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Khartoum 1885: General Gordon's Last Stand (Praeger Illustrated Military History Series)
     

Khartoum 1885: General Gordon's Last Stand (Praeger Illustrated Military History Series)

by Donald Featherstone
 

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Early in 1881 unrest in the Sudan began to crystallize around Mohammed Ibn Ahmed el-Sayyid Abdullah. Proclaiming himself the long-expected Madhi, the Guided One of the Prophet, he preached that the Sudan was to be purged of its Egyptian oppressors. Drawn in by the Egyptian failure to deal with the situation, the British sent General Gordon to organize an evacuation

Overview

Early in 1881 unrest in the Sudan began to crystallize around Mohammed Ibn Ahmed el-Sayyid Abdullah. Proclaiming himself the long-expected Madhi, the Guided One of the Prophet, he preached that the Sudan was to be purged of its Egyptian oppressors. Drawn in by the Egyptian failure to deal with the situation, the British sent General Gordon to organize an evacuation. On reaching Khartoum however, General Gordon believed, incorrectly, that the Madhi could be reasoned with. Instead of negotiating, the Madhi besieged the town for 317 days, ending in the fall of the city, and the death of Gordon, which has come to encapsulate the myth of the Imperial hero. This title details the campaign in context and, in particular, at the battles fought by the British columns sent to relieve Khartoum.

The two campaigns fought by the British in the Sudan, in 1884-5 and 1896-8, were far more than an attempt to relieve Khartoum and the eventual reconquest of the country. Early in 1881 general unrest in the Sudan began to crystallise around the name of an obscure man of religion, Mohammed Ibn Ahmed el-Sayyid Abdullah. Proclaiming himself the long-expected Madhi, the Guided One of the Prophet, he preached that the Sudan was to be purged of its Egyptian oppressors, and her people brought back to the purity of the true faith. Soon, the Egyptian government, installed by the British after the Arabi Pasha revolt of 1882, found itself hard-pressed to maintain authority in the Sudan, being forced into a series of abortive operations against the Mahdi's swelling hordes of followers until finding itself with only token garrisons to defend isolated posts at Sennar, Tokar, Donagla and Berber. Drawn in by the Egyptian failure to deal with the situation, the British became involved, sending General Gordon to organise the evacuation of civilians and troops. On reaching Khartoum however, General Gordon proved reluctant to do this, believing, incorrectly, that the Madhi could be reasoned with. Instead of negotiating however, the Madhi besieged the town for 317 days, as inadequate government measures led to delay after delay for the relief column as it struggled its way through hostile territory.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275986292
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
02/28/2005
Series:
Praeger Illustrated Military History Series
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
7.48(w) x 10.04(h) x 0.52(d)

Meet the Author

DONALD FEATHERSTONE has long been a student of military history and has visited many of the world's most famous battlefields. He has written extensively on a large number of military campaigns.

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