Battle of Omdurman

by Mitch on December 29, 2011 0 Comments

Robert Kelly's depiction of the Kholifa's flight was wholly imaginative, but still suggests the impact which the exotic image of dervish power had on British opinion .



September 2, 1898


Near Khartoum in central Sudan


[1]British and Egyptians

[2]Sudanese Dervishes


[1]Major General Sir Herbert Kitchener

[2]Khalifa Abdullah

Approx. # Troops

[1]8,000 British, 17,000 Egyptians

[2]35,000–50,000 Sudanese Dervishes


Brings Anglo-Egyptian control of the Sudan

In the September 2, 1898, Battle of Omdurman, British, Egyptian, and Sudanese forces defeated nationalists in the Sudan, leading to the establishment of the Anglo- Egyptian Sudan. The battle also illustrated the technological advantage of European military establishments over their brave but primitively armed opponents in the wars of imperialism that preceded World War I.


Concern over the security of the Suez Canal, Britain’s lifeline to India, led the British ...

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INA - withdrawal from Imphal

by Mitch on December 28, 2011 0 Comments

INA and Japanese soldiers cheering after the joint forces captured a strategic spot in the Indo-Burma border, 1944.

Sugata Bose

On July 10, 1944, the Japanese informed Bose that their military position had become untenable and they had no option but to order a withdrawal from Imphal. Netaji and his followers gathered once more at Bahadur Shah’s tomb on the emperor’s death anniversary, which fell on July 11. Their solace on this somber occasion—in addition to a Bahadur Shah couplet about a warrior’s faith, composed after the collapse of the 1857 revolt—was a well-known verse from Lord Byron’s poem “The Giaour”: “Freedom’s battle once begun, bequeathed from bleeding sire to son, tho’ baffled oft, is e’er won.”


Short of food and medicines, the regiments of the INA’s first division were in desperate straits by early July. Naga Sundaram, a Tamil civilian ...

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Indian National Army Formed…

by Mitch on December 28, 2011 0 Comments

INA Commanders

Military parade of the INA at the Padang on 5 July 1943.

Sugata Bose

The first Indian National Army was formed on February 17, 1942, two days after the British surrendered to Japanese forces in Singapore. But it was in disarray by December. Bose possessed the stature, vision, and organizational ability to rekindle the spirit of anticolonial nationalism among the soldiers and weld them into an effective fighting force. If he was to achieve his dream of leading an army of liberation into India, however, he had to win a desperate race against time. Could he lead the Indian National Army into Calcutta, which he had left secretly in the dead of night on January 16–17, 1941? Bengal, his home province, was being devastated by a gigantic man-made famine just as he assumed leadership of the Azad Hind (“Free India”) movement in Southeast Asia. For years he ...

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China under thumb!

by Mitch on December 22, 2011 0 Comments

The Boxer Rebellion

For 2,200 years China was an extraordinarily durable imperial state, yet by 1557, when Portugal took possession of Macao, it became an object of European interest. Ruled since 1644 by the Qing dynasty descended from Manchu conquerors, nineteenth-century China was beset by internal convulsions and external challenges until 1912 when a nationalist revolution led by Sun Yatsen produced a republic. The first domestic upheaval, the folk-Buddhist White Lotus rebellion of 1796 to 1804, revealed both popular discontent with the Qing government and the flagging competence of its military. The Nian (1851–1868) and the Taiping (1850–1864) rebellions further weakened China and left its large territory and extensive coastline increasingly vulnerable to the predations of Britain, Japan, and Russia in particular. Indeed, the Qing’s bureaucratic rigidity and China’s educational and economic backwardness led to its humiliation as early as the Opium War of 1839 ...

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Siege of Port Arthur, (1904–1905)

by Mitch on December 17, 2011 0 Comments

Port Arthur

Port Arthur is the former name of the port city of Lüshun at the tip of China’s Liaodong Peninsula in Liaoning Province, approximately 30 kilometers south of the city of Dalian. Port Arthur takes its name from Royal Navy Lieutenant William C. Arthur, who briefly occupied the harbor in 1858. Port Arthur’s natural harbor and strategic position, commanding the northern Yellow and Bohai Seas, resulted in its fortification in the 1880s by Qing China and its choice as headquarters for the developing Beiyang Fleet. The port played a major role in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894 when it was captured by Japanese troops after a short siege. On the strength of its peace settlement with China in 1895, Japan briefly occupied the city along with the Liaodong Peninsula yet was forced to withdraw in response to the Triple Intervention of Russia, France, and Germany. In 1898 ...

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Annexation Crisis (1908–1909)

by Mitch on December 4, 2011 0 Comments

Ferdinand I of Bulgaria. On 5 October 1908 (celebrated on 22 September), Ferdinand proclaimed Bulgaria's de jure independence from the Ottoman Empire (though the country had been basically independent since 1878). He also elevated Bulgaria to the status of a kingdom, and proclaimed himself tsar, or king. The Bulgarian Declaration of Independence was proclaimed by him at the Saint Forty Martyrs Church in Turnovo. It was accepted by Turkey and the other European powers

A diplomatic crisis occasioned by Austria-Hungary’s formal annexation of the Turkish provinces of Bosnia and Herzogovina that heightened Great Power tensions in the decade before the outbreak of World War I. The Congress of Berlin in 1878 authorized Austria-Hungary to occupy and administer Bosnia-Herzegovina, but officially the territory remained part of the Ottoman Empire. Supervised by a department within the common ministry of finance in Vienna, the administration was run by Austro-Hungarian civil servants ...

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Andijan Revolt (1898)

by Mitch on December 4, 2011 0 Comments

Andijan, Usbekistan - still on the boil 2005

A major revolt of Islamic peoples against Russian rule in 1898 in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan on the upper Syr Darya River. The rebellion was planned and led by the Naqshbandi Sufi leader Madali Ishan. It was unsuccessful. Madali Ishan led approximately 2,000 followers in an attack on the Russian barracks, an action he envisioned as part of a ghazawat or jihad against the Russian imperial administration in Turkestan. His followers were not well armed, carrying only cudgels and knives against Russian fi rearms. The attack resulted in the deaths of 22 Russians and 11 rebels before being defeated. In all, 24 rebels were later hanged and over 300 were sent to Siberia. The revolt caused serious concerns for the Russians and forced them to reexamine their administration in the Ferghana Valley. Andijan had been annexed by the Khokand khanate ...

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