Mankind's only alternative 20   NOV.   18  
Mankind's only alternative
War Nerd RSS
MAIN  RUSSIA  WAR NERD   [SIC!]  BAR-DAK  THE VAULT  ABOUT US  RSS
 
 
EXILE BLOGS

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

The War Nerd June 29, 2007
 
Om Der Man!
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
 
Page 4 of 4
 

You have to imagine those Maxim gunners licking their lips, listening to the wog hordes chanting themselves up to the big charge. Not only did the Brits have art'y up the wazoo, they had a fleet of gunboats on the Nile in support.

That battle was great if you like the one-sided stuff, which I do, sometimes. It was like Gulf War I, in that the Khalifa commanding the Mahdist forces (the Mahdi himself died way back in 1885) did everything just the way the enemy wanted. The Mahdists started by sending their center, a force of 8,000 infantry, directly at the Brit lines. They either didn't understand the range of Kitchener's guns or were too desperate to care. The guns opened up when the Sudanese were still 3 km off, and half the Arabs were blown away before they even got close enough for the Maxim guns to finish them off. None of them even got close to the Redcoats' line.

In fact, the Brits could have come out of the battle with no casualties to speak of, but Kitchener, never known as the type who worried about minimizing his own troops' losses, decided to send a force of lancers on a blocking action to stop the Arabs' retreat. They hit a huge body of infantry concealed behind a hill and ended up earning their unit three Victoria Crosses and 30-odd KIA, a classic "Charge of the Light Brigade" fiasco that's great for patriotic poetry but lousy tactics. (That's still the best way for a small unit to pick up lots of gaudy medals: get sent on a real stupid suicide mission.)

The rest of the battle was slow slaughter. It wasn't that Kitchener was a great commander -- nobody ever said that about him. He made a clumsy advance, leaving his supplies vulnerable to attack, and left a force of Sudanese auxiliaries totally exposed. But the difference in weaponry was so huge that even obvious mistakes were easy to fix. The battle turned into a sort of geometry exercise, with Brit field officers mainly trying to arrange the Maxims' fields of fire the way you'd set up sprinklers to get maximum coverage of a football field. The Mahdists had enough morale to stay on the field even after it was obvious they were going to be slaughtered, which just made the Brits' job that much easier.

At the end of the day, somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 Mahdists were dead vs. a total British KIA of 48. If you want to know why insurgents today use terrorism instead of "fair fight" stuff, that's why. They tried it, and it didn't work out all that well.

See, that's the trouble with a wonderful one-sided slaughter like Omdurman: you really can only do it once, or at most a few times. The enemy eventually gets fed up and starts cheating. From Omdurman to IEDs, it's a pretty simple, inevitable progression.

You could even argue that the Brits ended up losing big-time from this battle too, because it made Kitchener a military hero. He was made Baron Kitchener of Khartoum after the battle, one of those nobility titles that he probably didn't exactly rate at the top of his honors, considering that the only creatures who like living in Khartoum are all eight-legged and exoskeletal. He went on to be maybe the worst commander out of a really lousy graduating class of 1914, and thinking about it that way, by elevating Kitchener to prominence, Omdurman wound up killing more British soldiers than you could bury in all of Nevada. Talk about "blowback."

But while it lasted, it was a wonderful thing, just like we dream about now: the whole lot of jihadist crazies in one easily-zappable bunch, howling "Allahu Akbar" and yodeling for the crosshairs.


SHARE:  Del.icio.us  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit
Gary Brecher
Browse author
Email Gary at war_nerd@exile.ru, but, more importantly, buy his book.
 
 
FROM THE VAULT

Cock Killer :

Indie Horror Comes To Russia :
Babushka Dezhurnaya
Field Guide To Moscow: Dolor Recto :

Shwarma Shuttle Of The Week :
 

 
 
 
LATEST ARTICLES

Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
Editorial
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...

 
 
 

    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442
E-mail: office@exile.ru