Largely written while the author was being held as a hostage by the Afghan leader Mahomed Akber Khan, along with his family and several other British officers and their families, “The Military Operations at Cabul” is an account of the tragedy and destruction which overtook the British army during the First Afghan War. Recounting only the events which he himself witnessed or of which he had eye witness testimony, Eyre provides a detailed and moving description of the misfortunes of the British forces and the indiscriminate slaughter of their retreating column by their enemies, as well as a unique account of the harrowing conditions and distressing treatment that were inflicted on the British hostages by their Afghan captors. This is a unique and compelling testimony of events that shocked the greatest Empire on earth to its core.
MILITARY OPERATIONS AT CABUL: Which ended in the Retreat and Destruction of the British Army in January 1842
Vincent Eyre (1811-1881) had a distinguished military career in Afghanistan and India. Blockaded in Cabul in 1840 and seriously wounded in a sortie, Eyre and his family were among the hostages kept by Akber Khan in return for permission to evacuate the British force. He also distinguished himself in the Indian mutiny of 1857, leading a force that relieved government employees at Arrah and defeating the Koor Singh. For this feat he was later awarded the Star of India, second-class. He remained in the army until his retirement in 1863, by which time he had achieved the rank of Major-General. He remained active until his death and with his wife helped to organize an ambulance service in France during the Franco-Prussian War.
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