The River War - An Account Of The Reconquest Of The Sudan By Winston S. Churchill

















































 -  There was
a period when a neutral point was obtained and the Mahdist power
languished. But the invasion of the - Page 50
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There Was A Period When A Neutral Point Was Obtained And The Mahdist Power Languished.

But the invasion of the Eastern Soudan by the British troops in the spring and the necessary advance of the relieving columns in the winter of 1884 revived the patriotic element.

The tribes who had made a great effort to free themselves from foreign domination saw in the operations of Sir Gerald Graham and Lord Wolseley an attempt to bring them again under the yoke. The impulse which was given to the Mahdi's cause was sufficient to raise a fierce opposition to the invading forces. The delay in the despatch of the relief expedition had sealed the fate of Khartoum, and the fall of the town established the supremacy of the military spirit on which the Dervish Empire was afterwards founded.

All the warlike operations of Mohammedan peoples are characterised by fanaticism, but with this general reservation it may be said - that the Arabs who destroyed Yusef, who assaulted El Obeid, who annihilated Hicks fought in the glory of religious zeal; that the Arabs who opposed Graham, Earle, and Stewart fought in defence of the soil; and that the Arabs who were conquered by Kitchener fought in the pride of an army. Fanatics charged at Shekan; patriots at Abu Klea; warriors at Omdurman.

In order to describe conveniently the changing character of the revolt, I have anticipated the story and must revert to a period when the social and racial influences were already weakening and the military spirit was not yet grown strong.

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