Initial Influences

Girishk and its Castle
Circumstances dictated that Brigadier Burrows' column came to be operating in a very different situation to that envisaged when it set out from Kandahar on 3 July 1880. The change took place on 11 July when some 6000 British-equipped local Afghan troops in a blocking position at Girishk mutinied and left to join Ayub Khan's rebel army approaching from Herat. General JM Primrose at Kandahar, although expecting the 4th and 28th Native Infantry Regiments to reach him by the end of the month, until then had insufficient troops to secure his garrison and was unable to reinforce Burrows to compensate for his loss. Ayub's approach had also unsettled the countryside around and local Afghan villagers had turned against the British. The result was that when Burrows later advanced on Maiwand his force could move only slowly being "encumbered with an enormous quantity of ordnance, commissariat stores and baggage" which could not safely be left behind at the camp at Kushk-i-Nahku.

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by Stephen Luscombe