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Peshawar

Page history last edited by Michael 7 years ago

back to the Geography page, or the Index

 

 

16 miles per hex; matches up with the SW corner of the Sinkiang map

the White Mountains, south of Jalalabad, contain the Tora Bora caves

 

 

 

a map of the city of Peshawar in the Thirties

 

 

Capital of the North West Frontier Province. Sir Ralph Griffith is the governor. The altitude is 1670' above sea level; it's in a large valley, the Peshawar Valley, with the Kabul River running through it. It is located on the Grand Trunk Road, which has run for centuries from Kabul to Calcutta. Population 121,000. Here are some pictures.

 

Hospitals:  Lady Reading Hospital. Zanana Hospital, for women. Egerton Civil Hospital. Military hospital at the cantonments.

 

Hotels. Dean's Hotel, in the Cantonment; built in 1913 on 7 acres of land; the best in the province. 

 

Notable Places outside the walls.  Police Station, on the Khyber Road outside the city. Fort Bala Hisar, very large (10 acres) and old, walls 90' above ground level; the Frontier Corps is based here. Governor's House. Civil Quarters and military cantonments; cantonment club house. Polo grounds, hockey stadium. Caravanserais. Universities and colleges, near the cantonments. Four high schools. Imperial Bank of India.

 

Notable Places within the walls.  the old city is surrounded by a high wall of pukka brick, with sixteen gates in it. Many bazaars, mosques. The Kissa Kahani bazaar, one of the busiest in the world, was the site of a massacre back in 1930, in which hundreds of non-violent protesters were shot by British troops. At one corner of the bazaar is the sort-of minaret-shaped Cunningham Clock Tower (or Ghanta Gar, to the locals -- "bell house"). Gor Khuttree, a large fortified serai, with foundations going back to hundreds of years before Christ.

 

Transport. Airport (constructed 1927) near the cantonments, with scheduled flights to Karachi (at least). Railway station near the cantonments; the Frontier Mail runs very nice (air conditioned) trains from here to Bombay in 72 hours, by way of Rawalpindi. A narrow gauge railway runs up about 40 miles into the Khyber Pass, almost to the actual border.

 

Inhabitants. more than 90% of the people are Muslims. Significant numbers of Bukharan Jews, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Hindus, Gypsies and Christians are present. Urdu and Persian are the commonest languages, but dozen of languages can be heard there.

 

Military Activity.  in the Peshawar District, the following British units are present in December 1933, under the command of a Major-General:

 

    • 15th Heavy Cavalry

    • 'I' Battery, RHA

    • XXV Field Artillery Brigade

    • 5th Medium Artillery Brigade

    • 3rd Light Artillery Battalion

    • 8th Anti-aircraft Battalion

    • 2nd battalion of the Border Regiment

    • 1st battalion of the Hampshire Regiment

    • 1st battalion of the Gordons

    • 2nd Light Tank Company

    • 6th Armored Car Company

 

British units in India tend to be rotated out every year or so, thus the above list is just representative. In the summer, higher-ranking military and civil officials around the North West Frontier and the Punjab travel to cool mountain resorts -- the primary one around here is Murree, northeast of Islamabad.

 

Indian Army units around Peshawar include the 10th Lancers (Hodson's Horse), the Guides Cavalry, the 12th Frontier Force Regiment, and battalions of the Royal Garhwal Rifles and the 1st Punjab Regiment. The Frontier Corps (composed of the Khyber Rifles, the Zhob Militia, the Kurram Militia, the Tochi Scouts, the Chagai Militia, the South Waziristan Scouts and the Chitral Scouts) are based in Peshawar; they're not regular military units, but sort of a militia/scout organization.

 

Here's a clip from "The Drum" filmed in 1938 at Peshawar and in the Khyber Pass.

 

The Nowshera Brigade, in the NW Frontier, is commanded since October of 1934 by Colonel (temp. Brigadier) Harold Alexander, DSO, MC, MC, and is crushing a Pashtun uprising (the Loe Agra campaign) from February 23rd through April 13th of 1935 -- those are the dates for a North West Frontier clasp to the India General Service Medal. Alexander, who speaks fluent Urdu (along with French, German, Italian and Russian), is one of the few British officers to have commanded German troops. Also notable in the brigade is Major R. M. E. King, of the 9th Gurkha Rifles.

 

"The night defence of Kila Hari post in the Loe-Agra operations of the Nowshera Brigade in April 1935 by a party of the 72nd Punjabis is an epic. A small detachment was attacked by an unexpectedly well-led tribal lashkar of 1000 Shamozais. They were almost overwhelmed in the hand-to-hand fighting which involved revolvers, bayonets, stones and knives and lasted an incredible ten hours. It was one of the most ferocious and sustained attacks that was ever inflicted by tribesmen in the history of the North-West Frontier."

 

(secret from our players) The Second Mohmand Campaign will take place in August-September of 1935, against a rebellious Pashtun tribe (led by a "Mad Mullah") to the northwest of Peshawar (around the Khyber Pass area). Brigadier Sir Claude Auchinleck will command the Peshawar Brigade in the campaign.

 

Not known to the press or public at the time:  Hitler has sent 'technicians' to Afghanistan to support the dethroned king; the Soviet Union is subsidizing the Fakir of Ipi, in Waziristan.

 

1906 map of the North West Frontier

 


 

from the Imperial Gazetteer of India, circa 1905:

 

     Capital of the North-West Frontier Province, and head-quarters of the District and tahsil of the same name, situatied in 34° 1' N. and 71° 35' E. The cantonment is situated on a ridge overlooking the surrounding plain and the city, which lies near the left bank of the Bara stream, 13-1/2 miles outh-east of the junction of the Swat and Kabul rivers, and 10-1/2 miles from Jamrud fort near the entrance of the Khyber Pass. It is distant by rail from Calcutta 1,552 miles, and from Bombay 1,579 miles, and by road from Kabul 190 miles. It is the terminus of the grand trunk road, but a branch of the North-Western Railway runs on to Jamrud. The population was 79,982 in 1881, 54,191 in 1891, and 95,147 in 1901, consisting of 68,352 Muhammadans, 18,552 Hindus, 5,144 Sikhs, and 3,063 Christians. Of the total population, 21,804 live in cantonments.

 

(more to come)

 

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