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In the post-Taliban era, Afghanistan is seeking unifying national heroes from its past. But, as David Loyn explains, agreement on who should be celebrated is hard to reach. 

Amid the disasters of the first Afghan War, writes James Lunt, the successful defence of Jellalabad, beyond the Khyber Pass, stands out as a well-deserved battle-honour.

Amid the disasters of the First Afghan War, the courage and buoyancy of Lady Sale stands out — James Lunt describes her as the shining epitome of “a soldier's wife."

Alexander Burnes met his death on November 2nd, 1841, at the hands of a furious Afghan mob. James Lunt introduces one of the most adventurous travellers of his generation.

In 1880, after an unsuccessful attempt to occupy the southern half of the country, British forces withdrew from Afghanistan. Bijan Omrani describes how the new ruler installed in their wake, Abdur Rahman, unified the fractured nation at a terrible cost.

Roger Hudson explains a photographic panorama, taken at the beginning of the Second Afghan War, of the ancient and forbidding fortress of Bala Hissar.

Raymond A. Mohl describs how the nineteenth century history of Anglo-Russian conflict in Central Asia is marked by gradual Russian advances and gradual British retreats.

Gerald Morgan introduces Byron’s friend and executor; a radical Whig and head of the East India Company during the Afghan troubles of 1835-43.

J.M. Brereton introduces Pierre Louis Napolean Cavagnari, a soldier of French-Italian and Irish descent, who played a distinguished part in British relations with Afghanistan, eventually costing him his life.

The recent killing of British soldiers by their Afghan allies echoes events of the 19th century, writes Rob Johnson.