Sudanese Battalion Organisation

For all discussions relating to the Egyptian and Sudanese campaigns fought between 1882 and 1898.

Sudanese Battalion Organisation

Postby DaveyJ947 » 27 Dec 2015 22:38

Has anyone any idea how the Sudanese Battalions were organised. I am aware that in the early days there was a Headquarters and four companies (buluks?). I have seen figures of 130 (530 men in Battalion), 150 men, 170 men and 200 men but have no idea of the detailed battalion organisation.

Any organisational information would be gratefully received.

Many thanks


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Re: Sudanese Battalion Organisation

Postby Mark A. Reid » 27 Dec 2015 23:20

Hello Dave:

Depends on the period. When the first Sudanese infantry battalion was added to the Egyptian Army in 1884, it consisted of a Headquarters and four Rifle companies, This official complement is taken from the document that authorised the formation of the IXth Sudanese Bn. in 1884;;

1 x LtCol
1 x Major
4 x Captains
4 x Lieuts.
8 x Sub-Lieuts.
2 x W.O.'s
4 x CSM's
25 x Sergts.
49 x Corpls.
568 x Ptes.
16 x Buglers
8 x Drummers
1 x Clerk
1 x Imam
3 x Artisans ( Tailor, Shoemaker, Armourer )

Of course, it took many years for the IXth to reach full strength and there was constant tinkering along the way, for example, the establishment of The Drums was raised from 24 to 28 in April 1886 and was to include 1 x Sergeant and 1 x Corporal. In addition, regimental transport, which was usually limited to four carts and eight mules, was always supplemented on active service.

On 1 April, 1890 the establishment of the Sudanese battalions was changed from four to six companies of about 150 men each. This was in response to the realisation that Sudanese soldiers required more supervision and, as a consequence, raised the number of officers and NCO's needed in each battalion. By 1898 the Egyptian battalions had followed suit.

From the reorganisation of the Egyptian Army in late 1882, a brass & reed Band was authorised for each of the two initial infantry brigades. They had a posted strength of 45 musicians each, led by a Lieutenant, and they both served in the Sudan on active service in 1884-85. A combined Cavalry & Artillery mounted band was also authorised with a strength of one officer and 30 x Musicians, but only 21 horses!

Anyway, I hope this was of some use.


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