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History November 5, 1883

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Martin Rohmann, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. Martin Rohmann A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    A Massacre ...


    On November 3rd, 1883 an Egyptian-Ottoman army led by British officers marched south through the Sudan with a strength of almost 10,000 men (7,000 infantry, 500 light and 100 heavy cavalrymen and 400 irregular riders, so-called "Bashi Bozuks") ...:

    [IMG]

    The troops also have 4 brand new Krupp breech loaders, 10 mountain guns and 6 Nordenfeldt cannons as artillery.This so-called "Kordofan Expedition" is led by the former Lieutenant Colonel William Hicks ...

    [IMG]

    ... who entered Egyptian service and was promoted to the rank of "Pascha" (roughly: "General").Here Hicks is sitting in his new Pascha uniform with his officers 3rd from the left in the first row ...:

    [IMG]

    Hicks Pascha has no experience with the Sudanese theater of war - he had spent almost his entire service in India.

    And his deputy, Liwa Hussain Pascha ...

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    ...does not want to!His morale is just as bad as that of the rest of the Egyptian soldiers!

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    All of them had to see a few years before how the British defeated Egypt militarily and became a - only formally independent! - had converted protectorate by their grace.

    Many of the soldiers had fought against the British and had been defeated.Hicks would have gladly done without this "deputy", but Liwa Hussain Pascha had been forced on him! Because he was a Muslim and it was feared that the soldiers - also Muslim - would not have followed a Christian like Hicks Pascha.

    And the Egyptian, on the other hand, was of the opinion that command of the troops actually belonged to him - and was only reluctantly subordinate to the British in addition to everything else.

    Moral lousy, an unwilling deputy at hand, no experience with the country and its people - and also hampered by a huge entourage of 5,000 dromedaries.And in addition the order in the pocket the rebellious troops of the "Mahdi" Mohammed Ahmed ...

    [IMG]

    ... to defeat - fellow believers of his soldiers!

    You really can't envy the British and you wonder what devil Hicks might have ridden to report for this suicide mission!Hicks separated himself and surrounded himself exclusively with European companions (6 British, 2 Germans, 2 Austrians) who either served on his staff (the British) or traveled as military observers (battle strollers).

    The Pascha was protected by a small mounted British bodyguard.

    The Mahdists accompany the advance with guerrilla actions! They push the troops away from water points and employ them, especially at night, with mock attacks so that they cannot sleep ...:

    [IMG]

    Tired, demoralized and suffering from thirst, the column of Hicks Pascha marches on the woe to Obeid on November 5, 1883 through a wooded ravine, where they are awaited by the main power of the Mahdi and attacked from the surrounding heights.

    The Egyptians face 40,000 to 50,000 highly motivated and well-rested fighters - they have no chances!

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    In a very short time the formation of the Egyptian soldiers disbanded, they were surrounded and massacred almost to the last man.

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    The insurgents make rich booty - the Hicks troop is almost entirely equipped with brand new "Remington" rifles.

    Hicks Pasha quickly realizes that the game is lost and tries to escape on horseback with his European staff officers, the "battle strollers" and his bodyguard - but he doesn't get very far!
    At a baobab tree known today as the "hornist tree", the fugitives are caught by Mahdi warriors on horseback, surrounded and all killed ...:

    [IMG]

    Allegedly, Hicks is said to have been hit by a spear from Muhammad al-Sharif ...

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    ... Mahdist caliph and son-in-law of Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad, have been killed.

    The British defeat went down in history as the "Sheikan Massacre".
    Nap, Airkid and grasshopper like this.
  2. grasshopper A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    Nice one Martin..concise..implicit hubris of imperialism..
    Martin Rohmann likes this.
  3. Martin Rohmann A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    Really like your daily comments, mate!(y)
    grasshopper likes this.
  4. grasshopper A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    Have you looked into western allies in opposing Russian Revolution? Germans supporting? Some interesting little actions..
  5. Airkid PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    England
    There were quite a few British officers who freebooted with foreign armies at this time. A couple that spring to mind are Charles Augustus Hobart (Hobart Pasha), an ex Royal Navy Captain, and Valentine Baker (Baker Pasha), both of whom fought for the Turks in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877.

    Good work as usual Martin!

    Phil
    grasshopper and Nap like this.
  6. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Another interesting day in history to learn about

    Thanks for the details

    Nap

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