Documented the severe ethnic divides in the country that are being played out today in the crisis in Darfur I liked the way he made his point but let the reader draw his or her own conclusionsIt was a very good read and I would commend it to all persons of a serious bent Now that I have some additional solid information about the period I am perhaps ready to engage my colleague at the University of Vermont Darius Jonathan who is from Sudan as well as my friend Hassan Suleiman who I met in atar also a Sudanese Then I might really start learning A well balanced account of the conflict in Sudan between the Anglo Egyptians and a collection of Sudanese tribes between 1883 9This is a military historical book told in thorough detail It includes strategic insight as well as areas of weakness in each side and a good feel for what each side was fighting forWhat bothered me the most was the sheer number of fighters and civilians who died I m not sure exactly how many but maybe 250000 I know many participated so that they could fight for what they believe in but it just feels so devastating to have lost that many livesI don t mean to come across as insensitive to human suffering but I am also deeply saddened by the amount of animals that were killed in the crossfire Those poor camels were obliterated The low rating was mostly because as informative as it was it was a very hard read The detail into each event is commendable however for me it was too much Also there were so many names that kept popping up Some for short times others longer and ou re trying to take in their backstory and then they seem to meld into everyone elseGordon and Kitchener were the stand out characters I would recommend this to anyone who likes detailed accounts of war The author is an ex soldier and long time resident of Sudan He displays all of his experience in writing this military history on the English in Sudan the various attempts to rescue General Gordon Gordon s death and the eventual return of the English to finally revenge Gordon and remove the troublesome dervishes His tale is full of the English professional soldier the incompetent but beloved officers and a healthy respect for the dervish as fierce brave and determined fighters He also even includes the names of soldiers and NCOs rather than leaving them nameless as most military histories doThe pointlessness of the whole affair and the lose of so many lives is just sad Having read much on the British Army in the twentieth century and on Victorian society and empire one area I had done little than scratch the surface the sand even was Sudan The reader is given a background to the political arrangements and past rulers up to the British presence in what was a sideshow for the Empire when compared to South Africa and the shining jewel India This British interest and clearly at times in London plain disinterest and a man who is God s Expected One The Mahdi are the centre for a war that would see the world s first islamic state rise from defeating the 19th century s superpower before Victoria s men expunged the memory of defeat 14 A Bush Calendar years laterThe land much blood was spilt on and over was a mix of harsh and unforgiving landscapes with at its heart a thin ribbon of green vegetation emanating from the river Nile and it s two tributaries the White and Blue Nile populated by nomadic tribes or people who lived in abject poverty in the few towns with little infrastructureMr Asher provides excellent descriptions on both forces including the main characters their relationships influences and organisation including the building of a railway it is Victorian Britain after all soou d expect it surveyed with great skill by members of the Royal Engineers He also clearly knows the country well and his descriptions of the land and the areas where battles were fought are excellent To my mind he provides a fair assessment of both armies during the two separate and distinct phases of the war and the tactics used Although Britain was a modern power with well trained troops and considerable firepower at its disposal it would be wrong to think of the native forces as only having spears swords and shields They did and employed these with both skill and courage but they also used firearms and artillery and when coupled with their traditional warrior culture and sheer weight of numbers they were a formidable foe to be treated with caution and respectMichael Asher s informative exciting and balanced account of the wars during the period 1883 1898 was a perfect entry for me It has left me wanting to read and has added to my knowledge of Gordon particularly Lord Kitchener and the most of all Sudan a country that today has a population of some 42 million people and since the 1950s has been beset by civil wars and strife that look set to continue for some time et in one of the world s most complex geo political areas Very entertaining book that covers the two campaigns fought by the British in the Sudan in 1883 1885 and 1896 1898 Proclaiming himself the long expected Mahdi the Guided One of the Prophet Mohammed Ibn Admed el Sayyid Abdullah led a revolt of the Sudanese against their Egyptian occupiers It soon became abundantly clear the Egyptian Government which was essentially installed by the British after the Arabi Pasha revolt of 1882 was not capable of putting down the uprising
LEERY OF BEING PULLED INTO A of being pulled into a for a place of limited strategic value the British Government ultimately dispatched General Charles Gordon to Khartoum to oversee the evacuation of the Egyptian garrisons from the region although this being the ultimate imperial adventure Gordon s true intentions of what he hoped to accomplish in Khartoum remain a point of contention Gordon s attempted negotiations with the Mahdi were uickly rebuffed and *he soon found himself trapped and surrounded by the dervish army This sets the stage for a *soon found himself trapped and surrounded by the dervish army This sets the stage for a rescue attempt by a British relief column including a newly formed Camel Corp and gunboats working their way up the Nile it truly is a rollicking good adventure story Asher s account of that campaign and Kitchener s subseuent re conuest of the Sudan fifteen ears later is insightful and engaging an excellent read about a fascinating subject If I were a cleverer man I d write this review in the idiom of a blustering
"Englishman It would be peppered with cheerio and bully and capital and every r would be dropped The "It would be peppered with cheerio and bully and capital and every r would be dropped The bloody ell would be repeated several times In all it would be a review as narrated by Kipling s Tommy Atkinson Unfortunately I m not all that clever The point however is that Michael Asher s Khartoum is a pugnacious throwback type of history Its subtitle the Ultimate Imperial Adventure do. Uthor Michael Asher has reconstructed this classic tale in vivid detail Having covered every inch of the ground and examined all eyewitness reports he brings to bear new evidence uestioning several accepted aspects of the story The result is an account that sheds new light on the most riveting tale of honour courage revenge and savagery of late Victorian tim.
Michael Asher ✓ 9 FREE READ
Nile flowed right through it I wondered how it had been both British and Egyptian As a college student of Asian civilizations I had done a large research project on the Taiping rebellion in China in the 19th Century and there found mention of a charismatic leader Charles Gordon who had helped end the conflict and seemed to be a principled and righteous British officer who often went against his orders and always did what he thought was right and usually acted to reduce the suffering of the people he was dealing with There was a mention there that he had died defending Khartoum in the Sudan My interest was raised and when I saw a trashy paperback in a bookstore I bought it and uickly read Gordon of Khartoum It was uite a fanciful retelling of the story of how Gordon was governor general of the Sudan when it was ruled by the Turks Egyptians British how he had worked to end the slave trade and eventually was reappointed elsewhere He was brought back to Khartoum to rescue the country from an Islamic fundamentalist leader the Mahdi expected one who would purify Islam or so the legend went Gordon had died defending the city because the relief column sent to rescue him arrived about 18 hours too late I knew it was largely history romanticized but I enjoyed it I certainly was not as aware as I am now so the story of a righteous Christian imperialist dying defending his beloved people appealed to me Later I saw the movie of the same name staring Charlton Heston which I instantly sensed was entertaining but a load of tripeAs I was browsing the bookstore shelves buying books for my trip to Mexico a very serious undertaking I saw this volume inspected it and bought it hoping that I would now have a historically accurate picture of the eventsAs usual I began by finding out about the author Some background information usually helps me ascertain my feelings about the text He had been a British military officer in the SAS and then had become an author achieving much success in many different types of writing He also was fascinated by this region of the world and had won awards for desert exploration in the Sudan from the Royal Geographic Society He lived in Sudan for ten ears and spoke fluent Arabic He now lives in Kenya with his Arabist wife and two childrenThis text is in fact a very detailed retelling of the entire story from the original massacre of the Anglo Egyptian force under Hicks in 1883 by the Mahdi to the fall of Khartoum to the Mahdi including Gordon s death to the eventual capture of Khartoum by Kitchener in 1899 There are several interesting points about the text that are worth rememberingFirst it seems somewhat balanced A European will always tell such a story from a European perspective but he did try to balance the story He was very critical of the British officer corps for its lack of military competence its reward of chumminess over skill the purchase of commissions and its indifference and hostility to those who were part of the British Empire His indictment of many officers was specific and cutting These elements were interesting to me as they showed the arrogance of the British forces in specific detail with stories of specific officers and how they behaved He showed remarkable respect for the Sudanese people their various cultures and their tremendous survival skills He talks a lot about how the Beja specifically had been defeating invading armies since the time of the Pharaohs and had always been successful He specifically praises the skills and cleverness of the Haddendowa leaders Osman Digna a survivor who outlived it all His salute to the Sudanese as fighters also seems sincere whether for the courage of those fighting for the Mahdi and for the steadiness and reliability of the Sudanese and Egyptians who fought with the British His strongest indictment comes of the Turco Egyptian ruling class both in Sudan and Egypt as corrupt cowardly and self centered He seems to agree with Gordon that they were the roots of the problem there and that the people had good reason to rise up against them Asher s reliance on British sources is to be expected but he also seems to have used *many Arabic sources as well as oral histories in telling the *Arabic sources as well as oral histories in telling the he saw the conflict as not exclusively religious The Mahdi provided a charismatic figure around which to rally and while many did so for religious reasons there were also many practical reasons to support this regime given the corruption and mismanagement of the Turco Egyptian government Many of the ethic groups had not rallied to the Mahdi but when the existing government collapsed and Gordon was killed they naturally rallied to the winning side Likewise when the Mahdi died soon after the fall of Khartoum the Islamist state introduced by his successor was a bit too harsh for them and fractures began to develop along ethnic linesThird the descriptions of the battles themselves are detailed and horrifying I wish I had read this as a boy and it might have cured me of some of the lingering military romanticism that it took me another ten ears to eliminate His descriptions of steel on steel battles uite often the British steel failed and the movements of troops were also gripping The fact that many battles were over uickly but seemed like an eternity was fleshed out by substantial detail and comments written later by soldiers who survived His strongest salute was to the individual soldiers who showed courage and determination in the face of tremendous adversity both with the opponents and with the elementsFourth water was often the key Running around the desert with large military forces reuires water and it was often pivotal British forces that came upon a watering hole defended by forces of he Mahdi had no choice but to attack as did the Mahdi s successor near the end of the conflict The railroads that were built solved some of this problem but even they had to carry huge amounts of water to power the steam engines and at one point half of the train was carrying water for itself One interesting story is how a surveyor and water diviner brought in by the British actually found two new water supplies that were critical in assisting them cross a route no native would think could be usedFifth the book does a good job of setting the stage for the modern phase of Islamic fundamentalism without becoming too preachy This was
one of the first truly Islamic states established and was the only colony to win independenceof the first truly Islamic states established and was the only colony to win independence force of arms in Africa The agenda of the Mahdi and his regime very much set the stage for future Sudanese politics and the rise of Bashir in 1989 Osama bin Laden spent Vide et plein years in Sudan soaking up the teachings of the Mahdi and his modern followers It also. D 2 days too late The result was a national scandal that shocked the ueen and led to the fall of the British government Twelveears later it was the brilliant Herbert Kitchener who struck back Achieving the impossible he built a railway across the desert to transport his troops to the final devastating confrontation at Omdurman in 1898 Desert explorer and I love history but this book was a bit of a struggle to get through Too many names of places to remember to fully understand the battle of Omdurman etc otherwise a well researched book This was a great and fairly balanced despite than occasional flashes of old school gung ho rah rah type British patriotism style telling of both of the Mahdist Wars between the British some Sudanese and Egyptians on one side and most Sudanese following the self declared Mahdi on the other The details from the battles is particularly great and as fun and shocking to read as if they had been written in narrative fictionThe only potential drawback is that this book did not include the non Anglo Egyptian involved Mahdist wars such as the skirmishes with the Italians in Eritrea or most interesting of all the large pell mel war fought between Sudan and Ethiopia In one of the battles there Meneilik II defeated the Mahdists before then going on to defeat the Italians later on These actions could have been included to show just the scope of events in the Sudan during the late 19th Century I picked this book up in an airport somewhere For some reason I prefer to read history when I am travelling I know it makes no sense This book is a fascinating insight into the mechanics of the Victorian era when it comes to politics and the military they were very different times when military force was seen as a weapon of justice and good and life in the army was a good adventure for a The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race young manBefore i picked up this book I knew little of the fall of Khartoum the events leading up to the crisis and the Nile campaign that followed All of these deficits were uickly corrected I am left with an understanding of how the Sudan became the first African nation to achieve independence however briefly through force of arms how opposing political views in Britain allowed a brave if naive man to be abandoned in the middle of a hostile country and perhaps interestingly how the British military really operated in that narrow period of time before war changed foreverIt probably isn t a fascinating read for everyone but I enjoyed it a lot Funny how just last week thanks to that book on Stanley Livingstone I realized how little I knew about African history and found this in my stack next up From the Central African slave trade of the 1860s and 1870s I learnt in this one all about the slave traders in Northern Africa in the 1880s 90s and all the repercussions from this Sudan was the first African country to have a successful revolt against its colonial overlord but the reason for the revolt was the new ban on slavery Turkey enacted under British and European pressure Arab traders who had settled in Sudan who were used to raiding villages to the south killing all the men and enslaving the women and children found themselves with no economy At the same time Egypt Turkey decided to modernize Sudan and passed ruinous taxation The Turks were also horrible rulers with corrupt officials pouring civil servant and army wages right into their own pockets Some troops hadn t been paid inears and were on the verge of mutinyInsert one religious fanatic the Mad Mahdi who thinks he s the second coming to fight along Jesus in an apocalyptic battle against the apostates just what ISIS believes And this is the birth of Islamic fundamentalism From women going around in loincloths in a fun communal atmosphere the Mahdi forces strict dress codes on all females over 5 and floggings for all sorts of crimes He gathers his dervishes pissed off slavers those angry about taxation and wages those gang pressed and falls upon a 11000 of Turkish Egyptian troops led by an English commander Hicks slaughtering them all
"God S Perfect Idiot "s perfect idiot Chinese Gordon is now dispatched to Khartoum to get the lay of the land and prepare an evacuation On no circumstances is he to say that the British are coming to the rescue he goes about his mission in perhaps the worst way ever The author is pretty pro Gordon and is upset about his reputation s fall and the fact the Gordon statue got uietly taken down in Trafalgar Suare but he seemed ridiculously stupid to me Granted he went out nobly but he also ordered every male over 8 to join him in defense When the situation that Punainen kuin veri you personally bungled horribly is now officially ruined andou re going to make a last stand it seems kind of bad to institute a Hitler Youth defense Especially since he seemed a little pedophile
ISH BUT I GUESS NO WAY TO KNOW FORbut I guess no way to know for Sad his head got cut off but so did 11000 other peopleGordon s death and the fall of Khartoum was ueen Victoria s personal low point of her reign It s *surprising that there was not a constitutional crisis because it seemed pretty obvious how much she hated Gladstone *that there was not a constitutional crisis because it seemed pretty obvious how much she hated Gladstone her views on the rescue attempt British government toppled over the public furor of this historical version of Benghazi The death tolls and mass rapes in this book are on the sobering massive size and the author does a good job showing the panoramic of the disaster The US ambassador was also killed so was the Austrian ambassador and his family gruesomely even his pet parrot There was a half hearted attempt eventually that had some success with all British troops but the British military really didn t want to fight in Sudan and took advantage of distractions in Afghanistan to retreat The Mahdi died soon after from disease or poisoned by a woman whose family he killed and his henchman takes over 15 Make You Mine years of atrocities wars with Ethiopia and Eritrea and the British come back for revenge well revenge and the fact that France has been looking too close at Sudan herself and now UK wants it again Book picks up here with Lord Kitchener taking it over andou see why he was such an icon The railroad he had built to ferry the troops across the desert is still in use in Sudan and More Than a Princess (The Montevaro Monarchy you can see one of his gunboats used in Cairo Winston Churchill still a puppy manages to sneak into the troops with a press pass and is there to witness most of the war s great events Sometimes ahead of the front lines since he seemed to get himself cut off in front of the enemy getting hit by friendly fire uite a bit in his excitement First time British used special forces The rise of the Egyptian Army The last regimental cavalry charge Last time a medieval army fought I had no idea this war was so monumental Currently there s probably no war in the past that affects us so much today presently The Mahdi were anti any technology This is a historical period that has long interested me It covers the time between 1880 1898 in the Sudan I remember that as aoung boy fascinated by maps I had been curious at the designation of the Anglo Egyptian Sudan on the map It was huge and the. The British campaign in the Sudan in ueen Victoria's reign is an epic tale of adventure thrilling than any fiction The story begins with the massacre of the 11000 strong Hicks Pasha column in 1883 Sent to evacuate the country British hero General Gordon was surrounded and murdered in Khartoum by an army of dervishes led by the Mahdi The relief mission arrive.