), The River War: An Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Sudanese honour warriors who fell fighting British", "This Sceptred Isle, Battle of Omdurman 1898, Episode 68", "Charge of the 21st Lancers at Omdurman, 2 September 1898", The River War: An Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan, Churchill, Sudanese honour warriors who fell fighting British, Khartoum Campaign or the Re-conquest of the Soudan, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Omdurman&oldid=999391479, Articles needing additional references from August 2016, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. He joins Kitchener's campaign both to defeat the Kh It was first published in 1903. At the Battle of Omdurman on September 2, … The 2008 novel After Omdurman by John Ferry is partly set during the 1898 re-conquest of the Sudan, with the book's lead character, Evelyn Winters, playing a peripheral role in the Battle of Omdurman. 'Jewel in the Red Sea crown' This page was last edited on 9 January 2021, at 23:05. Omdurman is today a suburb of Khartoum in central Sudan, with a population of some 2 million. Four awards were made of the Victoria Cross, all for gallantry shown on 2 September 1898. He still had over 30,000 men in the field and directed his main reserve to attack from the west while ordering the forces to the northwest to attack simultaneously over the Kerreri Hills. Henty tells the story of the British military expedition and the destruction of the Mahdi's followers during the Mahdist War (1881–1899). 5 'Twas in the year of 1898, and on the 2nd of September, 6 Which the Khalifa and his surviving followers will long remember, 7 … Interested in participating in the Publishing Partner Program? In 1898 Kitchener led a force of 8,200 British troops, 17,600 Sudanese and Egyptians up the Nile to capture a city in the Sudan called Omdurman, the Dervish capital across the river from Khartoum. [11] Winston Churchill privately agreed with Bennett that Kitchener was too brutal in his killing of the wounded. These articles have not yet undergone the rigorous in-house editing or fact-checking and styling process to which most Britannica articles are customarily subjected. [6] One of the participants of this fight was Lieutenant Winston Churchill. In particular, the charge of the 21st Lancers held special appeal and several artists portrayed the scene including Stanley Berkeley, Robert Alexander Hillingford, Richard Caton Woodville, William Barnes Wollen, Gilbert S. Wright, Edward Mathew Hale, Capt. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Kitchener was seeking revenge for the 1885 death of General Gordon. They could never get near and they refused to hold back. Several days after the battle, Kitchener was sent to Fashoda, due to the developing Fashoda Incident. With the initial attack defeated, the British moved out of their defenses to advance on Omdurman, unaware of the number of Mahdists present in concealed positions. [7] MacDonald's brigade was soon reinforced with flank support and more Maxim guns and the Mahdist forces were forced back; they finally broke and fled or died where they stood. [6] On a larger scale, the British advance allowed the Khalifa to re-organize his forces. Especially deadly were the Maxim guns—the first self-powered machine guns—that could fire 600 rounds per minute. Kitchener's losses were a mere 47 dead and 340 wounded. By far the most intriguing (and most analytical) text I have ever read about Omdurman, if not about any colonial battle. After a nervous night for the British, fearing an attack under cover of darkness, the fighting began at dawn. In the episode called The Two and a Half Feathers there is an extended flashback to the days directly before the battle, narrated by Jones. The 52 quick firing guns of the British artillery opened fire at around 2,750 metres (1.71 mi),[4] inflicting severe casualties on the Mahdist forces before they even came within range of the Maxim guns and volley fire. They pressed Macdonald's Sudanese brigades hard, but Wauchope's brigade with the Lincolnshire Regiment was quickly brought up and with sustained section volleys repulsed the advance. The village of Omdurman was chosen in 1884 as the base of operations by the Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad. Questions or concerns? The novel With Kitchener in the Soudan by G.A. A final desperate cavalry charge of around 500 horsemen was utterly destroyed. Around 12,000 Muslim warriors were killed, 13,000 wounded and 5,000 taken prisoner. Replies. [3] It was a demonstration of the superiority of a highly disciplined army equipped with modern rifles, machine guns, and artillery over a force twice its size armed with older weapons, and marked the success of British efforts to re-conquer the Sudan. Kitchener's force lost 47 men killed and 382 wounded, the majority from MacDonald's command. Kitchener ordered the tomb of the Mahdi destroyed, while the khalifa retreated into southern Sudan, where he was trapped and killed. The fall of Khartoum and death of General Gordon in 1885 had weakened British influence in north-east Africa. He had a railway built parallel to the Nile to supply his force as he advanced southward from Egypt, and riverboats provided transport for both troops and equipment. The waves of Mahdists were cut down in front of the British lines by the rain of bullets from rapid-fire rifles and Maxims. At the Battle of Omdurman (2 September 1898), an army commanded by the British General Sir Herbert Kitchener defeated the army of Abdullah al-Taashi, the successor to the self-proclaimed Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad. They were split into five groups—a force of 8,000 under Osman Azrak was arrayed directly opposite the British, in a shallow arc along a mile (1.6 km) of a low ridge leading onto the plain, and the other Mahdist forces were initially concealed from Kitchener's force. Kitchener was serving as commander in chief of the British-officered Egyptian army. At the Battle of Omdurman (2 September 1898), an army commanded by the British General Sir Herbert Kitchener defeated the army of Abdullah al-Taashi, the successor to the self-proclaimed Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad. A brigade of Sudanese troops, under General Hector Macdonald, found itself isolated in the face of some 15,000 Mahdists; they resisted courageously until support arrived and disciplined firepower drove off the enemy. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. With Kitchener in the Soudan: A Story of Atbara and Omdurman (1902) Gregory's father disappeared in the expedition to Khartoum. The 1972 film Young Winston includes a depiction of the initial Anglo-Egyptian artillery bombardment at the start of the battle as well as a recreation of the charge of the 21st Lancers. Meaning of battle of omdurman. Delete. To protect the rear, a brigade of 3,000 mainly Sudanese, commanded by Hector MacDonald, was reinforced with Maxims and artillery and followed the main force at around 1,350 metres (0.84 mi). Lewis's Egyptian Brigade managed to hold its own[4] but MacDonald was forced to repeatedly re-order his battalions. He arrayed his force in an arc around the village of Egeiga, close to the bank of the Nile, where a twelve gunboat flotilla waited in support,[3] facing a wide, flat plain with hills rising to the left and right. The subject of the battle made its appearance in several oil paintings exhibited in Britain at the time. The Battle of Omdurman cost the Mahdists a stunning 9,700 killed, 13,000 wounded, and 5,000 captured. A decade later, Lord Salisbury’s government authorised a return to Sudan, to protect British interests in Egypt and prevent the French from expanding in the region. At the Battle of Omdurman (2 September 1898), an army commanded by the British General Sir Herbert Kitchener defeated the army of Abdullah al-Taashi, the successor to the self-proclaimed Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad.Kitchener was seeking revenge for the 1885 death of General Gordon. Adrian Jones, Major John C. Mathews, and Allan Stewart. Reply. The battle of Omdurman began at 5.30 a.m. with a salvo of six guns from Major Elmslie’s battery on the east Nile bank. Kitchener was seeking revenge for the … Unknown September 18, 2017 at 4:59 PM. In subsequent years it was said that the battle of Omdurman was won in the Railway workshops of Wadi Halfa – what turned out to be one of the great engineering enterprises of modern times. Kitchener commanded a force of 8,000 British regulars and a mixed force of 17,000 Sudanese and Egyptian soldiers. Field Marshall Kitchener, the famous British colonialist, set up base in Suakin in 1883-1885, years before launching the battle of Omdurman, which led to the full occupation of Sudan and his "crowning" as Lord Kitchener of Khartoum. In the battle of Omdurman, the British Army faced Sudanese defenders consisting of over 52,000 poorly armed desert tribesmen dervishes; in the space of five hours the battle was over. Fending off counterclaims by France, Britain made Sudan an Anglo-Egyptian colony. Harrington, Peter, "Images and Perceptions: Visualising the Sudan Campaign," in Edward M. Spiers (ed. This contribution has not yet been formally edited by Britannica. Kitchener was ennobled as a baron, Kitchener of Khartoum, for his victory. This quiz collects 41 of the toughest questions from Britannica’s most popular quizzes on world history. They outnumber the poor infantryman and his comrades two to one and hold a … Four Victoria Crosses were awarded, three to members of the 21st Lancers, as a result of this action: 2nd Lieutenant Raymond H.L.J. The Mahdist forces to the north had regrouped too late and entered the clash only after the force in the central valley had been routed. ’Twas in the year of 1898, and on the 2nd of September, Which the Khalifa and his surviving followers will long remember, Because Sir Herbert Kitchener has annihilated them outright, By the British troops and Soudanese in the Omdurman fight. Battle of Omdurman The massacre of the army of Sudanese Dervishes on a plain near Omdurman on September 2nd, 1898, was an occasion that a new military technology by Britain in battle. On the morning of 26 January 1885, after 319 days of siege the city of Khartoum in the Sudan fell to the forces of Muhammad Ahmed, the self-proclaimed Mahdi, or Expected One, its Commander General George Gordon speared and hacked to death on the steps of the Governors Palace and his severed head carried off in triumph to the enemy camp where a displeased Mahdi, who had … Shop with confidence. But not just the railway. Khedive's Sudan Medal (1897), Egyptian campaign medal awarded to British and Egyptian forces which took part in the Sudan campaign between 1896 and 1898. However, it was not until the 1899 Battle of Umm Diwaykarat that the final Mahdist forces were defeated. Mahdist forces quickly surrounded the city, and Gordon was in need of supplies and troops. Tony Bunting is a historian who has recently completed a research project at the University of Central Lancashire on the evolution of nineteenth-century British imperialism. He sent gunboats to shell the town while his cavalry scouts tried to locate the Mahdist army. By midday the. What does battle of omdurman mean? …for the final advance to Omdurman, Kitchener’s army of about 25,000 troops met the massed 60,000-man army of the Khalīfah outside the city on September 2, 1898. The 1939 film adaptation of the novel The Four Feathers is set in the time of this battle, and covers other aspects of the Sudan Campaign. The British government authorized him to invade Sudan and suppress the Mahdists. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The khalifa meanwhile had made the fateful decision to engage Kitchener’s army in a pitched battle. Articles such as this one were acquired and published with the primary aim of expanding the information on Britannica.com with greater speed and efficiency than has traditionally been possible. The British and Egyptian cavalry were placed on either flank. Corrections? 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