Retreat and Destruction of the British army in Afghanistan

#1
Retreat from Kabul: The Catastrophic British Defeat in Afghanistan, 1842 , in 1838 the British launched the First Anglo-Afghan War and attempted to impose a puppet regime under Shuja Shah. The regime was short lived, and unsustainable without British military support. By 1842 mobs were attacking the British on the streets of Kabul and the British garrison agreed to a retreat from Kabul with guaranteed safe passage. Unfortunately for the British, the guarantee proved to be worthless. The retreating British column consisted of approximately 4,500 military personnel and 12,000 camp followers including many women and children. During a series of ruthless attacks all but a few dozen were killed and taken prisoner the rest where butchered
The only survivor to reach Jellalabad was a Dr Brydon,

casualty list 1842

http://www.redcoat.info/FAfghan.htm


http://www.britishbattles.com/first-afghan-war/kabul-gandamak.htm
 
#5
Not to cheerfull a picture though and cant help thinking what a spanking the russians took
they admitted to 15000 killed, I think we are on a hiding to nothing
 
#6
Captain Edward Macleod BLAIR - 5th Light Cavalry - Aged 39. Son of Genersl Sir Robert Blair, K.C.B. (Bengal Infantry), and Herculina. He was born in Shikohabad, U.P. 13th May 1803 and was the husband of Susanna Kennedy (She refused to accept that her husband was dead and stayed in India with her 2 daughters awaiting his return, they all died in the Cawnpore massacre in 1857). He was killed in action in the Jagdalak Pass 12th January 1842. See Regimental Memorial (bottom of page)
Tablet in St. James' Church, Karnal - 'Sacred to the memory of Captain Edward Macleod Blair 5th Bn. Lt. Cavalry killed in the retreat from Cabul in January 1842. sincerely regretted by all who knew him.'
Surely not an ancestor?
 
#8
You could have chosen to highlight the second Anglo-Afghan War where, under General Roberts, we administered a good kicking to the towel heeds.
However, this wouldn't suit the people determined that we're doomed, now would it?
 
#9
l/cpl_blowhard said:
Retreat from Kabul
The only survivor to reach Jellalabad was a Dr Bryden,

casualty list 1842

Surgeon William Bryden, seconded to Shah Shujah's medical services in Afghanistan, who accompanied the army on its retreat from Kabul in 1842.

As recounted in the book 'Redcoat' by Richard Holmes. 'William Bryden's account from the Memory and Memoranda made on arrival of the retreat from Cabool in 1842'

'I with difficulty put my pony into a gallop, and taking the bridle in my teeth, cut right and left with my sword as I went through them. They could not reach me with their knives....one man on a mound over the road had a gun, which he fired close down on me, and broke my sword, leaving about six inches in the handle. But I got clear of them, and then found that the shot had hit the poor pony, wounding him in the loins, and he could hardly carry me'

I have read elsewhere Dr. Bryden was allowed to go in order to tell the tale of what happened, but it sure sounds as though he had his problems along the way to Jellalabad. Pretty good for a Doctor.
 
#10
TartanTerror said:
remf said:
Biscuits_AB said:
My, you're a cheery wee fella.
your right there, don't you just need him in a sanger with you.
ROFL yeah he is a right wee cheery chops, however I’m glad he likes my avatar.
Yeah, that threw me off. I searched my PMs for your account to make sure you didn't change your name :lol:
 
#12
Unterfeldweble Blast Arbiet is his usual cheery self, I trust he has informed Dear Leader of the consequences of an Halfgan adventure.
Proably has as Tone dear Tone is sending more men about half of who are TA and many medical specialists, Rob All My Comrades, as my uncle used to refer to them.
A couple of companies from here and a platoon or two from there and they will find an extra heli or so to run the lads around in.
My my and when it all ends in tears, just who will take the can?
john
Tom will take the box, the wooden one, but now't new there.
Is there.
 
#14
4,500 British (mainly Indian) troops and approximately 12,000 'camp followers' were slaughtered by a numerically superior force of Ghilzais en-route from Kabul to India having been granted safe passage by the Afghanis. The British Army, as a result of the massacre, returned to Afghanistan and exacted tremendous retribution. The 13th Foot (later the Somerset Light Infantry) did a particularly fine job.
Again during the second Afghan War 1878-80 (Bobs Bahadur etc.,) the British kicked ass though the battle of Maiwand proved particularly disastrous for the 66th of Foot (later the Royal Berkshire Regiment) who, outnumbered and out gunned, fought to the last man. The Brits also won the the third Afghan War in 1919. Three out of three aint bad despite L/Cpl Blowhard's subliminal message predicting doom for the Brits.
 
#15
All these assertions that we won the 2nd and 3rd Afghan wars leave out one valuable point - to whit,
we couldn't control the place afterwards and were doomed to leave in failure and ignominy. Ringing any bells?
 
#16
Perevodchik said:
All these assertions that we won the 2nd and 3rd Afghan wars leave out one valuable point - to whit,
we couldn't control the place afterwards and were doomed to leave in failure and ignominy. Ringing any bells?
Well yes & no - a common misconception that Britain ever tried/ intended to take & hold Afghanistan: we never did. All 3 "Afghan wars" were, in fact, expeditionary in nature with very precise/ limited political objectives. There was never any intention/ desire to occupy Afghanistan, or parts of it, for more than limited periods in order to achieve precise aims - partly punitive in one case, but primarily to ensure security of NW Frontier, esp Bolan & Khyber passes.

Strategically, therefore, these campaigns were VERY successful; also, broadly, tactical successes too, and lessons learned there are still applied to great effect by the Indian & Pakistani Armies in Kashmir. In fact, they're so effective that each has managed to neutralise the best efforts of the other to achieve the current impasse in that neck of the woods!

Comparisons between Britain's imperial campaigns in Afghanistan and those of the USSR from 1979 are facile: different contexts, different intentions, and - contrary to popular opinion - very different outcomes.
 
#17
I agree Britians objective was the Protection of the North West Frontier of India.
If only the presant UK Govenment would tell us all in Plain language just what the objective is for todays Tommy.
john
 
#18
Perevodchik said:
All these assertions that we won the 2nd and 3rd Afghan wars leave out one valuable point - to whit,
we couldn't control the place afterwards and were doomed to leave in failure and ignominy. Ringing any bells?
I think you'll find the Brits won the 1st too - despite the massacre.

In any event all three wars achieved their aim which was to prevent Russian expansionism into Afghanistan and latterly to push back the Afghans from the Frontier.

I would rather see soldiers from Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey chasing the Taliban around Afghanistan than the current coalition. Or maybe Vietnamese forces - that should sort them out!
 
#19
I agree Britians objective was the Protection of the North West Frontier of India.
If only the presant UK Govenment would tell us all in Plain language just what the objective is for todays Tommy.
john
While I cannot say why British soldiers are in Afghanistan this is why I think Americans soldiers are there.

1 to deny the Taliban and Al qaeda terrorist training bases so they can not carry out attacks on the West.
2 to assist the Afghanis in set up and stabilizing a government that can provided a pluralistic and peaceful pathway to the modern world
 
#20
NEO_CON said:
While I cannot say why British soldiers are in Afghanistan this is why I think Americans soldiers are there.

1 to deny the Taliban and Al qaeda terrorist training bases so they can not carry out attacks on the West.
2 to assist the Afghanis in set up and stabilizing a government that can provided a pluralistic and peaceful pathway to the modern world
Sounds good in theory but has a couple of flaws.

1) wont work in the same way that driving junkies out of inner cities just means them moving to other areas, there are plenty of countries that dont mind supporting groups of that persuasion, including some that we (well the US anyway) count as our friends.

People dont just escape from Saudi jails.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5160410.stm

We need to look at the reasons why these groups are so pissed off with the west and take the wind out of their sails and that includes a long, hard, critical look at US foreign policy/international business ethics over the last few decades.

2) Look at the history of the region, puppet governments have only lasted as long as they are protected by the outside forces that aided them to power, as soon as the coalition ups and goes from Afghanistan then the governments days are numbered and the warlords assume control as they always have done.

Sorry pal I think you're looking at this through rose tinted specs.
 

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