First Anglo-Afghan War

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The First Anglo-Afghan War (1838-42) was fought between the British East India Company (EIC) and, the Emirate of Afghanistan, the ultimate victor. The British were keen to control Afghanistan as they feared Russian expansion into South Asia, but the local tribesmen were fierce fighters. The war was extremely costly and included the disastrous retreat from Kabul in 1842.

More about: First Anglo-Afghan War


  • 1838 - 1842
    The First Anglo-Afghan War between the Emirate of Afghanistan and the British East India Company.
  • Oct 1838
    The British East India Company issues the Simla Manifesto which outlines its reasons for invading Afghanistan.
  • Mar 1839
    The British East India Company army enters Afghanistan.
  • 25 Apr 1839
    Shah Shuja, the EIC-backed candidate, is crowned the new emir of Afghanistan.
  • Jul 1839
    The East India Company captures the Afghan fortress of Ghazni.
  • Nov 1841
    A mob in Kabul murders Alexander Burnes, an important political officer of the East India Company.
  • Dec 1841
    William Macnaughten, the EIC envoy to Kabul, is murdered by Akbar Khan.
  • 1 Jan 1842
    The British East India Company army in Kabul begins its disastrous withdrawal.
  • 11 Jan 1842
    The final members of the East India Company army that retreated from Kabul are wiped out.
  • Apr 1842
    Shah Shuja is assassinated.
  • Sep 1842
    Major-General George Pollock leads a British East India Company that retakes Kabul but then withdraws.
  • 1843
    Dost Mohammad is restored to power in Afghanistan.