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"Maiwand Day 138" Topic

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Mad Guru28 Jul 2018 12:01 a.m. PST

July 27th, 1880, the day Brigadier General George Burrows led his brigade of approximately 2,500 British and Indian troops to defeat at the hands of 15,000 – 18,000 Afghan regular army, tribal, and ghazi fanatic troops, on a bare plain across Mundabad Ravine from the twin hamlets of Mundabad and Khig, about 2.5 miles South-West of the village of Maiwand. It was the one major battle of the Second Afghan War which the Afghans won in a decisive victory.

The reasons for the Afghan victory and British defeat are generally agreed to be:

(1) a lack of quality on the part of the British command, which advanced across the ravine and onto the plain without first reconnoitering the ground and discovering it included 3 gullies, running the entire length of the plain and terminating in the ravine. These 3 "nullahs" provided cover and concealment for a large number of the Afghan troops as they advanced on the British position.

(2) the Afghans' tremendous advantage in artillery, outnumbering British guns by six to one, including Armstrong breechloaders, while the two British artillery batteries were both armed with muzzle-loaders.

(3) the terrible heat combined with unfortunate timing which kept all three Anglo-Indian infantry battalions from eating breakfast before moving into action, and from taking a sufficient water supply with them into the the fighting line.

Nearly 1,000 British and Indian officers and men KIA, and almost 200 WIA.

Afghan casualties were estimated at 3,000.

Despite the battlefield defeat, the substantial casualties suffered by the Afghan army, slowed their advance towards the strategic city of Kandahar, and appears to have downgraded their effectiveness when they when they arrived. A month-long siege of the walled city ensued, which ended when General Frederick Roberts pulled off the, "March to Kandahar," and defeated the same Afghan army, under the command of the same Ayub Khan, who had defeated the British at Maiwand.

Still, despite Ayub Khan's ultimate strategic defeat, the decisive tactical victory he won over the British at Maiwand made a mark on history.


Mad Guru28 Jul 2018 12:07 a.m. PST


I never got bit by the bug in such a big way before.

I scrambled and thought I'd managed to actually post this before midnight hit and July 27th turned to the 28th… but the BUG bit, and I missed my mark.

That's what happens when you wait 'til the last minute to get things done!

Mad Guru28 Jul 2018 12:08 a.m. PST

Apologies to the Medievalists out there -- I'm actually one of you, but I would NEVER have purposefully cross-posted this to the Medieval boards!

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2018 4:38 a.m. PST

A smart summary. Nicely done.

Wackmole928 Jul 2018 10:21 a.m. PST

Now not only are you mad but a plague carrier.

Lion in the Stars29 Jul 2018 4:45 p.m. PST

Beautifully Mad, Guru! evil grin

Mad Guru29 Jul 2018 10:16 p.m. PST

Thanks very much, guys!

Here are some more Maiwand Day pics, taken from various times we played the scenario over the past 8 years, since the 130th Anniversary back in 2010…











"Saving the Guns" at Maiwand…




RHA Lt. Hector Maclaine galloping his battery forward without without orders, and engaging the unknown enemy forces passing to his front -- which turned out to be Ayub Khan's army of at least 15,000 men…




Maclaine was captured, and held prisoner in Ayub Khan's camp and treated relatively well for the next month, during the siege of Kandahar. When General Roberts defeated the Afghans on September 1st 1880, what was left of Ayub's regular army routed away, and Maclaine was accidentally or on purpose left behind still in chains. Just before the victorious Anglo-Indians reached Ayub's camp, his throat was cut by retreating Ghazis.

Gone Fishing30 Jul 2018 3:19 p.m. PST

More fantastic shots, Guru! I especially like those of the riders silhouetted against the setting Afghan sun…

Mad Guru31 Jul 2018 1:11 a.m. PST

Many thanks, Daryl!

Note: That is actually the RISING Afghan sun -- AKA: the rising Valley Village sun!

Gone Fishing31 Jul 2018 6:04 a.m. PST

Woops! Well then, all the more light to battle in. Hope the lads have had their morning cuppa!

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