|Battle of Omdurman|
At the Battle of Omdurman the British, led by Horatio Herbert Kitchener, the sirdar or commander in chief of the Egyptian army, decisively defeated the Mahdist forces led by the Khalifa ‘Abdullahi.
Kitchener’s force of about 25,000 mostly Egyptian soldiers with British officers met the Mahdist forces, also known as dervishes in Europe, of some 50,000 men, on the battlefield of Karari outside the Mahdist capital of Omdurman. To facilitate the movement of troops and supplies Kitchener had had the railway from Cairo to southern Egypt extended to the northern Sudan.
He also had armored gunboats. Armed with machine guns, Kitchener’s forces easily killed over 10,000 attacking Mahdist forces, many of whom were armed with spears. At least another 20,000 Mahdist soldiers were wounded and many of those subsequently died from lack of medical care.
Kitchener’s gunboats also fired on Omdurman, destroying the imposing tomb of the Mahdi whose remains were scattered by the victors. The Khalifa managed to escape but was ultimately killed in battle some months later by British forces led by F. (Francis) Reginald Wingate who had been director of military intelligence and Kitchener’s subordinate.
Kitchener was appointed governor general over the Sudan, and Khartoum, a city on the other bank of the Nile River from Omdurman, became the new Sudanese capital. However, Kitchener only held the position for a short time before he was dispatched to assist in the British military efforts during the Boer War in South Africa.
Wingate succeeded him as the new governor-general in 1899 and went on to consolidate British control over the Sudan under the Anglo Egyptian Condominium, the rather cumbersome arrangement the British devised to legitimize their rule over the country.