Rhode Island Historical Society.

Russia's march towards India (Volume 1) online

. (page 1 of 22)
Online LibraryRhode Island Historical SocietyRussia's march towards India (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 22)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook









riiiNTRr) KT











St. Snnsian V IFjousc



^^ ^^

'^ . .

, The following page? contain an account of Russia's

T advance towards India from the earliest times up

to the present day. During the past thirty years

\ a very large number of books has been written

on this subject; but while each of the various

, episodes of this great movement have been

■;: separately described, and although the political

and strategical aspects of the question have been

frequently discussed, no recent work has, to my

^ knowledge, been published which gives a clear

historical account of Eussia's March throui^h

^ Central Asia in all its stages.

This want I have endeavoured to supply ; but
it is with many misgivings that I place before my
countrymen the result of several years' close study
of a (question which is of the greatest importance

vi Russia's March towards India

to all who are concerned in the safety and welfare
of our great Eastern dependency.

In former years it used frequently to be said
that a Russian attack on India was, if not impos-
sible, at all events, highly improbable, and some
politicians even went so far as to scoff at the
danger and declare that it was nothing but the
phantasy of a disordered mind. I know not if any
Englishmen still adhere to these optimistic opinions ;
but, if there be any, I trust that the following un-
varnished statement of Eussian aggression will go
far to convince them that a real danger does exist,
and that the time has come when England can no
longer place any reliance on Muscovite assurances,
but must be prepared to resolutely oppose any
further encroachments on the part of Russia,

I have no desire to pose as an alarmist, for I
confidently believe that Russia will never success-
fully invade India if the English people make up
their minds to keep the Cossacks behind the limitary
line agreed upon in 1873. But if they fail to do this,
and permit the Russians to consolidate themselves
at Herat or in Afghan-Turkestan, then England's
real troubles will commence. I believe that a war
fought under existing conditions would undoubtedly

Preface vii

result in a triumph for Great Britain ; but if tlie
Muscovites be allowed to establish themselves on
the frontiers of India, our political and financial
difficulties would be increased a hundredfold, and
the result would be by no means so well assured.

The existing military situation has not been
dealt with, and all questions of strategy have been
carefully avoided, for I consider it to be highly
injudicious — even for irresponsible writers — to
discuss these matters. The War Office and Army
Headquarters at Simla are fully competent to
determine what action should be taken in certain
eventualities, and the discussion of the strategical
situation can only tend to draw attention to the
weak points which may exist in our armour with-
out affijrding any assistance to those who are
responsible for the defence of India. But one
thing I will say, and that is, that, in spite of the
recent attempts which have been made to revive
the antiquated theory that the Indus is the true
(irst line of defence for India, I believe" that it
would be nothing less than an act of political
suicide to permit the tide of invasion to reach the
Indus Valley without enq)loying all the resources of
the Empire to avert such a catastrophe, and that

viit Russia's March towards India

no British commander will ever be found who
would be willing to stake all on the result of a
great battle fought on Indian soil.

The most important publications which have
been consulted by me in the preparation of this
work are given in the following list of references.


London; October 1, 189B.


Tlie History of Russia from the Earliest Times to 1882. By

Alfred Rambaud. Translated by L. B. Lang, and edited and

enlarged by N. H. Dole.
Russia. By Sir D. M. Wallace.

The History of Russia. By H. Tyrrell and Henry A. Haukeil.
The Eastern Question., from the Treaty of Paris, 1856, to the

Treaty of Berlin, 1^1^, and to the Second Afghan War. By

the Duke of A.rgyll.
History _of_ Bolihara. By A. Vambery.
Collection of Treaties, Engagements, and Sunnuds relating to

India and the Neighbouring Countries. By Sir C. U. Aitchison.
History of Afghanistan, from the Earliest Period to the Outbreak

of the War of 1873. By Colonel G. B. Malleson.
History of the War in Afghanistan. 6y Sir J. W. Kaye.
The Afghan War of 1879-80. By H. Hensman.
The Afghan Campaigns of 1878-80. By S. H. Shadbolt.
Kanda Jiar in 1879 ^ By Major A. Le Messurier.
^exxiL^ the G^rjMtMrywnd' (jro/rden of Central Asia. By Colonel

G. B. Malleson.
The History of Persia. By Sir J. Malcolm.
A History of Persia, from the beginning of the 19f7i Century to

the. Year 1858. By R. G. Watson.
The Annual Register (1758 to 1892).
^JI%e ^Russians jin Central Asia. By M. Veniukoff and Captain

Valikhanoff. Translated by J. and R. Michell.
Various other translations from the Russian by J. and R. Michell.
Narrative of a Mission to Bokhara. By Joseph Wolff.
Journey from Heraut to Khiva, Moscow, and St. Petersburgh.

By Colonel James Abbott.
Progress and Present Position of Russia i'l the East. By Sir

J. McNeill.

Russia's March towards India

^Englaaid, and Russia in the East. By Sir H. C. Rawlinson.
Englaaid-and Russia in Central Asia. By M. F. Martens.
Travels into Bokhara. By Sir A. Burnes.
The Life of Peter the Great. By Eugene Schuyler.
TurMsiatJu^ By Eugene Schuyler.
The Russians in Central Asia. By F. von Hellwald.
Memoires du Chevalier d'Eon. Par Frederic Gaillardet.
Dcs Progres de la Puissance Russe. Par M. L . . . . (Lesvu*).
Journey to the Source of the River Oxus. By J. Wood. With

an Essay on the Geography of the Valley of the Oxus by Colonel

Henry Yule.
Cathay and the Way thither. By Colonel Henry Yule.
The Travels of Marco Polo. Translated and edited, with notes,

by Colonel Henry Yule.
Eeport of a Mission to Yarkand in 1873, under command of

Sir T. D. Forsyth.
The Roof of the World. By Lieutenant-Colonel T. E. Gordon.
ThQ_ Shores, of Lake Aral. By Major Herbert Wood.
Russian Projects against India. By H. S. Edwards.
Caravan Journeys and Wanderings in Persia, Afghanistan,

Turkestan, and Beluchistan ; ivith Historical Notices of the

Countries lying between Russia and India. By J. P. Ferrier.
Russia and England in the Struggle for Markets in Central

Asia. By Captain M. A. Terentieff. (English translation.)
From Kulja, across the Thian-Shan, to Lob-Nor. By N. M.

Prjevalsky. Translated by E. 1). Morgan. With Notices of

the Lakes of Central Asia.
Russia's Advance Eastward. By C. E. H. Vincent.
Russia i7i Central Asia. By H. Stumm.
A Ride to Khiva. By Colonel F, Burnaby.
^yCampaigning on the Oxus. By J. A. MacGahan.
The Merv Oasis. By E. O'Donovan.
Narrative of a Journey through the Province of Khorassan, and

on the North-tvest Frontier of Afghanistan. By Sir C. M.

Wanderings in Baloochistan. By Sir C. M. MacGregor.
Travels in Central Asia. By A. Vanibery.
Clouds in the East. By Colonel Valentine Baker.
4 Short History of China. By D. C. Boulger.
/jQSJiiXiliAsianJ^mstions. By D. C. Boulger.
England and Russia in Central Asia. By D. C. Boulger.
Central Asian Portraits. By D. C. Boulger.
Life of Yakooh Beg. By 1). C. Boulger.
Russian Central Atia. By liov. II. Lansdtll, D.D.

List of References xi


^7ie Eye-witnesses^ Account of the disastrotcs Russian Camiiaign

against the A:;hal TelJce Turcomans. ByXL—Matviu.
MerVj Ike Queen of the W orld. By C. Marvin.
Th£jBai&dans.<xLM.erJM.a3Jd Hevui. By C. Marvin.
The Russian Advance towards India. By C. Marvin.
G-rodehoff's Eide from Samarlcand to Herat. By C. Marvin.
The Russian Railway to Herat. By C. Marvin.
Tli&Jiuss ian A nnexation of ^lexv. ^y C. Marvin.
Reconnoitring Central Asia. By C. Marvin.
The Russians at the Gates of Herat. By C. Marvin.
Russia's Poiver of aH aching India. By C. Marvin.
England and Russia face to face in Asia; Travels tvith the

Afghan Botmdary Co7n7nission. By LibUGenant A. C. Yate.
Northern Afghanistan, or Letters from the Afghan Boundary

Commission. By Major C. E. Yate.
'La Cainpagne des Busses dans le Khanat de Khol\and (1875-76).'

Published in Le Journal des Sciences Miiitaires.
\ £)fficial Re port on the Siege a7ul Assault of Ueiigldl Tejpe. By

General Skobeleff. (Eiii^lish translation.)
Throtigh tiie Heart of Asia : Over the Pamirs to India. By

G. Bonvalot.
Russia in Central Asia. By Hon. G. N. Curzon.
^ Pe rsia,, an d the Pers ian Qii.p.sti.inn. By Hon. G. N. Curzon.
Hansard' s Parliamentary Debates.
Haydn s Dictionary of Dates.
Markham's Geographical Magazine.

Proceedifigs and Journals of the Royal GeograjJiical Society.
Parliamentary Eeports regarding Central Asia, Afghanistan, Persia,

and Beluchistan.






Mongol devastations in Asia and Europe— Russia freed from
the Mongols by Ivan III. — Russia's first advance into Asia
— Conquests of Ivan the Terrible — The British-Miiseovy
Company — First Russian Embassj' to England — Reign of
Michael Feodorovitch, the first of the Romanoffs — Riissia's
Siberian conquests — Cossack invasions of Khiva — English
intervention between Sweden and Russia — England seeks
a Siberian route to Hindustan — Russian mission to the
Khan of Bokhara — Advance of Russia towards the Pacific
checked by the Chinese — Persia refuses Russia's com-
mercial proposals — Expeditions to the Crimea .



Peter the Great conquers Azof — Pultawa — Peter's loss of Azof
and his desire to open a trade with the East — Stories of the
wealth of Asia — Submibsion of the Khan of Khiva to Peter

xiv Russia's March towards India


— Gold-mines of Irket — Omsk and Semipalatinsk — ' New
Siberian Line ' — Failure of Peter's expeditions to Little
Bokhara and Khiva — Russian conquests in Persia — Pro-
posed route to India via Astrabad — Peter's ' will ' — Persia
regains her lost provinces — Submission of the Kirghiz -
Kazaks to Russia — The ' key and gate to all the countries
in Central Asia' — Orenburg — The Pe^'sians defeat the
Khan of Khiva — Empress Anne and British trade with
Persia — The blind Governor of Khiva — Russia again
obtains Azof — Russian acquisition of the Crimea —
Russian designs on Turkey, and Treaty of Jassy — Russians
in Georgia, and their failure in Persia — The struggle for
the Caucasian provinces ....... 25



Scheme for a French and Russian invasion of India — The
Emperor Paul's manifesto — The Sovereignty of Georgia —
Russian advance against Persia — French alliance with
Persia — India threatened by an Afghan invasion — Treaty
of Tilsit — Revival of project for a Franco-Russian invasion
of India — Mission of Sir Harford Jones to Persia — Russo-
Turkish War — Franco- Russian War — Persian reverses and
Treaty of Gulistan — Submission of Turkoman tribes to
Russia — The Gokcheh difficulty and renewal of hostilities
between Russia and Persia — Treaty of Turkomanchai — M.
Griboiedoff's Mission ....... 50



Growth of Russian influence in Persia — Russo-Turkish War,
and Treaty of Adrianople — Russia incites Persia to attack
Herat — Russian intrigue in Afghanistan — Mission of
Burnes to Kabul — Persia's withdrawal from Herat — Lord
Auckland's expedition to Afghanistan, the Simla Manifesto,
and the restoration of Sbuja-ul-Mulk — Russian expedition
for conquering Khiva — Russia and the Kirghiz —Failure
of Russian adviinco upon Khiva . . . . ,89

Contents of the First Volume xv




Dost Mahommed's attempt to regain his throne — Oiatbreak in
Kabul, and murder of Sir Alexander Burnes and Sir
William Macnaghten — Fate of General Elphinstone's army
— The only survivor of the army — Disaster to Colonel
Palmer and his troops — Critical situation in Afghanistan
— Stoddart's and ConoUy's missions to Khiva and Bokhara
— Failiu-e of Eussian mission to Khiva — Russian mission
to Bokhara— Eussian occupation of Ashnrada . . . 12G




Eussian frontier-line at the beginning of the nineteenth
century — Operations in the Sea of Aral and construction
of Fort Eaim — Subjection of the Southern Kirghiz to
Eussia — Founding of Kopal — Collisions between Eussians
and Khivans — The Aral Sea flotilla — Khokandian attacks
on the Eussians — Siege of Ak-Mechet and its capture by
the Eussians — Khokandian expeditions for retaking Ak-
Mechet — Further Russian aggression across the Hi — The
Crimean War — Two Eussian plans for the invasion of
India — Herat again besieged by Persia — British force de-
spatched against the Shah — Intrigues and insurrection of
Izzet Kutebar — Ignatieff's Missions to Khiva and Bokhara
— Further Russian explorations of Central Asia — Khani-
kofl's Mission 144




Civil war in Khokand — Russian forward movement in
Khokand — Capture of Anlio-ata and Hazret-i-Turkestan —
Tchernaieff captures Chiiukcnt — British policy of ' masterly
inactivity ' in India — Prince Gortchakoff's circular — Fall
of Tashkent — Russian declarations regarding Tashkent —
Russian invasion of Bokharan territory — Capture of Khojent
— Capture of Ura-Tepe, and occupation of Jizakh — The
' Steppe Conunission ' — Formation of the Province of

xvi Russia's March towards India


Turkestan — Occupation of Samarkand — Treatj' of Peace
with Bokhara ......... 183



Conferences between Lord Clarendon and Baron Briinnow on
Russia's advance towards Afghanistan and India— Prince
Gortchakoff's map — Gortchakoff' assurances — Contro-
versy on the limitary line — Bussia takes time to consider
the Indian Government's proposals — Final settlement of
the northern frontier of Afghanistan, and Prince Gort-
chakoff's letter — Russian pledges to respect the integrity
of Afghanistan — An incomplete settlement — Present con-
dition of the boundary question ..... 221



' Bokharan independence ' — Petty native disturbances in
Bokhara — The Iskander Kul Expedition — Kulja and its
history — Affairs of Kashgar, and the rule of Yakoob Beg
— Russian occupation and annexation of Kulja ' in per-
petuity ' — Yakoob Beg defies Russia — British relations
with Kashgar — Russian proposals to Y''akoob Beg — Kashgar
and the Porte — Treaty of commerce between the Indian
Government and Kashgar — Projected Russian invasion of
Kashgar — Subjugation of Kashgar by tJie Chinese — Ren-
dition of Kulja to China ....... 235



Occiipation of Krasnovodsk and its object — Gortchakoff's
explanations to Great Britain — Protestations from the
Khan of Khiva and the Persian Government — Kirghiz
insurrection — Skokeleff and Markozofi's reconnaissances —
Council at St. Petersburg— Advance to Khiva and march
of the Russian columns — Disasters of Markozoff 's column
— Bombardment of Khiva — Siu-render of Khiva and
Kaufmann's triumphal entry— Treaty of peace— Reaction
in England against Russia ...... 27."



1220 1G89


Mongol devastations in Asia and Europe — Russia freed from the
Mongols by Ivan III. — Russia's first advance into Asia — Con-
quests of Ivan the Terrible — The British-Muscovy Company —
First Russian Embassy to England — Reign of Michael Feodoro-
vitch, the first of the Romanoffs — -Russia's Siberian conquests —
Cossack invasions of Khiva — English intervention between
Sweden and Russia — England seeks a Siberian route to Hin-
dustan — Russian mission to the Khan of Bokhara — xVdvance of
Russia towards the Pacific checked by the Chinese — Persia
refuses Russia's commercial proposals — Expeditions to the


j^ the early years of the thirteenth century, at the
time when HenryL-IIL— was- king- of- England, the
wild inhabitants of the regions on the extreme
eastern borders of Europe were startled by dis-
quieting rumours of the movements of vast hordeS/>
of barbarians who were at that time devastating
the unknown countries in the heart of Asia. Nor
was it long before these reports assumed a more
definite shape, for it soon became known that a
mighty chieftain had made himself master of the


2 Early History of Russia 1220-

north-eastern portion of Asia, and was then march-
ing with his armies against the kingdoms of Turan
and Iran.

This great conqueror was Geng hiz Khan, the
son of Yissugei, the ' Emperor of the Great Mon-
gols.' In the course of one campaign he had
conquered the whole of the vast region which
stretches from the Sea of Japan to the inhospitable
Pamir Plateau ; shortly afterwards Khiva, Samar-
kand, Balkh, and Bokhara were captured by his
warriors ; and by the year 1220 the frontiers of his
mighty empire had been extended to the southern
slopes of the Caucasus and to the eastern shores of
the Caspian Sea.

In the following year a considerable Moni:^ol
army marched into Europe ; but after ravaging the
rich valley of the Ural it quickly retired, leaving
the startled Eussians astonished at the seemingly
supernatural visitation. Again, in 1223, one of
Genghiz Khan's generals crossed the Caucasus,
and, carrying everything before him, speedily
subjugated the whole country between the mouths
of the Eivers Volga and Dnieper.

<^At this period the country which is now known
by the name of 'Eussia' was in a condition of
complete anarchy, and was split up into a number
of petty principalities/>The rulers of these states
were perpetually at war with each other, their
subjects were devoid of the elements of civilisation,
and throughout the country there was no state, or
group of states, which was in a position to offer
any effective resistance to the onward march of the

-1689 Mongol Supremacy in Eastern Europe 3

barbarian invaders. <iAt this time the most power-
ful of the Eussian princes was MiUslaiof__G:allicia.r^
and he speedily gathered round him some of the
minor chiefs and proclaimed a holy war against
the savage unbelievers who appeared to be bent
on the extermination of all who attempted to
oppose their career of war and bloodshed. But
;the Eussian armies were defeated with great
slaughter on the banks of the Eiver Kalka/'and
after the barbarians had again indulged their
appetite for destruction and massacre, they once
more retired, leaving behind them a desert to mark
their path.

Thirteen years elapsed before these scourges of
humanity again appeared in Europe. In the mean-
while .^nghiz Khan had died, and was succeeded
by his son Ogatai^dio, during the first years of
his reign, was occupied with the continuation of
the war against the Kin emperors of China, which
his father had commenced with such remarkable
success. In May 1234 the last of the Kin em-
perors was overthrown, and while Ogatai was
employed in a great struggle with the S;zng rulers
of the southern provinces of China, Mie sent an
army under his nephew Batu Khan to re-establish
Mongol supremacy in Eastern Europe.

It is needless here to describe the various
campaigns which followed ; it is sufficient merely
to state that by the year 1241 Batu Khan liad com-
pletely overthrown the armies of the Eussian
princes,^heir chief cities had been captured, and
the irresistible hordes of Asiatic barbarians had



4 Early History of Russia 1220-

conquered Poland and Hungary,<and had gained
complete possession of the whole of Eastern
Europe. But at this juncture, when Batu was
on the point of commencing a new campaign
against Austria and the Teutonic knights, he
received news of the death of his sovereign Ogatai,
and at once made preparations for a retreat.
Europe was thus delivered from any further ' car-
nivals of death,' and the terrible Mongol invasions
cam^ to an end.

<C(3n his return from Poland and Hungar}'-, Batu
settled on the banks of the Eiver Volga, built the
'city of Sarai, and there established the kingdom of
the Khans of the Golden Horde — a name which
is said to have been derived from the gorgeous
tapestry and sumptuous appointments of the tent
of the Mongol prince. For more than two cen-
turies after this the princes of the petty Eussian
principalities were forced to pay homage to the
Khans of the Golden Horde. They were obliged
to attend at Sarai to obtain the Khan's decision
regarding their various disputes, and could not
ascend their thrones without first receiving the
' larlikh,' or letters-patent, from the Khan^^nd they
were speedily punished if they made any attempt
to throw off the Mongol yoke.

But towards the close of this period the Mon-
gol empire itself had, for many reasons, begun to
show signs of decay ; anddhe victory which the
Graiid- J?rinae-_of_Mo^cpw^-I)iiiiitri Domikoi —
gained OYe^he Mongol army of Mamai at Kouli-
kovo in^380)was a sure presage of the approaching

-1689 Ivan III. defies the Mongols 5

overthrow of the supremacy of the Golden Horde.
Moscow, at that time, was gradually assuming a
leading position among the Eussian principalities,
and when Ivan Ill^surjiamed-ihejClreat, succeeded
his father Vassih the Blind in 1463 , as Gm.nd
iVince^ of 3Ioscow, the Russians obtained in him
a leader who was able to free them from the
oppression of the Mongols, and one who laid the
foundation of that unity of the Eussian people^^
which enabled them to take their place among
the nations of Europe.

It would be out of place here to refer to Ivan's
actions except in so far as they affect the question
of Eussian conquests towards the East, and these
therefore only will be considered. After subduing
Novgorod the Great, which had been hesitating
between the rival Grand Princes of Moscow and
Lithuania, Ivan conquered the whole of Northern
Eussia as far as Finland, the White Sea, and the
Ural Mountains, and then turned his attention to
the Khanates or Czarates of Sarai and Kazan — two
of the states ■which had grown out of the OTadual
decay of the Golden Horde. He, in 1478, refused
to pay tribute to Aclimet Khan of Sarai, trampled
on the Khan's image, and put all the Khan's envoys
to death, excepting one who escaped and conveyed
the news to the Horde. Achmet, of course, took
the field for the purpose of punishing his rebellious
vassal, and, on marching towards Moscow, found
that Ivan, with a numerous and well-equipped
army, had taken up a strong position on the banks
of the Eiver Oka. The Khan seems to have been

Early History of Russia 1220-

disinclined to risk everything on a battle, and did
not attack ; while the Grand Prince, who, in spite
of his repeated successes, does not appear to have
been possessed of much valour, neglected the
advice of his hoyars, and declined to cross the
river to attack the Mongols. The two armies
remained thus confronting each other for many
weeks, confinin<j' themselves to an occasional dis-
charge of arrows and abuse ; and it was not until
the river became frozen that this extraordinary
situation was brought to a close. Then, how-
ever, when a bloody battle appeared imminent,
an inexplicable panic seized both armies, and
^ they fled in confusion. Such was the final en-
' counter between the Eussians and their former
oppressors of Sarai — a disgraceful flight of both
forces. But the power of the Golden Horde was
broken. Achniet on reaching his country was put
to death by one of his followers, and the Horde,
attacked by Ivan's firm ally, the Khan of the
Crimea,^ oi^ly existed as a separate nation for a
short time longer."-'

Ivan then marched against Kazan, captured the

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Online LibraryRhode Island Historical SocietyRussia's march towards India (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 22)