Brimaru Heights Dbq

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Following the massacre of British Resident Sir Pierre Cavagnari in Kabul on 3 September 1879, the British dispatched a force under the command of major-general Frederick Roberts to restore the Kabul throne to Abdur Rahman Khan, an Afghan sympathetic to British interests. They were opposed by Mohammed Jan, a ghazi ( religious fanatic) firmly opposed to both the British presence in Afhganistan as well as the puppet ruler they had installed. The British found restoring order to the Kabul region to be a difficult and dangerous task: the countryside was up in arms, and the Afghan forces elusive, harassing the marching British columns with long-range sniper fire, cutting telegraph lines and supply lines, and attacking small outposts. Following four…show more content…
Mud towers on the Bimaru heights were connected by an earthwork and gun emplacements were dug. Open gaps in the perimeter were made defensible by the construction of wire entanglements and ditches. A gorge running through the centre of the Bimaru heights was protected by flanking trenches and a blockhouse, whilst the northeastern corner, the most vulnerable area of the defences, was buttressed by sandbagging and strengthening an existing fort. The entire cantonment was connected by telegraph, and buildings outside the defences were levelled to provide a clear field of fire. Robert 's estimated the Afghan force at some 60,000 tribesmen: to oppose this horde, he had 7,000 healthy men, 25 serviceable pieces of artillery and 2 gatling guns. With this relatively puny force, he would have to man a perimeter encompassing 8,000 yards, consequently stretching his defences very thinly indeed. However, he did enjoy some advantages: Sherpur had it 's own water source, and firewood, food and ammunition to last 4…show more content…
The Assault on Sherpur On 22 December, Roberts was warned by an Afghan servant of one of his cavalry officers that the assault would come the following day. An hour before dawn on 23 December, the British forces manned their snow-shrouded defences (heavy snowfalls had commenced on the 18th). The Afghans began streaming toward the cantonment in their thousands, their vanguard composed mainly of ghazis. The artillery fired star-shell to illuminate the scene, and thousands of muzzle-flashes began to ripple along the perimeter as the defenders commenced volley fire. The Afghans attacked all four faces of the perimeter but failed to penetrate the defences. The assault slackened at about 9:30 and petered out altogether by midday. Roberts dispatched a mixed force of infantry, cavalry and 2 guns to sweep the area to the south and east and secure the roads leading to Kohistan and Kabul. Nearby villages and forts were destroyed, and straggling fugitive tribesmen were ferreted out of their hiding places and shot without quarter. Charles Gough arrived the following morning, after an epic and dangerous
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