Omdurman, Battle of


Omdurman, Battle of
(1898)
   A critical engagement resulting in the reestablishment of Anglo-Egyptian control over the Upper Nile Valley. Fought on September 2, 1898, during the British campaign against the Dervishes of the Sudan, Omdurman brought Lord Kitchener to prominence. Kitchener’s army of 26,000 men, half British and half Egyptian, came under attack in its fortified encampment near Omdurman by 40,000 Dervishes commanded by the Mahdi, who, despite fanatical perseverance, failed to make headway against the concentrated machine guns and modern repeating rifles of their opponents. Having repulsed the tribesmen, Kitchener then marched toward Omdurman where the Dervishes, on rallying, attacked again, including a force concealed in a ravine, which although driven off by a lancer charge, inflicted heavy casualties on the horsemen. Modern technology proved too much even for the bravery of the Dervishes, who fled leaving 20,000 casualties on the field while inflicting only 500 on the Anglo-Egyptians.
   See also <>; <>; <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Featherstone, Donald, Omdurman 1898: Kitchener ’ s Victory in the Sudan. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 1994;
    Pollock, John. Kitchener: The Road to Omdurman. London: Constable, 1999;
    Ziegler, Philip, Omdurman. London: Leo Cooper, 2003.
   GREGORY FREMONT-BARNES

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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