'We must see what the morning brings and then think what can be done.' - Major General Elphinstone, when told of the rampaging mob outside his residency in Kabul, 1841. 'Most dutifully do we shut our eyes to our probable fate.' - Lady Sale, whose husband commanded the British garrison at Jalalabad, on the possible outcome of the evacuation of Kabul, 1842. Was former Prime Minister Tony Blair wrong in 2001 to allow Britain to be drawn into a fourth conflict in Afghanistan, just as it was wrong for Britain to go into that country in 1839 without a shred of evidence to support widespread fears of imminent Russian invasion? The result of this misadventure was the worst single military disaster the Raj ever suffered: a column of 16,000 troops, their families and camp followers were massacred on the retreat from Kabul.
Publisher: The History Press Ltd