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  • The 1842 Kabul Retreat took place during the First Anglo-Afghan War. Following an uprising in Kabul, Major General Sir William Elphinstone negotiated an agreement with Akbar Khan, one of the sons of King Dost Mohammad Khan of Afghanistan, by which his army was to withdraw to the British garrison at Jalalabad, more than 90 miles away. As the army and its numerous dependents and camp-followers began its march, it came under attack from Afghan tribesmen. Many of the column died of exposure, frostbite or starvation or were killed during the fighting. The Afghans launched numerous attacks against the column as it made slow progress through the winter snows of the Hindu Kush. In total the British army lost 4,500 troops, along with about 12,000 civilians: the later comprising both the families of Indian and British soldiers, plus workmen, servants and other Indian camp-followers. The final stand was made just outside a village called Gandamak on 13 January. Out of more than 16,000 people from the column commanded by Elphinstone, only one European and a few Indian sepoys reached Jalalabad. A few dozen British prisoners and civilian hostages were later released.

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