Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Sudan round 2

Normal service was resumed this week, so Steve and I met to continue the latest action from the Sudan. Close quarters fighting was immediately the order of the day.  At Ad Dueim the steamer was mooring at the jetty and preparations were being made for the Blue Jackets to capture the village.  The only Dervish troops in sight were those manning the defences facing the Egyptians and a field gun; the latter being a particular nuisance as it was firing at the 'Tamei' and some parts of the upper works were now beginning to resemble a colander.  Bolitho, in charge of the landing party was all set to go ashore when a report from the bow machine gun team changed everything.  A mass of Dervish troops were surging down the dusty street towards the jetty!  Led by their emir, the Dervish ignored the storm of bullets and made for the steamer.  As the range closed the machine gun jammed.  Drawing his cutlass, Bolitho led his small band to oppose the natives.  After a desperate melee in which Bolitho managed to wound the emir, the Dervish were driven back in confusion, but it had been a close run thing.

The Dervish attack the Tamei
On the Imperial right the battle for the farm continued with the mounted infantry and Lancers under increasing pressure.  Indeed, the Lancers were forced to give ground and as they attempted to reform a charge by a fresh unit of Dervish drove them from the field.

A bad day for the Lancers
Fortunately for the Imperial cause, the mounted infantry stood firm, in spite of their heavy losses, and bought enough ground for a second unit of mounted infantry to deploy.  In the centre the Imperial troops were advancing with caution towards Ad Dueim.  With the Egyptian cavalry covering them, the British infantry began to deploy into line, ready to drive off the expected counter attack.  They were not to be disappointed as from behind Ad Dueim masses of Dervish cavalry began to move forward.  However, the native horsemen were hampered by some rough terrain and also their own infantry, who had been driven back by the controlled volleys from the British troops. They struggled to make progress as each wave was met by a volley as they tried to close to contact.  If the cavalry failed to close and were driven back this pinned the supports, who were then treated to a volley in their turn.  Some charges did strike home and for a time it looked as if the Egyptian cavalry would follow the Lancers into the desert wastes, but with commendable spirit the Egyptians held, assisted in part by the timely arrival of a British horse battery.

Behind the Egyptian cavalry their infantry were disposing of the last of the Dervish front line.  The Dervish had fought bravely and delayed the Egyptian infantry long enough that the Tamei had had no support and was in a parlous state with flooding to several compartments.

The Egyptian infantry drive off the last Dervish unit
 Back at the farm the mounted infantry barely had time to draw breath before a further unit of Dervish charged forward.  Behind them were several more units, led by the Mahdi in person. Clearly, there would be more fighting before the day was over.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time again,so the game will now go into a third session, with the odds slightly favouring the Imperial side.

1 comment:

  1. Terrifically exciting. I like the chap trying to ride his horse onto the boat. :)
    It looks quite a tense time for the Imperials.