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File 3443/1914 Pt 2 'German War: German emissaries to Afghanistan' [‎9v] (25/490)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (238 folios). It was created in 1 Jun 1915-21 Nov 1915. It was written in English and French. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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4 At Naozad on the 24th September I heard that a force of more than
400 Afghans had collected at Yazdan (in Persian territory) three days
previously, but enquiry proved the report to be entirely ialse.
Here, unfortunately, two of our horses broke dcvra and I had
back one of them to P.irjand with a Persian levy. There is a difficult
negotiate before reaching Naozad with a very steep cescent.
° 5 At Takhtiban I met Ali Akbar Beg, who, according to report, had done
a good deal, to help the Germans. He is intelligent and cunning and was,
until two years ago, Hissam-ud-Dowleh’s Tahvildar m Sis an. Now he claims
to be a servant of Shoukat-ul-Mulk. He has a good house at lakhtiban,
which is a large village of some 1,500 inhabitants, and he appeared to have a
good supply of grain, for he supplied my requirements and said 1 would have
found difficulty in procuring grain elsewhere in the village.
6. I accused Ali Akbar Beg of having helped the German party which
passed through the village in July and Herr Paschen. He was perfectly
frank and said he had made it his business to appear friendly to them in order
to o'et at their secrets and intentions for the information of his master,
Shoukat-ul-Mulk. He boasted of having some days previously sent you a
report, through Jawala Singh, of Paschen s movements, and asked me to pay
for the Kossid who carried the report to Birjand. He did all he could for my
party, and placed his house at my disposal.
My impression is that Ali Akbor Beg did rather more for the Germans
than was necessary, but that his motive was simply mercenary. I think he is
a rogue who would give Paschen or any one else away to the highest bidder
and willingly serve two or more masters.
7. Ali Akbar was quite open about Paschen’s doings and he gave me a
complete account of his return from Afghanistan, with despatches, which is
as follows : —
Paschen reached Takhtiban from Herat on the 20th Shaval by the
Gozukht route, the shortest from Yazdan but very difficult for horses and
mules. He left for Duruksh next day. On reaching Naoghab Ghiek,
3 farsakhs from Sehdeh, he learned that the road was held by Indian and
Cossack patrols. He remained at Naoghab Chiek for two nhrhts looking for
an opportunity to get through, and on the third day returned to Jarf, a small
Kalata near Takhtiban.
Here Paschen sent for Ali Akbar and discussed the prospects of getting
through to Tabas, suggesting he could disguise himself as a shepherd or a
camelman. Paschen was greatly agitated. He said he had no care for his
life but could not aPord to lose the despatches he carried, a big parcel from
which he showed Ali Akbar two telegrams, which he said were given to him
by their Persian Mirza, a Tehrani, named Mirza Husein Khan, for despatch
from Kain. These telegrams were (1) To German Minister, Tehran, asking
that his (the Mirza’s) things might be sent with 50 Gandermes to Birjand,
and (2) To German Consul, Ispahan, asking for Ts. 2,500. Ali Akbar further
states that Paschen told him the Persian officer of their sowars Askar Zadeh,
had also left Herat with despatches for Ispahan travelling via Meshed.
He advised Paschen not to attempt the journey to Tabas, and the latter
left the same night for Herat, again travelling by the Gozukht road.
8. The German party seems to have been well received at Takhtiban,
where, besides Ali Akbar Beg, a person named Mirza Muhammad Khan, gave
them considerable assistance in procuring supplies. They camped on an open
space of ground near water; on the outskirts of the village.
I gathered that many Sunnis in the Juigi district who are mostly on bad
terms with the governing family of Kainat, were well disposed towards the
Germans and Turks accompanying them, but the party do not appear to have
created any real impression even in Takhtiban, as they were regarded as
fugitives. They paid liberally for supplies and guides.
At Gozukht they are spoken badly of as they threatened the people and
forcibly broke open se* era! ambars in search of grain, which they seem to
have been told at Takhtiban was procurable at Gozukht.

About this item


The volume contains correspondence regarding the Persian Campaign of the First World War and the movements and activities of the Central Powers in Persia [Iran] between June and November 1915. The correspondence is particularly concerned with German and Ottoman attempts to infiltrate Afghanistan from Persia, and of ensuring the continued neutrality of both Afghanistan and Persia.

The primary correspondents are the British Legation, Tehran; the British Embassy, Petrograd [Saint Petersburg]; the Government of India; and the Foreign Office.

The volume contains a single folio in French (f 184), a communication from the Russian Ambassador in London.

The volume includes a divider which gives the subject number, the year the subject file was opened, the subject heading, and a list of correspondence references by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 volume (238 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the first folio with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 238; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

A previous foliation sequence between ff 121-127, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

The foliation sequence does not include the front and back covers.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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File 3443/1914 Pt 2 'German War: German emissaries to Afghanistan' [‎9v] (25/490), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/473, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 August 2019]

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