Whilst the boundaries between Afghanistan and India were agreed between the British and the Amir Sher Ali in 1873 (for which he was to receive a financial subsidy). In 1877 he refused to have a British Resident at Kabul and raised a well equipped army and started to create an anti British sentiment with the tribes. In August 1878, signed a treaty with Russia which in turn was seen as a threat to British India, following which the British readied their forces in to 3 columns.
On 21st Nov 1878 the Peshawur Force crossed the border at Jamrud and captured the hill fortress of Ali Musjid and a second Kurram Force crossed the border and defeated the Afghans at Peiwar Kotal. Sher Ali the fled Kabul and his son, Yakub Khan assumed command and agreed a peace settlement.
On 24th July 1879, Sir Louis Cavagnari the appointed British Resident was murdered along with other British Resident and their bodyguard and following this, General Roberts took the Kabul Field Force and defeated the Afghans at Charasia on 6th October. A further defeat for the Afghans followed at Ahmed Khel on April 19th 1880. Yakub abdicated and was replaced by pro British Abdur Rahman (Sher Ali’s nephew), however, Yakub’s brother Ayub Khan also claimed the throne and marched to Kandahra with a force of 25,000 men and defeated an Angl Indian force at Maiwand on 27th July.
General roberts with 10,000 men marched from Kabul to Kandahar and defeated Ayub Khan outside of Khandahar on 1st Septemeber. The Kandahar Star was awarded to all who took part on this memorable march which took 22 days.
After this battle the war came to an end with the Afghanistan government in the hands of Abdur Rahman.
55,791 medals were issued. The Kandahar Star was issued for those that also took part on the March and was made from guns captured from Ayub Khan’s army.
16 VC’s were awarded including 2 for Maiwand.
A little after 9am, the artillery to the right of Picquet Hill began its bombardment of the Babawali pass – the Afghans replied with a three field-gun battery. However, before Roberts could push his army forward, Afghan positions in the villages of Gundi Mulla Sahibdad on the British right and Gundigan on the British left, had to be cleared. British and Sikh troops at Kandahar 1880. Artillery support was frequently ineffective and on occasions the Afghan artillery proved to be better equipped than the British.
The battle at Gundi Mulla Sahibdad was hard fought. General Macpherson advancing his 92nd Highlanders and 2nd Gurkhas met determined resistance to the attack that included a bayonet charge by the Highlanders. Both sides suffered casualties, but the Afghans came off far worse – possibly losing up to 200 men. After the village had been pacified, the brigade pushed towards the southwesterly point of Pir Paimal, constantly harassed by determined Afghan resistance.
Whilst General Macpherson advanced against Gundi Mulla Sahibdad, General Baker moved against Gundigan – the 72nd Highlanders and the 2nd Sikh Infantry in the van. Again the fighting was hard fought – the Afghans holding well-defended positions that only a concerted effort by the attackers could dislodge. However, the left wing of the 72nd (supported by 5th Gurkhas) finally took the village, whilst the right wing supported the Sikhs, battling through the orchards between the two villages. As General Baker’s brigade moved forward into the open it came under artillery fire from the extremity of the Pir Paimal hill and massed attacks from Ghazis; the latter resolutely repelled by the Highlanders and Sikhs.
The two brigades could now together move forward. Mcpherson’s brigade moved close around the spur to take the village of Pir Paimal. Having passed the village, the 92nd Highlanders under command of Major White met with determined resistance south west of the Babawali Pass. Despite reinforcements from Ayub Khan’s main camp at Mazra, Macpherson stormed the position – Major White’s Highlanders in the van supported by the 5th Gurkhas and 23rd Pioneers. Again a determined resistance and steady fire from the Afghans (many of whom firing from the slopes of the Pir Paimal hill) caused many Highlander casualties, but despite heavy losses, the British dispersed some 8000 Afghans at bayonet point.
While Macpherson’s brigade advanced close under the ridge, Baker’s troops swept wider on the left; Colonel Money having been assigned to take possession of the Kharoti hill. From the northern end of the hill, Colonel Money could see Ayub Khan abandon his camp at Mazra in the face of the advancing forces of Macpherson and Baker.
Roberts had by now ordered MacGregor’s 3rd brigade to Pir Paimal village to where he himself and General Ross (commander of the whole infantry division) were to move. Here, General Ross, unable to discern the situation, ordered the forward brigades to halt and replenish their spent ammunition. However, this delay provided Ayub Khan some respite. When the British finally entered the camp at 1pm, it was deserted, save for the smartly abandoned detritus of an army in retreat.
Ayub Khan’s army was now in full rout. Although the plan for General Gough’s cavalry to intercept the retreating Afghans did not work in practice, it was clear the British had achieved a decisive victory.
The Battle of Peiwar Kotal was fought on 28–29 November 1878 between British forces under Sir Frederick Roberts and Afghan forces under Karim Khan, during the opening stages of the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The British were victorious, and seized the strategic Peiwar Kotal Pass leading into Afghanistan.
The Battle of Ahmed Khel was fought between the British Empire with its British and Indian armies and the Afghans on the road between Kandahar and Kabul on 19 April 1880 in what now is the country of Afghanistan. The battle ended in a British victory. This battle occurred during General Donald Stewart’s march from Kandahar to Ghazni, then on to Kabul.
The British forces, consisting of 7,200 British and Indian troops, were commanded by Lieutenant General Sir Donald Stewart. On the opposite side were 15,000 tribesmen mounted and on foot of the Andarees, Tarkees, Suleiman Khels and other Afghan tribes, lead by unknown tribal leaders.
The Indian regiments were commanded by British officers, but these were not present in sufficient numbers to command such inexperienced military units as the Indian forces. The proportion was 7 British officers to 650 Indian infantry soldiers, which wasn’t enough since all tactical decisions on the battlefield were made by the British.
Kabul to Kandahar Star
The Kabul to Kandahar Star, also knowns as the Roberts Star or Kandahar Bronze Star was awarded to those troops who participated in the 320 mile march from Kabul to Kandahar in Afghanistan between 9–31 August 1880, under the command of General Frederick Roberts.