In the fall of 1842, the British garrison stationed in Kabul witnessed riot and rebellion which forced them to retreat from the city. During the long retreat, only one of almost 16,000 strong made it to the safety of Jalalabad. The man primarily blamed for the loss of so many lives is Major-General William Keith Elphinstone. Many point to his health and inexperience in India and Afghanistan as reasons he should not have received command of the garrison. However, a great deal of political turmoil surrounded Elphinstone and the command of the Kabul garrison. It was because of this turmoil and improper political conduct that Elphinstone received command.
"“The Mad and Criminal Projects of the Politicals”: The Political Control of Afghanistan Surrounding Major-General William Keith Elphinstone’s Command of the Kabul Garrison,"
Voces Novae: Vol. 7
, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.chapman.edu/vocesnovae/vol7/iss1/4