The Khyber Rifles

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The Khyber Pass is an indelible mark in the history of the British Raj with the destruction of the Army of the Indus in 1842. The 33 year old surgeon Dr William Brydon achieved Victorian fame for his heroic ride to bring the news of defeat to the garrison at Jalalabad. Often referred to as the Sole Survivor, Dr Brydon was not the only person to survive, some soldiers and camp followers being taken captive and eventually freed, but apart from this handful, the rest of the 16,000 strong army perished on the march from Kabul, most of them in the Khyber Pass. The author begins with this event and demonstrates the ambitions of Russia to expand into Afghanistan and India. That ambition continued through to the final days of the Soviet Union. Today, the old players are again involved, but on this occasion as allies, in the fight against Al Qaeda

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