The Second Afghan War (1878-80) broke out when the Afghan ruler, Sher Ali, refused closer links with British India, which feared the expansion of Russian influence into Afghanistan. The arrival of a Russian mission in Kabul triggered a British invasion, which resulted to two years of the hardest fighting the Indian Army ever experienced.Initial successes deposed Sher Ali and established a British mission in Kabul, but this was later wiped out by Afghan troops. In the campaign that followed, the British were defeated at Maiwand on 26 July 1880, at the time regarded as a disaster on a par with those of the Zulu War. Lord Roberts then marched from Kabul with a force of 10,000 men to relieve the besieged garrison of Kandahar in only three weeks, in one of the epic exploits of Victorian military history. He then defeated the Afghan army outside the city and effectively brought the war to an end.Republished at a time when British troops are once again embroiled in Afghanistan, this is a fascinating and detailed account of a major part of Britain's military engagement in this heavily fought-over country.