Listening to the audiobook of "Return of The King" by William Dalrymple about the First Anglo-Afghan War.

"You have contrived to bring an army into Afghanistan. How do you plan to leave ?"

I wonder if our military and political leaders knew anything of this history before engaging on the current war in Afghanistan ?
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Old Dec 25th 2019, 11:56 am
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Default Re: The Raj and Afghanistan

Military, yes; political, no.
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Old Dec 25th 2019, 5:52 pm
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Default Re: The Raj and Afghanistan

There was much chatter about the Afghan Wars at the time of the current invasion. Everyone knew of it, whether that translated to internalizing that knowledge, probably not.
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Old Dec 25th 2019, 7:03 pm
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Default Re: The Raj and Afghanistan

The current war in Afghanisatn came about because President Bush wanted to "kick *ss" for 9/11,, regardless of where guilt for that atrocity lay.
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Old Dec 26th 2019, 12:38 am
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Default Re: The Raj and Afghanistan

I am a big fan of the Flashman novels and the one set during the Afghan retreat is one of the best, I think it might have been the first book in the series.
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Old Dec 26th 2019, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: The Raj and Afghanistan

And there is still no sign of attempted wthdrawal. Maybe Il Trumpo will decide on coitus interruptus without consulting his satraps.
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Old Dec 26th 2019, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: The Raj and Afghanistan

I wonder if readers will get the "satrap" reference.

If in doubt, Wikipedia is your pal, even if it is run by Americans !
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 2:09 am
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Default Re: The Raj and Afghanistan

I was on holiday in Llangrannog fifteen or more years ago and looking around the graves in the cemetery there was one for a man who was involved in a long march after a defeat in Afghanistan.
Don't remember the exact circumstances but always wondered.
Gonna read this book now and see if it enlightens me.
Might even return to Llangrannog to check in detail.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 6:24 am
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Default Re: The Raj and Afghanistan

There were three Anglo-Afghan wars. Two were fought in the C19th and the third in the early C20th, shortly after WWI.

The First Anglo-Afghan war started in 1839 and ended in late 1841/early 1842 when the British were forced to negotiate a truce and began their retreat from Kabul. There were about 12,000 civilians and + 4,000 troops, and many died in the cold and snow before they reached the Khurd Kabul pass. Most of the rest died when there were ambushed in the pass despite the agreement to let them leave.

The legend states that only one man survived the retreat, but sources suggest that others - including families held by the Afghans - made it out later.
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Old Feb 15th 2020, 2:21 pm
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Default Re: The Raj and Afghanistan

I had forgotten about the Third War

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Anglo-Afghan_War

Amazing that so many people still boast that they are "proud of what The Empire did"
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Old Feb 15th 2020, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: The Raj and Afghanistan

Dalrymple has a new book out "The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company"
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Old Feb 15th 2020, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: The Raj and Afghanistan

Yes I have the audiobook. All I need is the time to read it. So many books, so little time.
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Old Feb 15th 2020, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: The Raj and Afghanistan

In the 30's a young Toronto Star reporter named Gordon Sinclair took a tour up there, until he was recalled to go cover WW2. His book about it is an amusing chronicle of that travel.
https://archive.org/details/in.ernet...ge/n5/mode/2up
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