Proceed to Peshawar is a story of adventure in the Hindu Kush Mountains and of a previously untold military and naval intelligence mission during World War II by two American officers along 800 miles of the Durand Line, the porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. They passed through the tribal areas and the princely states of the North-West Frontier Province, and into Baluchistan. This appears to be the first time that any American officials were permitted to travel for any distance along either side of the Durand Line. Many British political and military officers believed that India would soon be free, and that the Great Game between Russia and Britain in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries would then come to an end. Some of them thought that the United States should, and would, assume Britain’s role in Central Asia, and they wanted to introduce America to this ancient contest.
~ Praise for Proceed to Peshawar ~
“…the unusual perspective offered by this brief work allows it to make a unique contribution to the existing historiography. George Hill, a retired US Naval Reservist, has uncovered an interesting story, part travelogue, part biography and part history lesson.”
— The Naval Review
"Highly recommended to those interested in the history and atmosphere of the Frontier, especially in the waning days of the Raj."
— Asian Affairs, The Royal Society for Asian Affairs, London
"This is a cautionary and engaging tale that provides significant insight on the complexities of the little-understood region between Afghanistan and present-day Pakistan...The volume is a valuable contribution to the history and culture of the region."
— Naval Historical Foundation
— The Midwest Book Review
“Hill’s story is a valuable insight into the tumultuous era of India and Afghanistan in 1943. It portrays the intricate life of two American intelligence officers in a remote location under minimal guidance and almost minimal support. History is often shaped from such tenuous threads. It is satisfying to be granted a view of the details of this world.”
—Adm. Harry D. Train, USN (Ret.), NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (1978–1982)
“Proceed to Peshawar takes the reader on a one-of-a-kind journey in a Jeep through south-central Asia, one of the world’s most politically intriguing—and generally dangerous—regions. The unique trip during World War II by two U.S. military intelligence officers, one of whose papers are the core of the story, jounces through the rugged terrain at the geographic nexus of American, British, Chinese, and Russian interests of the time. Day by day and mile by mile, the diplomatic hubris, military infighting, political intrigue, ethnic crosscurrents, and cultural clashes that unfortunately are still with us are bared. For the reader, however, there’s useful knowledge and insight to be had along the way.”
—Rear Adm. Joseph F. callo, USN (Ret.), author of John Paul Jones: America’s First Sea Warrior and The Sea Was Always There
“With engaging prose and a wealth of carefully researched detail, Hill brings together the historical context and personalities involved in a forgotten but momentous episode: America’s first official introduction to the terrain and culture of a region that continues to bedevil U.S. foreign policy today. . . . Hill tells an important cautionary tale of how the U.S. got a taste for the Great Game, which had already cost the British and the Russians so much blood and treasure.”
—Barnet Schecter, author of George Washington’s America: A Biography through His Maps
“Lt. Albert Zimmerman, USNR, kept meticulous notes on this great adventure that he undertook with Major Gordon Enders and Sir Benjamin Bromhead, starting in India and then proceeding to Peshawar and far beyond. Inspired by this archive, the author does more than describe the mission. He looks back at the political and historical events leading up to the journey and then forward to the present day. Thorough research and compelling writing will keep readers riveted. I was reminded that the Afghan people once liked us and that explorers and climbers today have nothing on these men.”
—John E. (Jed) Williamson, Sterling College and the American Alpine Club