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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

February 29th, 1884 - The Second Battle of El Teb

Conflict: War for the Sudan

Combatants: Anglo-Egyptians vs. Mahdist Sudanese

Location: Sudan

Outcome: Anglo-Egyptian victory

In 1883, the Sudanese rose in rebellion to the rule of the British-backed Egyptian government. The uprising was led by Mohammed Ahmed of Dongola, the "Mahdi", who declared himself a prophet. When the Mahdi's troops destroyed an army of Egyptians at El Obeid, Britain ordered the Egyptians to withdraw from the Sudan.

Charge at El Teb, Sudan by Godfrey Douglas Giles

On February 4th of 1884, 12,000 Mahdists led by Osman Digna attacked an Anglo-Egyptian force under the command of Valentine Baker (a.k.a. Baker Pasha) at El Teb near the Red Sea. Despite inflicting 2,000 casualties on the Sudanese Baker's 3,500 hundred men were almost entirely annihilated in the battle.

Deuxième bataille d'El Teb. 1884 by Josef Cholmonski

However, on February 29th, a second Anglo-Egyptian force, 4,000 strong and led by General Sir Gerald Graham, once again met the Mahdists at El Teb and repulsed the Sudanese. But, the Mahdi's forces would remain ascendant and full peace would not be achieved in the Sudan until the end of the 19th century.

View of the Battle of El Teb 29 February 1884 by an unknown artist

Points of Interest:

  • Valentine Baker survived the First Battle of El Teb. He commanded the Egyptian gendarmerie until his death in 1887.

  • Mohammed Ahmed, the "Mahdi", died in June of 1885. The conquest of Sudan was accomplished by his successor, Khalifa Abdullah.

Valentine Baker Pasha by an unknown artist
Sir Gerald Graham by an unknown artist



Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).

Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.

Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

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