Afghan Highlanders, 1879. During the Second Anglo-Afghan War, Afghan soldiers wore kilts in imitation of British Highlander troops from Scotland, whose skills the Afghans admired.
In 1874 a new government in London, led by Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), adopted a more aggressive stance in India and appointed a strong-minded governor general. In an atmosphere of growing tension, a Russian delegation, apparently uninvited, visited Kabul in July 1878. The British issued an ultimatum asking for equal rights of access to Kabul. When this ultimatum was rejected, the British crossed the border and thereby started the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1879).
The Afghans were quickly defeated, and the war was concluded with the Treaty of Gandamak (May 29, 1879). The treaty included the stipulation that Afghanistan would remain an independent nation, but would conduct its foreign policy via the British rulers in India in lieu of regular subsidies and a British guarantee regarding the ...read more