a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial


First British-Waziristan War

Years: 1919-1920
Battle deaths: 2,000 [1]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]
United Kingdom, Pakistan

Published: 2013-08-01 12:47:34 | Updated: 2016-08-10 12:15:23
The Waziristan campaign 1919–1920 was a military campaign conducted in Waziristan by British and Indian forces against the fiercely independent tribesmen that inhabited this region. These operations were conducted in 1919–1920, following the unrest that arose in the aftermath of the Third Anglo-Afghan War.

The prelude to the 1919–1920 campaign was an incursion by the Mahsud Tribe in the summer of 1917 while British forces were otherwise engaged fighting in the First World War. The British Forces eventually restored calm, however, in 1919 the Waziris took advantage of unrest in Afghanistan following the Third Anglo-Afghan War to launch more raids against British garrisons.

The first attempt to subdue them began in November 1919, when Major-General Sir Andrew Skeen launched a series of operations against the Tochi Wazirs. These operations were largely successful and terms were agreed, and in December Skeen turned his attention to Mahsuds. As the 43rd and 67th Brigades were grouped together as the Derajet Column and committed to the fighting, they met heavy resistance as the largely inexperienced Indian units came up against determined, well-armed tribesmen.

The fighting continued for about twelve months in this vein, and the British had to resort to using aircraft on a number of occasions to suppress the tribesmen.

The Mahsuds took heavy casualties during the fighting at Ahnai Tangi and it was these casualties, as well as the destruction of their villages a month later by bombers of the Royal Air Force, that temporarily subdued the Mahsuds. When the Wana Wazirs rose up in November 1920, they appealed for help from the Mahsuds, but still recovering from their earlier defeat, no support was forthcoming and the Wazir opposition faded away. On 22 December 1920, Wana was re-occupied.

Minor raids by the Wazirs and forays by British forces continued into 1921, however, following the 1919–20 campaign, the British decided upon a change of strategy in Waziristan. It was determined that a permanent garrison of regular troops would be maintained in the region to work in much more closely with the militia units that were being reconstituted following the troubles that occurred during the 1919 war with Afghanistan.

Source: Wikipedia, published under the GNU FDL. Retrieved 2014-03-08


Notes on fatalities

[1] Battle deaths: Correlates of War, Extra-State War Data v4.0

More about sources


NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.



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