From invasion to destruction-a British military disaster. Following over a century of the gradual assumption of sovereignty of the Indian Sub-Continent, the British Empire, in the form of the Honourable East India Company, supported by troops of the new Queen Victoria's army, found itself inevitably at the natural boundaries that surround Afghanistan. There it set in motion a series of disastrous events-the first of which was to march into the country at all. After an initially successful campaign and the placement of a ruler more acceptable to the British-if totally unacceptable to the Afghans-on the throne, there came the far more formidable-and ultimately hopeless-task of controlling an almost unconquerable and inhospitable land and people. This is the story of how that led to just one British soldier-the sole survivor of a slaughtered British army and its followers-staggering into Allahabad-just three years after the folly began. This was the first time Britain fought to control Afghanistan. It would by no means be the last!