Chitral 1895: An Episode of the Great Game

Author(s): Mark Simner 

ISBN: 9781781556184
$23.00 $33.00
The story of the siege and subsequent relief of Chitral in 1895; an episode of Britain’s ‘Great Game’ with Russia.
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  • The first major in-depth examination of the Chitral campaign for decades

  • Written in a lively manner as if the author witnessed events for himself

  • Extensive use of primary and period sources, which present the reader with greater detail on the subject than ever before

  • A large number of period images and maps, many of which have not appeared in print for over 100 years

In 1895, a small Indian Army garrison, commanded by Surgeon-Major Sir George Scott Robertson and Captain Charles Vere Ferrers Townshend, was besieged by a Chitrali and Pathan army at the fort of Chitral. Despite the odds heavily stacked against them, Robertson’s beleaguered little garrison held out for forty-eight days until a relief expedition was able to fight its way through to the rescue.

The siege and subsequent relief is a story of valour, including an award of the Victoria Cross, and sheer determination in the face of a stubborn adversary and sometimes extreme weather conditions, all played out on the mountainous terrain of the north-western border of British India.

Robertson described events in Chitral as a ‘minor siege’. However, the siege and subsequent relief should be viewed as an important episode in Britain’s ‘Great Game’ with Russia, which would have serious consequences for the British several years later. Indeed, the retention of Chitral by the Indian Government would be a contributing factor to the mass uprisings along the North West Frontier of India during late 1897.

BOOK ISBN 9781781556184
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 224 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 61 black-and-white illustrations



Mark Simner has been interested in British military history since childhood, having widely read and researched the period of 1700 to 1945. In 2007, he setup the incredibly successful Victorian Wars Forum, which was followed by the equally popular Napoleonic Wars Forum in 2011. His first book, An Illustrated Introduction to the Battle of Waterloo, was published in May 2015 and he has since written a number of other titles and articles. Pathan Rising: Jihad on the North West Frontier of India 1897-1898 is his first book for Fonthill Media.