Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Waziristan 1917, British war against mehsuds

The short-lived Afghan invasion of British India in May 1919 was repulsed by the Army in India, but the ensuing tribal rising in Waziristan (where various militias raised to police tribal territory had mutinied) was a far more difficult proposition . Heavy casualties were inflicted on the Britsih Indian troops when punitive operations were carried out in the winter of 1919-20. In the heaviest fighting ever witnessed in tribal territory, imperial troops were defeated at Palosina between 19th-21st December 1919 by Mahsud and Wazir lashkars. A skilful combination of fire and movement was employed with deadly effect against British army by tribesmen who engaged in hand-to-hand combat whenever an opportunity offered. (See Despatch by His Excellency General Sir Charles Carmichael Monro on the Operations in Waziristan 1919-1920, (Simla, 1920) and Operations in Waziristan 1919-1920, (Calcutta, 1921)
Following pictures are from British perspective.


A Mahsud village burnt by British 1917


A downed RFC airplane. South Waziristan 1917


A Gurkha mercenary with his Kukri.