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George Warrington Steevens was among the most prominent journalists of the Victorian era; writing articles for the National Observer, Pall Mall Gazette and the newly founded Daily Mail; by far his most famous book was ‘With Kitchener to Khartum’. As close member of Kitchener’s inner circle, he saw and wrote of the famous campaign in Sudan, variously known as the Madhist Revolt, or the Second Anglo-Sudan War of 1896-1899.
As Steevens recounts in inimitable detail, Kitchener, having become Sirdar or commander of the Egyptian Army set out to recapture the Sudan and avenge his hero Gordon, who had been murdered by the Mahdi some years earlier. As Kitchener and his force descended the Nile, with Steevens in tow, they took great care to ensure their line of supply building a railway line as they went and supplied by river flotilla. The first main clash of forces was at the Battle of Atbara in April 1898 where the British and Egyptian forces furiously attacked and routed a Sudanese camp. Kitchener’s greatest hour came at the battle of Khartoum, four months later, when confronted with a vastly larger force, he relied on the firepower of disciplined volleys and machine guns to break the rebel army beyond repair. Although the revolt lasted a little while longer into 1899, Kitchener could rightly claim to be the victor of the campaign and was ennobled Lord Kitchener of Khartoum.
An excellent account of a pivotal Imperial campaign.