AFGHAN.jpg
 
 
Battle Report
 

Battle Report: 4th August 1991

Early British Indian  ~vs~  Early Afghan

(Andy Purcell ~vs~ Robert Avery)

.

Early British Indian

Brigade

Unit

Fig.'s Org. Class Weapons Pts/Fig Points
  CinC

1

        100
  2inC 1         50
  94th Foot 16 4x4 RegB mlr   240
  54th Foot 32 8x4 RegB mlr (2 Co's LI)   416
  24th Punjab Foot 40 10x4 RegC mlr (2 Co's LI)   476
  3rd Ghurka Foot 40 8x5 LightsC mlr   520
  17th Lancers 16 4x4 RegB s,l   280
  3rd Dragoon Guards 16 4x4 RegB s,mlc   280
  14th Sikh Horse 16 4x4 RegC s,mlc   248

  

1st Btty RA

3

3x1

RegB

light mlsb FA

  

249

  1st Btty RHA 3 3x1 RegB medium mlsb HA   369
  Ammo Wagon 1            
               3328
.

Early Afghan

Brigade

Unit

Fig.'s

Org.

Class

Weapons

Pts/Fig

Points

 

CinC

1

 

 

 

 

100

 

2inC

1

 

 

 

 

50

Pathans

Foot 1

36

1x36

FanB

sp/sw,sh

 

267

 

Foot 2

36

1x36

FanB

sp/sw,sh

 

267
 

Foot 3

18

1x18

MksA

sp/sw,sh,blr

 

195
 

Foot 4

18

1x18

MksA

sp/sw,sh,mlr

 

195
  Foot 5 18 1x18 IrregA

sp/sw,sh,mlr

  169
  Foot 6 18 1x18 IrregC sp/sw,sh,mlr   133
 

Horse 1

10

1x10

FanA

sp/sw,sh,mlr

 

155

 

Horse 2

10

1x10

FanA

sp/sw,sh,mlr

 

155
  Horse 3 10 1x10 FanB sp/sw,sh,mlr   142

Waziri

Foot 1

32

1x32

IrregB

sp/sw,sh,mlr

 

239

 

Foot 2

32

1x32

IrregB

sp/sw,sh,mlr

 

239
 

Foot 3

32

1x32

IrregB

sp/sw,sh,mlr

 

239
 

Foot 4

32

1x32

IrregB

sp/sw,sh,mlr

 

239
 

Foot 5

32

1x32

IrregC

sp/sw,sh

 

143
   Guns 2 1x3 IrregB medium mlsb FA   314
    1     light mlsb FA    
  Ammo Wagon 1          50
  Works        40" medium works   40
                  3331
.
. Early British Indian Early Afghan
Foot 2560 6080
Horse 960 600
Guns 12 6
 

Report

The battle opened with both sides advancing at top speed towards a crooked ridge that dominated the centre of the battlefield.

With their CinC spurring them on, the Afghan skirmishers and fanatics shot forward: surprising the British commander with the speed of their advance and, as was later revealed, preventing the British getting their horse artillery onto the ridge-top.

This left the British largely bottled up behind the ridge. To break out, the 17th Lancers charged a unit of Pathan Marksmen: who opened fire at them for the first time and under the direct control of their leader. The Lancers were utterly destroyed by devastating jezzail fire!

Encouraged by their success, the Afghans moved forward slightly, and generally engaged the enemy line, also further bottling them up behind the ridge. Meanwhile, the rest of the Afghan force began, on the right, to outflank the British, and begin enfilade fire.

For about an hour, the British commander suffered losses all along his line and then, realising that he would soon be softened up enough to allow the fanatical Pathans easy charge targets, ordered a general retreat.

Casualties

The Afghans lost 106 men.

The British lost the whole Lancer regiment (320 cornets); about 100 native infantry; 86 British infantry and 40 Dragoons.

Results

A complete victory for the Afghans.

Analysis

The British commander played straight to the Afghan strengths - fighting in close terrain instead of out in the open. His artillery were hardly used at all, he threw away his Lancers, and he was unable to think his way out of a dangerous but not impossible situation. One tactic that might have been employed was to move the horse artillery to cover his exposed left flank, formed square with his infantry, and dared the Afghans to charge!

The Afghan commander took full advantage of the terrain and his enemy’s mistakes.