sábado, 31 de agosto de 2013

The Afghan Regular Army, 1919

Kabul 2009; a friendly Afghan regular and his camel
I have received recently mi pre-order of "Chain of Command", so I have had not enought time for my "only" project, but I think it is an old problem of all of us...
Well. This time, I am going to write something about the Afghan Regular Army of 1919, a true "back of beyond" organization.
The real military strength of Afghanistan depended on the armed population rather than on the regular forces because, on the whole, the Afghan troops were ill-trained and lacked manoeuvrability. They could not be considered, by any standard, first class troops, although they had a great level of courage and endurance. There was not weapons training nor tactical exercises, so these troops were more liable to await than to initiate an attack.

At the begining of hostilities, the Afghan Regular Army comprised 21 regiments of Cavalry, 78 battalions of infantry and around 280 breech-loading guns and an equal number of muzzle-loaders chiefly posted on the Russian and Persian frontiers. The effectives totalled about 38,000 rifles, 8,000 sabres and 4,000 artillerymen and just half of these forces were stationed on the frontier with India.
There was no staff, nor attempt at a brigade organization except in Kabul, whose garrison of 17 battalions of infantry, 7 regiments of cavalry and 108 guns was in fact the strategy reserve of the Army. There were four mixed brigades in Kabul, every one with one regiment of cavalry, one battery of field and another of pack artillery, three battalions of infantry and three machine guns.
The Infantry varied considerably in armament and equipment; less than half the battalions were armed with small-bore rifles whilst the remaining units had Martini-Henrys or Sniders. The infantry wore also a bayonted, sometimes with an sword also, but there was no instruction in its use. The Officers and NCO´s were ignorant and deficient in everything.
When war broke out, no battalion had more than 75 percent of effectives, and many of them made up their numbers by drafting in armed tribesmen... adding a new problem to the discipline issue.
Only the Kabul units had a service dress consisted of a suit of khaki, puttes and ankle boots. The equipment was a leather belt with leather braces and three big pouches. The headdress was a round, black lambskin cap with, sometimes, a metal badge representing a mosque on a crescent. Men of other units frequently wore their local and everyday costume: a sheepskin coat, wide trousers and native shoes.

Afghan infantryman
The Cavalry were mounted in small but sturdy ponies, unsuited to shock action; they were armed with rifle and sword, but were little better than mounted infantry. The regiments in Kabul had lances, but they were seldom carried.
The Artillery in 1919 consisted on 10cm Krupp howitzers, 75mm Krupp pack guns and older 7-pounder mountain guns. There were also really old Gardner machine guns with multiple barrels, obsolete for more than twenty years in the British Army.
The field artillery was under-horsed and badly trained. Drills were infrequent, range practices were seldom carried out and field practices and calibration were unknown.
There was only an arsenal in Afghanistan, in Kabul, able to produce guns, rifles, shells, small-arms ammunition, clothes and general equipment. In Bawali, near Jalalabad, existed a factory for making black powder for the Sniders and Martini-Henrys. There was not a vehicular transport service, but there were plenty of camels available for military use in the country.
To facilitate the movement of troops, state granaries existed in the fortified post which marked the stages every 12 miles along the main roads.

Afghan Regular Cavalry
The Afghan Regular Army looked a rag-tag bunch, a true "Pancho Villa´s Army", but they could be expected to fight stoulty, and the rugged country and debilitated state of the Indian Army favoured them, in the sort term at least.
Finally, in adition to the regular troops, there were around 10,000 Khassadar (tribal militia) who wore not uniform, carried Snider rifles and were used on road protection, police work and general custom duties.

Waziri Khassadar at Miranshah
So this is the Afghan Regular Army, the enemy of the Imperial forces. I would like to have painted already some figures to represent them but... the time, the never abundant time.
I have though about to use Turkish or Arab in Turk service as Afghan regulars, but my hope is that Mr Hicks sculpt some of them soon.
In this moment I´m awaiting some terrain elements I have bought in E-Bay, and others I have ordered from Wargames News and Terrain. I´m also thinking about to adapt the new rulebook from Too Fat Lardies, "Chain of Command" and test it in a game; after playing a game of "Mud and Blood" I think it can be unnecessary complex for this period...

viernes, 23 de agosto de 2013

Terraforming the North-West Frontier

Bala Hissar of Peshawar
While I am painting the figures I need, I need also to look for suitable terrain elements. Fortunately, from my games of Darkest Africa and Modern Afghanistan I have been able to collect, in my home, some basic elements I can use without problem.
This is the game surface I have from En Cobertura (with some other terrain elements on it):

It is the game table I pepared, some months ago, to play a game of "Skirmish Sangin". Probably, it has a good size for an small skirmish, but I would like to have more modules. Sadly, in this moment, En Cobertura only sell them unpainted, and I have had a very bad experience painting their flexible surfaces:

Horrible experience. I´m not an artist of the terraformation...
It has been my main problem for a time; I need a game surface of a suitable size for different games, from an small clash between patrols to a siege, from the arid country of Afghanistan to the jungles of Vietnam, and I want that this surface has a reasonable quality. Finally, I bought this game mat from E-Minis Málaga:


This game mat is from Woodland Scenics, and I liked a lot its colour, perfect to represent a great number of different terrains and not only the desert (well, perhaps it can be a desert in Spring). Besides, it is not so expensive as the modular terrain, it need less space of storage and it is very easy to represent the contours of the terrain. I expect to use it in this same week with a Darkest Africa game to test another ruleset I have, "The Sword and the Flame".
Well, I have the game surface, but I need also other terrain elements. I would like to represent a landscape like this one:

Road repairs, North-West Frontier, 1919
Flat valleys, dry riverbeds, some scattered trees, patches of hard bush and the hills, the imposing hills.
I have some of these terrain elements already:

This is my "red fort" handmade by the great artist that is behind Wargames News and Terrain. I bought this one for my "Skirmish Sangin" games, but it is perfect for the Third Afghan War and, in fact, it is the main piece in my first scenario.
I have also some buildings, trees and other elements, form different sources:

This is a model from Mutineer Miniatures; a great quality building.
But I need a lot of other elements, and I have found some interesting sites in the web that are the main reason of this entry: to share that information:
An interesting seller in Ebay; very nice items, and cheap too! I pretend to buy some of them, specially hills and brush dots.
A modelling service with great elements. I like a lot the olive trees.
Another one, with wonderful buildings. They have a fort perfect for some games.
This one has the palms I need. I have, actually, also some of their walls.
And, of course, for my roads and rivers, this one:
A great company with excellent products. I´m very interested in their animal enclosure and oasis:
As with other entries, I pretend to update this one or to write other "chapters" of this one when I have new information about terrain elements I´m interested in.
And now, to paint more Afghan tribesmen!

domingo, 18 de agosto de 2013

Frontier Tribesmen

Group of Afridi fighters, 1878
Now, it is the time to write something about the Afghan tribesmen.
At the begining of the war, the Amir´s call to a Holy War had not been received with general enthusiasm by the tribes of the Frontier. The Afghan Pathans between Jalalabad and Dakka were eager for war whilst the Afridi and Mohmands of the British side of the Durand Line were not so actively hostile; and this was a problem for Amanullah Khan because the true strong of Afghanistan lies in the armed tribesmen rather than in the regular army raised by a form of conscription which took a man in eight for life service. Of course, they were not the pick of the country...
The most warlike of the inhabitants of Afghanistan were the Pathan tribes of Eastern Afghanistan, precisely those situated in front of the British forces. All these Pathans were serious Mohammedans, susceptible to be called to a religious war by the Amir or by the many mullahs that hated the British and also overwhelmingly hard hillmen in contrast with the Afghan, that were mainly plains dwellers. They were first-class fighters, and the best armed and more warlike of them lived in the area between the Durand Line and the Administrative Border.
There was, in fact, an order among the tribes in terms of their fighting quality. The Mahsuds were the most formidable adversaries followed nearly by the Afridis and Mobmands but all of them shared the same broad characteristics: hardy, implacable in their vengeances, tactically sophisticated, fiercely Muslim and independent and hostile to ALL authority. They lived under a common and rigid code of behaviour, Pakhtunwali, based in badal (blood vengeance), malmastia (hospitality) and nanawati (asylum). Living in a hill country of low fertility, the tribesmen had for centuries been accustomed to raiding down into the plains of India or levying tolls on travellers through their lands

There were, probably, half a million Pathan fighting men, many of them armed with more or less modern rifles and all of them very expert in mountain guerrilla war. Although British subjects and receivers of annual allowances of money from the British Government, all of them enjoyed an almost complete independence in their tribal areas and didn´t think they were subjects of the Crown.
The Pathans were expert in guerrilla warfare; were full of Muslim fanatism and, also, love of plunder. They were quick to rally under the Amir´s standard if it suited their interest or it was not too dangerous, but they rarely fougth at any great distance from their homes. Each man carried his rifle, ammunition, a knife and a supply of flour in a bag of undressed sheepskin. Because this flour was easily spoiled by the action of rain or perspiration, or when it was consumed, the men went of at any moment to their homes for more.
The brave tribesmen made an effective use  of the rugged terrain and could be very aggresive if the prospects of exit were good but they could not compete with the weaponry and discipline of the British forces in set-piece actions, so sniping at columns on the march was more effective (and safe) for them; also, the attack against picquets or rearguard units.

By this time, the tribesmen had replaced their old jezzails with breech-loading rifles such as the Martini-Henry or the Lee-Metford. In adition, the tribesmen carried tulwars (curved swords) and chora (heavy knives) for the close combat. Tribes that were not sustained by the British (or Afghan) subsidies made do with older weapons, but those tribes who could afford them, bought European rifles. From 1908, most tribesmen carried Martini-Henry and the luckier - or more skilled thieves of them - carried Lee-Metford or Lee-Enfield. The tribal craftmen were also really skillful at reproducing European weapons so these tribesmen were now the most dangerous adversary of the British forces.
The Pathan were tall and lean men dressed in a coarse home-spun angarka (shirt), loose white trousers, sandals ans a cummerbund holding a knife. The common headdress was a pointed cap (kullah) rounded with a strip of material (lungi) to form a medium-size turban.
The headmen (maliks) had a more ornate costume, with, by example, crimson waistcoats covered with gold lace.
The turban could be of a bright red, white, blue, etc. and the lungi (sash) could have solid colours or narrow stripes of black, yellow, red or blue.
Although white was the most common colour used for the angarka, red, blue and grey were also worn. To counter the bitter Afghan winter, tribesmen wore a poshteen, a shepskin coat with hair on the inside. Its ammount of embroidery depended of wealth and status.

The clothing worn by the Pathans varied from tribe to tribe but the basic garment was that indicated here. The Waziris, by example, tended to favour a dark-red or indigo turban and a dark-red or pink waist sash; the Kurram Valley tribes wore an angarka of dark blue and the Khyber Pass Afridis usually wore a grey or blue angarka with off-white trousers.
For this entry I would like to have had the command group of the Empress Miniatures Afghan tribesmen painted, but it has been not possible; some painting commissions and this horrible hot have prevented it.
In their place, I have this figure from Scarab Miniatures, a downed pilot in the middle of a very delicate moment that I´m thinking about to use in a "Rescue the Pilot" game, perhaps in the middle of the Kabul valley...

I like a lot the figures from Scarab Miniatures; they are not anatomically perfect, and are, in fact, a bit "chunkies" but they have a lot of character in them and I like to paint them!

domingo, 11 de agosto de 2013

20th Duke of Cambridge´s Own Infantry (Brownlow´s Punjabis)

20th Duke of Cambridge´s Own Infantry in Egypt, 1882
I have chosen this British Indian Army regiment as the first one of my own collection of units for my project... but it didn´t participate in the Third Afghan War!
No problem; all of them are very similar.
This regiment was raised in 1857 as the 8th Regiment of Punjab Infantry and was designated as the 20th Duke of Cambridge´s Own Infantry in 1904. Today, it is the 6th Battalion, The Punjab Regiment in the modern Pakistan Army.
The regiment was raised on August 1857 by Lieutenant Charles Henry Brownlow from drafts of the 4th and 5th Punjab Infantry as a part of the army raised to suppress the Great Indian Mutiny. After this bitter war, the Regiment took part in the Second Opium War against China, taking part in the assault to the Taku Forts in 1860. In 1861, the regiment become part of the line as the 24th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry but was renumbered as the 20th Regiment later in the year.
In 1863, it took part in the Umbeyla Campaing in the North-West Frontier, in the first of its many engagement against the Pathan tribes. In 1864, the regiment was designed as the 20th (Punjab) Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry and took part in the Black Mountain Expedition.
Painting by Walter Fane, 1868
The regiment took part in the Second Afghan War, advancing into the Khyber Pass to clear Afghan forces at Ali Masjid fortress. In 1882, the regiment was dispatched to Egypt as part of the expeditionary force to suppress the revolt of Arabi Pasha, taking part in the battle of Tel-el-Kebir. In honour of its service in Egypt, the Duke of Cambridge was appointed as its honorary colonel in 1883 and the regiment was retitled (again) as the 20th (Duke of Cambridge´s Own) (Punjab) Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry.
In 1891 and 1897, the regiment took part in new expeditions in the North-West Frontier and in 1900 was sent to China to suppress the Boxer Rebellion.
After the reforms brought about in the Indian Army by Lord Kitchener, the regiment received a new designation, 20th Duke of Cambridge´s Own Punjabis in 1903 and then 20th Duke of Cambridge´s Own Infantry (Brownlow´s Punjabis) in 1904.
During the Great War, the regiment saw active service in Mesopotamia and Palestine, taking part in the capture of Kut-al-Amara in September 1915. In May 1918 it returned finally to India.

30rd Punjabis and 2oth Duke of Cambridge
In 1921-22 there was a major reorganization in the British Indian Army, grouping four to six battalions in a same regiment. In this way, the 14th Punjab Regiment was formed by grouping the 20th Punjabis with the 19th, 21th, 22th and 24th Punjabis and the 40th Pathans. The new designation of the battalion was 2nd Battalion (Duke of Cambridge´s Own) 14th Punjab Regiment. During the Second World War, the battalion was part of the British garrison of Hong Kong but, after a siege of 18 days, the battalion surrendered and spent the rest of the war in Japanese captivity.
In 1947 the battalion was allocated to Pakistan Army and fought, in 1948, in the war with India in Kashmir and in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965.
And this is the history of this interesting Regiment.
I like a lot the green touch in the kullahs, and perhaps it is the main reason to choose this unit for painting my first Indian Army figures. I have painted some more figures for this unit:

They are, again, from Woodbine Design and this time I have painted the LMG team and one of the British officers.
I have also painted another of my old Foundry figures from the North-West Frontier range:

It is an Afghan regular soldier for the Second Afghan War. Perhaps I will use him as a Khassadar militiaman, or an "old timer"...

domingo, 4 de agosto de 2013

The Road to War (UPDATED)

Amanullah Khan
It´s time to begin with the history of the war. I pretend to write some entries dedicated to the first steps to the war and the war itself. I am reliing principally in Brian Robson´s book "Crisis on the Frontier", but I have found (or am waiting) some other sources. My idea is to update these entries with the new information, in blue letters.
As we have seen, the Amanullah´s attack against India could be perfectly a dangerous gamble, but it had some elements in his favour.
In that moment, there was in India an intense Muslim feeling aroused by the defeat of Turkey in the Great War, a dangerous one, because the 40% of the Indian Army had a Muslim component. There was also a difficult internal situation because of the shortages of food and other goods caused by the war-time mobilization and the enlistment of so many men in the Indian Army, something that had led to a massive increases in prices. These wartime sacrifices had increased also the pressures for an Indian self-government.
At the begining of 1919, these factors combined finally to produce a wave of riotings and destruction, particularly extreme in the Punjab, that led to the tragedy of Amristar. Amanullah was very well informed on all this, but some of his information was a bit exaggerated, as the likelihood of an uprising in India, where "there were thousands of Hindus and Muslims ready to give their lives for the Amir".
Como ya hemos visto, el ataque de Amanullah contra la India podía ser perfectamente una apuesta peligrosa, pero tenía algunos elementos a su favor.
En ese momento, había en la India un intenso sentimiento pro-musulmán debido a la derrota de Turquía en la Gran Guerra, y que podía ser peligroso al tener el Ejército Indio un componente musulmán del 40%. Había también una situación interna muy difícil debida a las privaciones de comida y otros bienes causadas por la movilización para la guerra y el alistamiento de tantos hombres en el Ejército Indio, algo que había llevado a un incremento masivo de los precios. Los sacrificios debidos a la guerra habían incrementado también los deseos de la India de tener su propio gobierno.
A principios de 1919 estos factores se combinaron finalmente para producir una oleada de manifestaciones violentas y de destrucción, particularmente extremas en el Punjab, que llevaron a la tragedia de Amristar. Amanullah estaba muy bien informado de todos esos hechos, aunque parte de dicha información era un tanto exagerada, como la de la posibilidad de un levantamiento en la India donde " había miles de hindúes y musulmanes listos para dar sus vidas por el Emir".

With his own forces totally inadequated for the task of defeating the Indian Army, the most important element for Amanullah Khan to attack India was the attitude of the cis-border tribes. They were really annoyed by the defeat of Turkey in the war against the angrezi, and were also better armed than before, so they were really a powder keg and very dangerous if properly coordinated. But the tribes were notorious for their independence and unreliability. It was impossible to organize and coordinate an uprising of all the tribes in the Frontier, so Amanullah could only hope that a declaration of war followed by some initial success would ignite a general tribal uprising.
Con sus propias fuerzas totalmente inadecuadas para la tarea de derrotar al Ejército Indio, el elemento más importante en el plan de ataque de Amanullah era la actitud de las tribus situadas a ambos lados de la frontera. Éstas estaban realmente molestas por la derrota de Turquía a manos de los ingleses, y estaban también mejor armadas que nunca antes, por lo que eran en realidad un inestable barril de pólvora, muy peligrosas si se conseguía coordinarlas. Pero las tribus eran famosas por su independencia y poca fiablidad. Era imposible organizar y coordinar un levantamiento de todas las tribus de la Frontera, por lo que Amanullah sólo podía confiar en que una declaración de guerra y algunos éxitos iniciales precipitaría un levantamiento general espontáneo.

In the early part of 1919, Amanullah issued a firman to the tribes of both sides of the border, calling on them to be ready to support an uprising in India; in spite of his many presents of weapons and ammunition, the result would prove disappointing due to the opportunistic nature of the tribes, except in Waziristan.
En la primera parte de 1919, Amanullah convocó a todas las tribus de ambos lados de la frontera para que estuvieran listas para apoyar un levantamiento en la India; a pesar de muchos regalos de armas y municiones, el resultado iba a ser decepcionante debido a la oportunista naturaleza de las tribus, excepto en Waziristán.

Hill tribesmen
Amanullah and his advisers never formulated a clear-cut set of objetives, and too much depended upon success in raising the tribes and upon the development of the situation in India (an armed rising). It had neccessarily to be a war of limited objetives. Three of them had been inherited by Amanullah from his father and grandfather and were witihin the bounds of practicality:
The first one was the rectification of the Durand Line, traced by Sir Henry Mortimer Durand in 1893, in Afghanistan´s favour this time.
Amanullah y sus asesores nunca llegaron a formular una clara lista de objetivos para la guerra, y demasiado se dejó en manos de un posible levantamiento de las tribus y del desarrollo de la situación en la India. Tenía que ser por necesidad una guerra de objetivos limitados y tres de ellos habían sido heredados por Amanullah de su padre y su abuelo, estando además dentro de los límites de lo práctico.
El primero era la rectificación de la Línea Durand, trazada por Sir Henry Mortimer Durand en 1893, en favor de Afganistán esta vez.

The second was the recovery of territory and influence over areas in which Afghanistan had exercised sway before the Second Afghan War of 1878. But the main objetive, the one that had the heart of Amanullah, was regaining control of Afghan external affairs, to make the country fully independent from the British influence. Besides, nothing could be better calculated to unite all sections of Afghan society. For the national regeneration, both social and economic of Afghanistan, Amanullah would need the help from other countries, and he need to be able to negiotiate with completely free hands.
El segundo era la recuperación de territorio e influencia en áreas en las que Afganistán había ejercido su voluntad antes de la Segunda Guerra Afgana de 1878. Pero el objetivo principal, el que tenía todo el apoyo de Amunallah, era la recuperación del control de los asuntos externos del pais para hacer que Afganistán fuera totalmente independiente de la influencia británica. Además, nada podía estar mejor calculado para unir a todos los sectores de la sociedad afgana. Para la regeneración social y económica de Afganistán Amanullah iba a necesitar la ayuda de otros paises, y necesitaba ser capaz de negociar con ellos con sus manos totalmente libres.

Amanullah had also some hope of Bolshevik support, but it was not in place before the begining (and the end) of the conflict, because the war came, finally, with a remarkable speed and caught not only the Bolsheviks, but also the Indian authorities napping. Lord Chelmsford (Jr), Viceroy of India, did not expect troubles with Afghanistan and the Army was not taking precautions for it (in fact, it was demobilizing units from the war establishment).
At the begining of May, Amanullah issued a public firman saying that he believed that the peoples of India had been badly rewarded for their loyalty during the Great War and were justified in rising against the British. On the other hand, because he was afraid that those disturbances might spread into Afghanistan, he sent his Commander in Chief, Saleh Muhammad, with troops to the eastern frontier. On 2 May, Chelmsford reported that Saleh Muhammad, "on a frontier tour", had arrived at Dakka (Afghan territory) with two companies of Infantry and two guns, and was quickly followed by another 2,000 regular troops; 1,500 men were despatched to Kandahar and 2,000 to Khost to join there Nadir Shah, the old Commander in Chief under Habibullah, probably the best Afghan General.
Amanullah también tenía cierta esperanza de ayuda por parte de los Bolcheviques, pero esto no pudo cuajarse antes del comienzo (y el final) del conflicto, debido a que la guerra llegó, finalmente, con notoria rapidez y cogió por sorpresa no sólo a los bolcheviques, sino también a las autoridades de la India. Lord Chelmsford (hijo del famoso), Virrey de la India, no esperaba problemas con Afganistán y el Ejército no estaba tomando precauciones (de hecho, estaba desmovilizando a sus fuerzas del nivel de guerra).
A comienzos de mayo, Amanullah declaró publicamente que creía que los pueblos de la India habían sido malamente recompensados por su lealtad durante la Gran Guerra y que estaban justificados en alzarse contra los británicos. Pero, como le preocupaba que tales disturbios se extendieran dentro de Afganistán, envió a su Comandante en Jefe, Saleh Muhammad, con tropas a la frontera oriental.
El 2 de mayo, Chelmsford informó que Saleh Muhammad había llegado a Dakka, en territorio afgano, con dos compañías de Infantería y dos cañones, y que fue rapidamente seguido por otros 2000 hombres; 1500 fueron enviados a Kandahar y 2000 a Khost para reunirse con Nadir Shah, anterior Comandante en Jefe bajo  Habibullah, probablemente el mejor General afgano.

Dakka, 1919
From Dakka, Saleh Muhammad moved on to Bagh, in what the Indian Government considered as Indian territory (it was a point that the Durand Line had never formally demarcated), to made a personal inspection of the springs... that provided the water supply for the British post at Landi Kotal. On 4th May, his Afghan troops took up their positions in the area.

Desde Dakka, Saleh Muhammad avanzó hacia Bagh, en lo que el Gobierno de la India consideraba territorio propio (éste era un punto en el que la Línea Durand no había sido formalmente demarcada), para realizar una inspección personal de los pozos... que proporcionaban agua al puesto militar británico en Landi Kotal.

On 3rd May, a party of Khyber Rifles detailed to escort a caravan through the Khyber Pass, was met and turned back by picquets of armed tribesmen under the command of a notorious raider, Zar Shah. Then, 150 Afghan regulars occupied Kafir Kot ridge and Bagh village, on the British side of the frontier. On the 4th May, further reinforcements of Khassadars and Shinwaris reached Bagh and cut the water supply of Landi Kotal. On the 5th May, further reinforcements of Afghan regulars arrived at Bagh whilst a column of two Indian infantry companies, a section of mountain artillery and one section of sappers and miners reached Landi Kotal as reinforcements.
El 3 de mayo, un grupo de los Khyber Rifles enviado a escoltar una caravana por el Paso de Khyber fue detenido y rechazado por piquetes de guererros tribales bajo el mando de un notorio bandido, Zar Shah. 150 regulares afganos ocuparon entonces Kafir Kot y la aldea de Bagh, ambos en el lado británico de la frontera. El 4 de mayo, nuevos refuerzos de Khassadar y Shinwaris llegaron a Bagh y cortaron el suministro de agua a Landi Kotal. El día 5 llegaron aun más refuerzos a Bagh mientras una pequeña columna formada por dos compañías de infantería India, una sección de artillería de montaña y una sección de zapadores llegarona Landi Kotal también como refuerzo de la guarnición.

In the Kurram, Jafis and Afghan regulars had commenced to build fortifications on the Peiwar Kotal, so British regular troops were asked to protect the Turi inhabitants, and a column left Thal on the 5th of May.
The next day, general mobilization was ordered and war was declared on Afghanistan.
En el Kurram, Jafis y tropas regulares afganas habían comenzado a construir fortificaciones en el Peiwar Kotal, por lo que se solicitó la presencia de tropas británicas para proteger a los Turi locales, y una columna dejó Thal el día 5 de mayo.
El siguiente día, se ordenó una movilización general, y se declaró la guerra a Afganistán.

About the figures, in spite of this terrible summer, I have painted some more of them:

Indian Army figures from Woodbine Design

Afghan Tribesmen from Empress Miniatures
I need to paint other 30 Indian troops for the scenario, the mountain gun and the mules and the command group for the Afghan side; then, some civilians, more tribesmen for the possible reinforcements and some terrain elements... It never ends!!!
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