Officer, Royal Horse Artillery, 1842
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Sculpture: Juan Carlos Ávila
Painting: Alfonso Prado
Number of parts of the kit: 8
Scale: 54 mm
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WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER BUYING THIS FIGURE:
– This is a new chance to get an iconic and long-out-of-production piece by Elite Miniaturas.
– This classic sculpt by Juan Carlos Ávila brings you all the intensity of one of the most desperate episodes of the British Army.
– Our signature resin quality allows you to get the figure clean and ready in almost no time, so you may invest your precious free time in what really matters: painting and having fun.
In 1838, the British East India Company, fearing an increase of the Russian influence over Afghanistan that would threaten their interests in the area, started making plans for armed intervention. After a successful campaign where the British forces captured key points like the city of Kandahar or the fortress of Ghazni, they stopped in the outskirts of Kabul itself, but they decided not to capture it for diplomatic concerns.
The British Army set camp and relaxed after the victory but the Afghans, which were not too happy about the occupation, started to plan a revolt. At the end of 1841, the Afghan leader Akbar Khan started an armed insurrection against the invading forces.
After some initial success of the rebels against the clearly inferior and unprepared British forces, General Sir William Elphinstone, their commanding officer, tried to negotiate a settlement with the Afghans. They agreed on a retreat of all the British troops, along with their families, servants, and other civilian workers.
As soon as they left Kabul, leaving behind the powder reserves and most of the weaponry along the wounded and sick, the Afghans started the attack on the column. After some days of harassing and diverse acts of treachery by Akbar Khan that made things much worse, the British forces were either destroyed or heavily scattered.
The biggest surviving group was composed of 65 officers and soldiers from the 44th Regiment of Foot and spare members from other units. They made their last stand on a snowy hilltop near a village called Gandamak, resisting fiercely wave after wave of Afghans tribesmen until most were killed and the rest were captured. Among the survivors was a certain Captain Souter. He had rolled the regimental colors around his waist to preserve them from capture and the Afghans spared his life thinking that he was wearing a yellow sash like the ones that British generals wore.
The episode was a shock on the British Empire, that immediately started preparing a retaliation force that eventually destroyed Kabul.
Our miniature represents an officer from the small contingent of the Royal Horse Artillery present among the British forces on that fateful episode.