Bayonet charges in Afghanistan, what counts

Afghanistan 1880: only one British dog survived

Dr. John H. Watson had his experience before setting up the famous shared apartment with Sherlock Holmes at 221B Bakerstreet, London. Its creator Arthur Conan Doyle had the experienced military doctor move to an area that gave British contemporaries a shudder: Afghanistan. It was there that the Empire's army had learned repeatedly that arrogance is the first step towards ruin.

Watson learned this on the Maiwand battlefield, from which Doyle let him escape with a wound to the leg. Many of his comrades were not so lucky. Because on the dusty plain west of Kandahar the British Empire suffered one of its worst defeats on July 27, 1880 against supposedly "uncivilized" people. Not for nothing was a post on the Khaiber Pass between India and Afghanistan considered a suicide mission in the Empire.

The British had already found out about this in 1842. At that time, during the so-called First Anglo-Afghan War (1839–1842), an expeditionary force had taken Kabul. There was an uprising. Out of around 15,000 soldiers and civilians, only one wounded doctor returned.

The reason why the British drove over the Khaiber Pass over and over again was the "Great Game". This is how euphemistic the imperialist power game between Great Britain and Russia became