Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar *now with uniform query*

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

Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar *now with uniform query*

Postby thequestingvole » 29 Feb 2016 16:14

I have been boning up on Tel el Kebir over the last few days, but while I was noodling around on Wikipedia I found a reference to this earlier engagement which I hadn't come across before. I've had a look through the online sources attached to the article , but couldn't find a map or plan of the battle.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_ ... -el-Dawwar

There's a general map of the environs of Alexandria in the article, but nothing more concrete than that. I was going to produce a rough sketch or diagram based on the written account, but before I make a fool of myself, I thought I'd ask if anyone knows if there is one available already. My plan is to draft a wargame scenario based on the engagement.

If anyone has a map, I would be very grateful to see a copy. Failing that I'll add my own scrawl in a few days.
Last edited by thequestingvole on 08 May 2016 02:56, edited 1 time in total.
thequestingvole
New Member
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 04 Nov 2015 11:56

Re: Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar

Postby Mark A. Reid » 29 Feb 2016 19:25

Bravo to you, thequestingvole, for tackling a rather obscure, and somewhat controversial, subject. I believe that we have touched on this action on the Forum in the past and whilst most of us accept the familiar English-language reports as gospel, it is good to remember that it was also hailed as a victory by the Egyptians in 1882.

If you had relied solely on the familiar sources then it was, indeed, simply a reconnaissance in force but I'm glad that you checked the relatively impartial words of Commander Goodrich USN for another assessment. I would also recommend reading The Egyptian War of 1882 by LtCol. Hermann Vogt of the German Army. He tackles the different interpretations of the battle and comments that the German newspapers would have described it as " ... a slight engagement of outposts, " although admitting that he had no wish " ... to detract from the courage of the English. " He is balanced in his praise however and does not simply refer to the Egyptians as only surrendering or fleeing in terror from the steely-eyed Britons, nor does he bestow the British with the monopoly on courage, tactics or marksmanship. After quoting General Alison's despatch verbatim, he assesses the action and concludes with, in my opinion, a pretty fair conclusion;

The best proof that there was but little meaning or result in the affair was that the English regiments were still in their old position on the morning of the 6th of August. On the whole we conclude, even from English accounts, that, with about equal strength in infantry, the English had a considerable preponderance in artillery during this fight. In spite of this, the Egyptians seemed to have stood pretty well, and it can hardly have been a very brilliant and undoubted success if the English general expected to be followed up during his retreat. ( p. 113 )

Having said that, I have searched in vain for a map of the action but to no avail, I'm afraid. Good luck with the project and I hope that you will share your sketch when completed.

Cheers,

Mark
User avatar
Mark A. Reid
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 746
Joined: 16 Nov 2009 21:37

Re: Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar

Postby thequestingvole » 02 Mar 2016 14:48

Image

This is what I have so far and it is a rough diagram. It's unclear whether the 1,000 Royal Marines who accompanied the armoured train were on board it or not. The Egyptian works are described as considerable, but there is no indication as to where exactly they lay.

I will update as I go.

I shall have a look at the Vogt. I had mainly been looking at an American newspaper source, but we shall see how we go. https://ia802701.us.archive.org/10/items/egyptianwar00vogtgoog/egyptianwar00vogtgoog.pdf

The Vogt doesn't seem to have any maps in it sadly. Looking at google earth, the area has been pretty heavily built up, so there isn't really an indication of what the relief is like that I can find. We shall worry on. I reckon that I will end up with a "best guess under the circumstances" sort of map/diagram.

I remain, etc

The Vole
thequestingvole
New Member
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 04 Nov 2015 11:56

Re: Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar *now with uniform query*

Postby thequestingvole » 08 May 2016 03:08

I've been worrying away at this when I have a spare moment. What I've established thus far.

- I cannot find any Egyptian sources.
- There appear to be no maps of the engagement.
- Gen. Alison dispatch seems to form the primary source for almost all the English language sources.
- The Egyptian entrenchments appear to have been rather more significant than I initially thought. Those boys could really dig.

None of this is going to stop me putting something quite conjectural together, but there you go.

In the mean time, I've come across two differing illustrations of Royal Marines from around that time.

Image

This is an image taken from Featherstone's Tel el Kebir.

Image

This image is from two years later Tamai.

My blandfords do not cover the RM and Haythornthwaite's The Colonial Wars Sourcebook hasn't shed any light on it either. It seems unlikely that the uniform would change so quickly, but I've been wrong before. Does anyone have a source for the correct RM uniform for the Egyptian campaign of 1882?

I remain, etc.

The Vole
thequestingvole
New Member
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 04 Nov 2015 11:56

Re: Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar *now with uniform query*

Postby Redleg56 » 08 May 2016 22:33

I found the following on page 71 of Charles Stadden's and George and Christopher Newark's "Uniforms of the Royal Marines from 1664 to the Present Day":

"Uniforms worn by the Royal Marines in the Anglo-Egyptian campaign consisted of the blue serge jacket, usually worn afloat...."

"In contrast, the uniform worn during the campaign in the Sudan was of a light grey color, a precursor of khaki drill..."

So in 1882, the RMLI as well as the RMA wore the blue serge. Royal Marines participating in operations in the Sudan two years later were issued with the light grey uniform.

If you need more specifics, please let me know.

Mike
User avatar
Redleg56
New Member
 
Posts: 72
Joined: 14 Oct 2014 20:13
Location: New York City

Re: Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar *now with uniform query*

Postby jf42 » 08 May 2016 23:21

If you scout around the forum you will find a fair amount of discussion of the grey serge special service uniform ordered by Wolseley for the Egypt campaign in 1882, which failed to arrive in time (This is in the context of the Elcho tweed uniform issued to the troops for Wolseley's Ashanti expedition of 1873-74).

As a result, the troops in Wolseley's expeditionary force sent to Egypt from Britain and Med stations fought in Home Service serge frocks of scarlet, green and blue, while troops from India fought in various forms of khaki.

By the time of the first expedition to Suakin in 1884, the grey serge suits had arrived and troops were issued with these for service in east Sudan and subsequently on the NIle.
User avatar
jf42
Senior Veteran member
 
Posts: 2223
Joined: 10 Mar 2011 15:12

Re: Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar *now with uniform query*

Postby thequestingvole » 08 May 2016 23:54

Gentlemen,

Thank you for the advice and the sources. I'm was two minds about whether do the chaps in blue or not. My army is painted up for the Zulu war, so Egypt is perfect from the point of view of uniforms.

I think that it shall have to be brave blue rather than the distinctly more grubby khaki don't you?

Exams and other unpleasentness is going to be occupying my time for a little while now, but hopefully later in May I will be able to do a bit more on this particular project.

I remain, etc

The Vole
thequestingvole
New Member
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 04 Nov 2015 11:56

Re: Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar *now with uniform query*

Postby Redleg56 » 09 May 2016 00:18

Happy to have been of assistance!

Blue is the way to go for 1882.

But before you begin or revise your painting, see below. This information also is mentioned in the Staten/Newark book:

Jacket: One small patch pocket (no note as which side of the jacket it was located). Twisted crimson worsted shoulder cords.
Embroidered badges in red worsted thread on either side of the collar. Bugle horn for RMLI, grenades for RMA.

Helmets, belts and ammunition pouches stained to a khaki color by utilizing coffee grounds and tobacco juice.

Greatcoat: Carried in place of the valise folded.

Good luck on the examinations!

Mike
User avatar
Redleg56
New Member
 
Posts: 72
Joined: 14 Oct 2014 20:13
Location: New York City

Re: Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar *now with uniform query*

Postby Redleg56 » 09 May 2016 00:45

My apologies!

Staten/Newark book should read Stadden/Newark.

Mike
User avatar
Redleg56
New Member
 
Posts: 72
Joined: 14 Oct 2014 20:13
Location: New York City

Re: Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar *now with uniform query*

Postby bill wright » 12 May 2016 22:27

This is an interesting topic - this small battle is badly represented in histories of the Egyptian War. My book, A TIDY LITTLE WAR (published by The History Press) has a 20pp chapter on this period entitled Kafr-Dawar which hopefully may help you. I hope so.
bill wright
New Member
 
Posts: 58
Joined: 05 Jul 2012 01:02

Re: Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar *now with uniform query*

Postby Poltroon » 13 May 2016 11:40

bill wright wrote:This is an interesting topic - this small battle is badly represented in histories of the Egyptian War. My book, A TIDY LITTLE WAR (published by The History Press) has a 20pp chapter on this period entitled Kafr-Dawar which hopefully may help you. I hope so.


Hi Bill. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your book. I read it about a year ago and found it to be a well written narrative that was informative and very readable.

Billy
User avatar
Poltroon
New Member
 
Posts: 16
Joined: 31 Dec 2014 10:08
Location: Perth, Australia

Re: Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar *now with uniform query*

Postby thequestingvole » 16 May 2016 00:55

bill wright wrote:This is an interesting topic - this small battle is badly represented in histories of the Egyptian War. My book, A TIDY LITTLE WAR (published by The History Press) has a 20pp chapter on this period entitled Kafr-Dawar which hopefully may help you. I hope so.


Bill, I would have replied earlier, but I didn't get a notification.

It's funny you should mention your book. I ordered a copy last week :)

I look forward to it.
thequestingvole
New Member
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 04 Nov 2015 11:56

Re: Battle_of_Kafr-el-Dawwar *now with uniform query*

Postby HerbertKitch12 » 17 Jun 2016 15:59

bill wright wrote:This is an interesting topic - this small battle is badly represented in histories of the Egyptian War. My book, A TIDY LITTLE WAR (published by The History Press) has a 20pp chapter on this period entitled Kafr-Dawar which hopefully may help you. I hope so.


I can vouch for this and echo the post below. 'A TIDY LITTLE WAR' is a fantastic read. I felt almost as if I was in Egypt in 1882 when I was reading the book. It is fair to say that it was and continues to be a huge help for me as I attempt to write my novel, (which still plods along at an annoying pace).
HerbertKitch12
New Member
 
Posts: 94
Joined: 28 Oct 2013 13:49


Return to Egypt & Sudan 1882-98

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest