AFGHAN.jpg
 
 
Battle Report
 

Battle Report: 10th February 1991

Early British Indian  ~vs~  Early Afghan

(Robert Avery ~vs~ Richard Avery)

.

Early British Indian

Brigade

Unit

Fig.'s Org. Class Weapons Pts/Fig Points
  Gen. Sir H. Flashman

1

        100
  2inC 1         50
  Naval Brigade 24 8x3 RegB mlr   320
  78th Highlanders 40 8x5 RegB mlr (2 Co's LI)   500
  30th Punjab Foot 40 10x4 RegC mlr (2 Co's LI)   476
  3rd Ghurka Foot 40 8x5 RegC mlr (2 Co's LI)   460
  35th Bengal Foot 16 4x4 RegC mlr   184
  17th Lancers 8 2x4 RegB s,mlc,l   148
  12th Bengal Horse 16 4x4 RegC s,mlc   248
  1st Btty RA 3 3x1 RegB medium mlsb FA with elephant teams   357
  Ammo Wagon 1         50
              2893
.

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,mlr

 

195

 

Foot 4

18

1x18

MksA

sp/sw,sh,mlr

 

195

 

Horse 1

10

1x10

FanA

sp/sw,sh,mlr

 

155

 

Horse 2

10

1x10

FanA

sp/sw,sh,mlr

 

155

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

  Foot 6 18 1x18 IrregA sp/sw,sh   87
  Guns 2 1x3 IrregB medium mlsb FA   289
    1     light mlsb FA    
  Works       40" medium works   40
              2899
.
. Early British Indian Early Afghan
Foot 3200 5720
Horse 480 400
Guns 6 6

 

Report

The British were on a punitive expedition, and battle was joined as they emerged from a pass through the mountains.

Initially things went well for the British, with the elephants dragging their artillery onto the lower heights of the pass and bombarding the forward Afghan units.

The Afghans fell back slightly, and the British advanced, screened by skirmishers. The British infantry, however, advanced so rapidly that it quickly left the artillery behind: so that much of the rest of the battle was, on the British side, fought without artillery support.

To the north, initial successes involved wiping out one Pathan cavalry unit, and routing the Afghan skirmish screen by judicious use of the Bengal cavalry. However, the Ghurkas, ever keen to get where the action is, advanced into this combat in column and took such heavy casualties from infantry and artillery fire that they were effectively destroyed as a fighting force. As the battle ended, the Punjab infantry and four companies of the Naval Brigade had deployed into line and were beginning volley fire.

To the south, the British were slow to deploy, but successful. One charge from Ghazi fanatics was repulsed by the rest of the Naval Brigade, although it cleared the Highlander skirmish line. As battle ended, the Highlander main body was preparing to charge.

Casualties

The Pathan horse lost 270 out of 400, largely due to having one unit wiped out. The Pathan fanatics lost 524 men, with the Pathan Marksmen losing about 125. The Waziri lost about 100 men.

The British lost the 3rd Ghurka Foot: the regiment being largely wiped out. Otherwise casualties were light: although the British 2inC was lightly wounded.

Results

The battle ended before conclusion and was declared a draw. Both players thought that the British might well have won eventually, but at the moment the battle ended, the Afghans were in a tactically better position.

Analysis

The British commander severely underestimated the firepower of the Waziri tribesmen. By the time this had been revealed, the Ghurkas had been lost.

On a brighter note, the cavalry were for once used successfully: both to clear skirmishers and to draw out the more dangerous Afghan cavalry so that it could be mowed down by infantry volley fire.

The British did, however, make two elementary errors: advancing too fast with their foot, so outpacing the artillery support; and advancing too close to the enemy whilst still in column.