King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences
On Afghanistan's plains

The campaigns of the 1920s

Cover of book with version of titlepage stamped in black on light brown'Passing it on' by Gen Sir Andrew SkeenFrontier training was overhauled following operations in the region undertaken during the First World War and in the 1919-1920 conflict in Waziristan.

These had exposed the inadequacies of the Field Service Regulations, which provided little detailed advice on the specialist operations that characterised fighting in this region.

A Mountain Warfare School was opened at Abbottabad and a series of specialist manuals were published including the seminal Manual of operations on the North-West Frontier of India, 35,000 copies of which were printed and distributed in 1925.

printed map of Afghanistan with borders highlighted in colourArmoured vehicles in North West Frontier, 1919-1920

Other important publications included Major D B Mackenzie's Mountain warfare on the Sand model and General Sir Andrew Skeen's Passing It On: Short Talks on Tribal Fighting on the Northwest Frontier of India.

These stressed the value of mobility, the use of permanent piquets to command strategic positions, the use of fixed lines of communication to move large quantities of supplies and munitions, and night forces to counter tribal fighters moving under cover of darkness.

The use of new technology was reiterated including use of air power, tractors, and armoured vehicles carrying light machine guns.

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