Pathan Rising

Jihad on the North West Frontier of India 1897-1898

Mark Simner

The story of the large‐scale tribal unrest—stirred up by fanatical Islamic religious leaders calling for Jihad against the infidel British—that erupted along the North West Frontier of India in 1897.
Date Published :
December 2016
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
64 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781555408
Pages : 272
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6.15 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Pathan Rising tells the story of the large‐scale tribal unrest that erupted along the North West Frontier of India in the late 1890s; a short but sharp period of violence that was initiated by the Pathan tribesmen against the British. Although the exact causes of the unrest remain unclear, it was likely the result of tribal resentment towards the establishment of the Durand Line and British ‘forward policy’, during the last echoes of the ‘Great Game’, that led the proud tribesmen to take up arms on an unprecedented scale. This resentment was brought to boiling point by a number of fanatical religious leaders, such as the Mad Fakir and the Hadda Mullah, who visited the various Pathan tribes calling for jihad. By the time the risings ended, eleven Victoria Crosses would be awarded to British troops, which hints at the ferocity and level of bitterness of the fighting. Indeed, although not eligible for the VC in 1897, many Indian soldiers would also receive high-level decorations in recognition of their bravery. It would be one of the greatest challenges to British authority in Asia during the Victorian era.

About The Author

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.


“There are stories of intrigue, treachery, betrayal and heroism in battle. The fierce independence seen today existed in times past. Distrust between the various tribes and the British were common... It was a fascinating read, and there are similarities between what happened then and most recently.”


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