The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 57
III.—Passive Defence Behind the Suleiman Range with the left Pushes Forward into Peshín, Together with the Power of Occupying the Kandahar Province at will
III.—Passive Defence Behind the Suleiman Range with the left Pushes Forward into Peshín, Together with the Power of Occupying the Kandahar Province at will.
This plan of defence seems to be no better than the last, and equally if not more to be deprecated.
Between Peshawar and Dera Ismail Khan the same objection applies to the defence of a frontier, passable at many points and fronted by no impassable hills, but instead offering points where troops can be cantoned, by works blocking the main outlets only.
The outflanking of the positions in Peshín and Kandahar is more pronounced than if Peshín alone were held. With the enemy at Kabal, Ghazni, and Parah, the passes between Peshawar and Dera Gliazi Khan in his hands, the entrenched camps at Peshawar, Banu, and Dera Ismail Khan, &c., must be held in force and their garrisons inactive; Kandahar must be equally held in force and troops sent to watch the roads to Ghazni and to the Halmand. page 15 Whilst troops were so locked up and drawn to the front and flank, what is to prevent the enemy from massing troops behind the suleimán range about the Zarmelon plain and Hasain Ziárat and their movement either on Fort Munro or Thal and the railway at Gunderkinduff or Balózái, or on all three, and cutting the communications of the advanced force?
Again, it is supposed that the occupation of this flank position will be no hasty one, but that it would follow as a matter of course on the occupation of the Kábal Province, and that there will be a fortilied depôt there with good communications to the rear (Ghazni); also that the passes will be held to the Indian border.
Here again the enemy's forces, although operating on widely separated lines, can act together towards the carrying out of one plan with the same case as if on the same battle-field, so unassailable are their lines of intercom-munication through the Hazara hills, Afghán-Turkistán, &c., &c., and secure the lines of telegraph uniting them.