In 1839 forces of the British East India Company crossed the Indus to invade Afghanistan on the pretext of reinstating a former king Shah Soojah to his rightful throne. The reality was that this was another step in Britain’s Great Game – Afghanistan would create a buffer to any potential Russian expansion towards India. This history traces the initial, campaign which would see the British easily occupy Kabul and the rebellion that two years later would see the British army humbled. Forced to negotiate a surrender the British fled Kabul en masse in the harsh Afghan winter. Decimated by Afghan guerilla attacks and by the harsh cold and a lack of food and supplies just one European – Dr Brydon would make it to the safety of Jalalabad five days later. This book goes on to trace the retribution attack on Kabul the following year, which destroyed the symbolic Mogul Bazaar before rapidly withdrawing and leaving Afghanistan in peace for nearly a generation.
Richard Macrory is a professor of law at University College London, author of books and specialist articles in environmental law, and former chairman of Merchant Ivory film productions. His great great great uncle was Eldred Pottinger (the ‘hero of Herat who survived the Retreat) and his father wrote the first modern account of the Ist Afghan War, Signal Catastrophe, published in 1966. Macrory has an extensive collection of works on the First Afghan War, including original copies of Lady Sale’s Diary, Lt. Eyre’s account, and Kaye’s History of the Afghan War. Peter Dennis was born in 1950. Inspired by contemporary magazines such as Look and Learn he studied illustration at Liverpool Art College. Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles. A keen wargamer and modelmaker, he is based in Nottinghamshire, UK.