Britain and Russia in Central Asia, 1880–1907 is the third in a series of collections of books and documents on the relationship between Britain and Russia in Central Asia during the nineteenth century. The previous sets have covered the periods 1800–42 (The Great Game: Britain and Russia in Central Asia), and 1842–80 (Great Power Rivalry in Central Asia).
The period covered by the present collection is notable for a major crisis centred on the northern frontier of Afghanistan, which in 1885 brought the two empires to the verge of war. During the 1890s, attention switched to the Pamirs and Tibet. Early in the twentieth century, however, both powers found themselves seriously overextended, both militarily and financially, Britain primarily on account of the Boer War and Russia by the war with Japan. The outcome was a convention covering Persia, Afghanistan and Tibet, concluded in 1907. While this did not remove tension in the region altogether, no significant confrontation subsequently occurred.
The principal events and themes covered in this new Major Work include:
- the Russian assault on Denghil-Tepe and the defeat of the Tekke Turkmen in 1880
- the Russian railway construction programme in Transcaspia and its implications
- the Russian occupation of Merv, 1884
- the Pandjeh crisis and the British ultimatum over Herat, April 1885
- the Anglo-Russian Boundary Commission and Agreement of 1887
- the growth of Russian influence in Persia, 1880s onwards
- the Lockhart survey of the Pamirs, 1885
- the Ney Elias and Younghusband missions to the Pamirs, 1889–91
- Durand’s missions to Gilgit and Hunza, and the relief of Chitral, 1891–5
- the Pamir Boundary Agreement, 1895
- the Bower/Thorold mission to Tibet, 1881
- Dorjief’s supposed intrigues in Tibet and Younghusband’s assault on Lhasa, 1903–4
- the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907.
Table of Contents
1. Siege and Assault of Denghil-Tepe, 1881 General Skobelev 2. The Transcaspian Railway Armin Vambery 3. Merv and its Surroundings, 1882 Edmond O’Donovan 4. Russian Policy Over Atek and Merv, 1881 Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 5. Russian Policy Over Merv, 1881 Generals Skobelev and Grodekov 6. The Significance of the Conquest of Akhal-Teke, 1882 Governor-General of the Caucasus 7. Report on British Intrigues in Merv, 1882 Engineer Lassar 8. Siakh-Push’s Intrigues, 1884 Commander of the Transcaspian Region 9. The Russian Occupation of Merv, 1884 Commander of the Transcaspian Region 10. The Annexation of the Murghab Valley, 1884 Commander of the Caucasus Region 11. The Campaign against the Afghans, 1885 Private A. Bolandin 12. The New Afghan Frontier Col. Sir W. Ridgeway 13. Is a Campaign by Russia to India Possible? General A. N. Sobolev 14. The Fluctuating Frontier of Russia in Asia George N. Curzon 15. The Pamirs Agreement, 1895 16. The Northern Frontier of India, 1895 Francis Younghusband 17. Report on the Situation in Afghanistan and the Pamirs, 1891 Lt. Col. V. L. Grombchevsky 18. Some Notes on Tibetan Affairs, 1893 Captain H. Bower 19. Russian Policy in Asia, 1893–5 P. A. Badmayev 20. Policy towards Tibet, January 1903 Lord Curzon 21. The Lhasa Convention of September 1904 22. To India, 1898 Captain Lebedev 23. Russian Policy in Asia, 1900 Count M. A. Muraview 24. The Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907
Part 1: The Russians at the Gates of Herat Charles Marvin Part 2: The Coming Struggle for India Armin Vambery
The Defence of India General Sir Charles Macgregor
Russia in Central Asia Hon G. Curzon MP
Part 1: Report on a Mission to Chinese Turkestan and Badakhshan in 1885–86 N. Elias Part 2: The British and Russians Meet in Central Asia Francis Younghusband Part 3: Tibet’s Foreign Relations Ekai Kawaguchi
The Opening of Tibet Perceval Landon