Philip Warner - Dervish (Ebook)
Within these pages the vivid and colourful story of a remarkable episode in the 'high empire' period of British history. The Mahdi's rising in the Sudan in the 1880's, which started as a localised Holy War against the 'decadent' Turkish/Egyprian overlords, was soon to engulf a million square miles of territory and force the hand of the British Liberal Government, whose reluctance to get involved paved the way for the early disasters of the Hicks' expedition and Gordon's death at Khartoum. The narrative makes full use of diaries and first-hand reports, including those of celebrated novelist Rider Haggard's brother Andrew or Father Ohrwalder (the Austrian missionary who spent ten years of captivity in the Mahdi's camp), and of the adventurer Rudolf Slatin. These brilliantly describe the growth and strength of the Mahdist movement and the extraordinary devotion and discipline of the Dervish troops. Matching such opponents with stoic endurance were the British, Egyptian and Sudanese soldiers, and the resulting military engagements saw amazing feats of courage and daring-do on both sides. The Dervish Empire outlasted the Mahdi by thirteen years. It ended in the battle of Omdurman and Kitchener's re-conquest of the Sudan, which was well supported by Reginald Wingate's military intelligence operations. While lasting for a brief period, it had been at the expense not only of the neighbouring Abyssinians but also of the European white man, at a time when Britain was approaching the zenith of its imperial power.