On this date in 1885, British Major General Charles Gordon–who had been hired by the Ottoman Sultan to rescue Khartoum, capital of the Ottoman province of Sudan, from the massed forces of the Muhammad Ahmad, the Sudanese Mahdi–was killed, along with all the Egyptian military assisting him. Sudan would become al-Mahdiyah, the “Mahdist state,” until 1898 and its conquest led by another British General, Horatio Herbert Kitchener.
4 thoughts on “Major General Charles Gordon, RIP”
I think it was the British government that sent him to Sudan.
It was a classic case of sending a soldier to do an impossible task,
then failing to support him adequately to do it.
Well, it was more complex than that. Despite having occupied Egypt in 1882, the Brits still maintained the (legal) fiction that the Khedive of Egypt was a loyal Ottoman vassal. So it was technically the Ottoman Egyptian government which requested Gordon to be sent–although London really had the final say.
Thanks, TRF. Each of your postings makes me feel a little more connected to our history and a little better prepared to interpret the meager offering of the media writ large.
Thank YOU, James.
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