Sunday, January 06, 2008

Jan 6th, 1842

The British Empire, after installing a new ruler upon the throne in Afghanistan, found itself besieged in Kabul where its camp lay on an open plain. As the British subsidies to various warlords dwindled and opposition rose in response, the situation became untenable.

So on 6 Jan, 1842 before a proper Afghani escort force could be assembled from those who signed the treaty with the British, British and allied forces withdrew from Kabul towards Jalalabad. Of the 4.500 soldiers and 12.000+ camp followers including children, only one survivor of the Ghilzai led ambush made it. On the 13th of the month, a Dr. Brydon was found by the British garrison at Jalalabad. A few other survivors were captured by Afghan forces and enslaved. In the fall of 1842, British forces once again visited Kabul to lay waste to areas of the city and rescue a few survivors.

Thus ended the first British war in Afghanistan. As England secured the borders of India or tried to, Imperial Russia was busy securing areas to the north of modern Afghanistan like Tashkent.

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