For more than 30 years the Nile river gunboat was an indispensable tool of empire, policing the great river and acting as floating symbols of British imperial power. They participated in every significant colonial campaign in the region, from the British invasion of Egypt in 1882 to the Battle of Omdurman in 1898, when Britain finally won control of the Sudan. After that, the gunboats helped maintain British control over both Egypt and the Sudan, and played a key role in safeguarding British interests around the headwaters of the Nile – a region hotly contested by several European powers. Featuring specially commissioned artwork, this comprehensive volume offers a detailed analysis of the Nile river gunboats' entire career, from policing British colonial interests along the great river to defending Egypt against the Ottoman Turks in World War I.
The first recorded engagement by a steam-powered warship took place on a river, when in 1824 the Honourable East India Company's gunboat _Diana_ went into action on the Irrawaddy in Burma. In the 150 years that followed river gunboats played a significant part in over forty campaigns and individual actions, down to the Portuguese and American Brown Water fighting in Africa and Vietnam respectively at the end of the twentieth century. They proved to be the decisive factor in operations against the Maoris, with Gordon's Ever Victorious Army in China, during the river campaigns of the American Civil War, in the French conquest of Indochina, during Kitchener's advance on Khartoum, and on the Rufiji and Tigris during the Great War. River gunboats fought for the Paris Commune, on the rivers of South America, against the Bolsheviks, and during the Second World War in the open waters of the Mediterranean, while armoured Soviet gunboats fought German Panzers, and a pair of Girls attacked the Japanese on the banks of the Irrawaddy.Maps of the river systems where they operated are included, together with narratives of the principal actions involving river gunboats. Their story is brought up-to-date with data on current riverine combat vessels in service today. This is a major reference work on a totally neglected naval subject
This books explains why the British Army fought the way it did in the First World War. It integrates social and military history and the impact of ideas to tell the story of how the army, especially the senior officers, adapted to the new technological warfare and asks: Was the style of warfare on the Western Front inevitable? Using an extensive range of unpublished diaries, letters, memoirs and Cabinet and War Office files, Professor Travers explains how and why the ideas, tactics and strategies emerged. He emphasises the influence of pre-war social and military attitudes, and examines the early life and career of Sir Douglas Haig. The author's analysis of the preparations for the Battles of the Somme and Passchendaele provide new interpretations of the role of Haig and his GHQ, and he explains the reasons for the unexpected British withdrawal in March 1918. An appendix supplies short biographies of senior British officers. In general, historians of the First World War are in two hostile camps: those who see the futility of lions led by donkeys on the one hand and on the other the apologists for Haig and the conduct of the war. Professor Travers' immensely readable book provides a bridge between the two.
The British Army's campaigns in Egypt and the Sudan from 1882 to 1899 were among the most dramatic and hard-fought in British military history. In 1882, the British sent an expeditionary force to Egypt to quell the Arabic Revolt and secure British control of the Suez Canal, its lifeline to India. The enigmatic British Major General Charles G. Gordon was sent to the Sudan in 1884 to study the possibility of evacuating Egyptian garrisons threatened by Muslim fanatics, the dervishes, in the Sudan. While the dervishes defeated the British forces on a number of occasions, the British eventually learned to combat the insurrection and ultimately, largely through superior technology and firepower, vanquished the insurgents in 1898. British Operations in Egypt and the Sudan: A Selected Bibliography enumerates and generally describes and annotates hundreds of contemporary, current, and hard-to-find books, journal articles, government documents, and personal papers on all aspects of British military operations in Egypt and the Sudan from 1882 to 1899. Arranged chronologically and topically, chapters cover the various campaigns, focusing on specific battles, leading military personalities, and the contributions of imperial nations as well as supporting services of the British Army. This definitive volume is an indispensable reference for researching imperialism, colonial history, and British military operations, leadership, and tactics.