Safavid Army Defeated at the Battle of Gulnabad

Safavid Army Defeated at the Battle of Gulnabad ... 08/03/1722 History, #Afghan, #Afghanistan, #Battle_of_Gulnabad, #Isfahan, #Persia, #Safavid, #Safavid_Empire, #Safavids, #Shah

The Battle of Gulnabad (Sunday, March 8, 1722) was fought between the military forces from Afghanistan and the army of the Safavid Empire. The battle resulted in Afghanistan, under Shah Mahmud, winning and controlling much of Persia. It further cemented the eventual fall of the Safavid dynasty.

One account of the battle described the Safavid army as being beautifully outfitted, with lavish horses and uniforms, and over twice the number of the Afghan 20,000 force. On the contrary, the Afghan forces were described as being in loose formations, very few in anything that appeared to be a uniform, hungry and in need of equipment.

The sun had just appeared on the horizon when the armies began to observe each other with that curiosity so natural on these dreadful occasions. The Safavid army just come out of the capital, being com­posed of whatever was most brilliant at court, seemed as if it had been formed rather to make a show than to fight. The riches and variety of their arms and vestments, the beauty of their horses, the gold and precious stones with which some of their harnesses were covered, and the richness of their tents contributed to render the Safavid camp very pompous and magnificent.
On the other side there was a much smaller body of soldiers, dis­figured with fatigue and the scorching heat of the sun. Their clothes were so ragged and torn in so long a march that they were scarce sufficient to cover them from the weather, and, their horses being adorned with only leather and brass, there was nothing glittering about them but their spears and sabres....
—Jonas Hanway, 1712–1786

The Afghans won the war and began their conquest of the Safavid Empire. Numbers and casualty figures of the Gulnabad battle are believed to be between 5,000 to 15,000 dead Safavid soldiers, and in the siege that followed, over 80,000 Safavids died due to war and famine. It was following the battle that the Afghans laid siege to the city of Isfahan for six months, after which they took the capital of the Safavid Empire.

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