W Britain Collection
In 1881, Mohammed Ahmed, a Sudanese Islamic prophet, had declared himself the “Mahdi” or “Guided One” and launched a desert revolt with the intent of removing all foreigners from the Sudan. By 1884 the Mahdi and his forces had laid siege to the largest foreign outpost in the Sudan, Khartoum. British Major General Charles “Chinese” Gordon had been given the task of evacuating Khartoum but delayed too long and was trapped in the city.
Initially, the British Government was reluctant to send troops to Gordon’s aid, but under intense public pressure relented with the dispatch of British troops The Battle of Tamai under the command of Wolseley. The Gordon Relief Expedition progressed very slowly and eventually Wolesley split his forces into separate “River” and “Desert” Columns in hopes that the land force might arrive at Khartoum sooner. Unfortunately the Relief Expedition did not reach Khartoum until January 28, 1885, two days after a Mahdist attack and massacre that resulted in the death of Gordon. This new series by W. Britain will initially focus on two of the key battles, Tamai and Abu Klea, and will grow to include the various units involved in the campaign from both the river and desert columns.
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