Kassassin

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

Kassassin

Postby HerbertKitch12 » 06 Mar 2014 23:04

Just flicking through Barthorpe's brilliant 'war on the Nile' and am I correct in concluding there were two engagements at Kassassin?
HerbertKitch12
New Member
 
Posts: 96
Joined: 28 Oct 2013 13:49

Re: Kassassin

Postby Josh&Historyland » 07 Mar 2014 00:06

I have only read about the one in which the cavalry charged.

Josh.
Adventure's In Historyland, Keeping History Real. http://adventuresinhistoryland.wordpress.com/
User avatar
Josh&Historyland
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 747
Joined: 02 Mar 2013 14:11

Re: Kassassin

Postby mick_ryan » 07 Mar 2014 12:24

There were two actions fought at Kassassin.

The first, 28th August, 1882, and the second, on 9th September, 1882.

The first is commonly known for its cavalry charge. Luckily, I am the custodian to the Egypt medal of Trooper Proudlock, Royal Horse Guards, severely wounded in action in the charge, along with several other infantry and naval casualties.

The second action, I unfortunately have just the one sample, with another a possibility.

Make no mistake, both actions weren't easy victories, despite what the Victorian press may have reported. Both actions, whilst victories, contained large casualty returns.

Mick
mick_ryan
New Member
 
Posts: 39
Joined: 27 Aug 2010 22:28
Location: Australia

Re: Kassassin

Postby HerbertKitch12 » 07 Mar 2014 13:29

The more I read about the Egyptian resistance from the battle of Alexandria right up to the heights of Tel El-Kebir the more it becomes impossible not to admire the bravery of the Egyptian rebels.
HerbertKitch12
New Member
 
Posts: 96
Joined: 28 Oct 2013 13:49

Re: Kassassin

Postby HerbertKitch12 » 20 Jul 2014 20:05

Was it Graham in charge at the second battle or was it a General Willis? Sorry for the randomness but Barthorpe mentions both but seems to hint it was Willis in charge.
HerbertKitch12
New Member
 
Posts: 96
Joined: 28 Oct 2013 13:49

Re: Kassassin

Postby mike snook » 21 Jul 2014 20:00

Lt Gen G H S Willis CB was a divisional commander (1st Div) and Maj Gen G Graham VC CB RE one of his brigade commanders (2nd Bde). The cavalry, you won't be surprised to know, were in the Cavalry Division under Maj Gen D C Drury-Lowe CB.

Willis, though near, was not in direct command of the action of 28 Aug which precipitated and included the moonlight charge. The 'in contact' ground commander was Graham. Drury Lowe was I think the latter's junior. Certainly Graham was issuing orders to Drury Lowe. (Maurice, Official History).

Brig-Gen Sir Baker Russell KCMG CB had 1st Cavalry Bde and Col 'Croppy' (I believe was his nickname) Ewart, the Household Cavalry [Composite] Regiment. It was Drury Lowe who ordered Ewart to charge. 7th DG supported the Guards.

Late in the day, after the charge, Willis ordered his other infantry brigade, the 1st [Guards] Bde, (Maj Gen HRH the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn KG etc and so forth) to march to Graham's support.

So the answer to the question is not particularly neat. Whose battle is it? Well on balance I would say it's Graham's (but with a lot of help from his friends!). The technically correct answer would flow from whoever it was who penned the official despatch.

The action of 9 September, a significant one, was decidedly Willis's, with Wolseley hastening out to join in the fun but arriving too late to play a significant part, by which time Willis had driven the Egyptians back on Tel-el-Kebir and broken off the action, setting them up for the knockout blow of 4 days later.

Regards

Mike
Dr Mike Snook MBE psc
User avatar
mike snook
Honorary Academic Advisor
 
Posts: 1334
Joined: 19 Jun 2008 09:35

Re: Kassassin

Postby HerbertKitch12 » 22 Jul 2014 08:26

Thanks Mike, brilliant read was that.

Sorry to push my luck here but any ideas as to what the casualty figure was for the second battle?

From reading Barthorpe's account of the second action at Kassassin it seems the Egyptians attacked but failed to strike whilst the iron was hot so to speak and were subsequently pushed back again. Am pretty sure the cavalry were involved for a second time.
HerbertKitch12
New Member
 
Posts: 96
Joined: 28 Oct 2013 13:49

Re: Kassassin

Postby mike snook » 22 Jul 2014 11:25

Looking a bit closer, Herb, I see that your question actually relates to the second action, (senility setting in on my part), so my answer whilst addressed in an sightly roundabout way should in fact have been much more emphatic. Willis was indeed definitively running the show in the second action and yes the cavalry were certainly involved. I'll see what I can find out about casualties.

Regards

Mike

PS. Poor old Barthorp - why must everybody insist on sticking an imaginary e on the end of his name!!?
Dr Mike Snook MBE psc
User avatar
mike snook
Honorary Academic Advisor
 
Posts: 1334
Joined: 19 Jun 2008 09:35

Re: Kassassin

Postby mick_ryan » 22 Jul 2014 11:52

I have the following:

Kassassin 28/08/1882

KIA / DOW : 23 of which 9 Cavalry, 8 RMA / RMLI & 6 Infantry
WIA: 97 of which 21 Cavalry, 2 Corps, 2 Mounted Infantry, 28 RMA / RMLI, 44 Infantry

Kassassin 09/09/1882
KIA / DOW: 4 of which 3 Infantry & 1 RMLI
WIA: 69 of which 26 is RN / RMLI , 7 RA / RHA and 36 Infantry

In the modest collection, I have a few fatal and non fatal casualties to both actions.

Mick
mick_ryan
New Member
 
Posts: 39
Joined: 27 Aug 2010 22:28
Location: Australia

Re: Kassassin

Postby mike snook » 22 Jul 2014 12:09

G Bty, B Bde, RHA: 1 man wounded.
2nd Bengal Cav: 2 men wounded.
13th L: 1 man killed, 1 man wounded.
N Bty, A Bde, RHA: 2 men wounded.
2nd Bn Royal Irish Regt: 2 men wounded.
RMLI: 25 men wounded.
2nd Bn York & Lancaster Regt: 6 men wounded.
A Bty, 1st Bde, RA: 3 men wounded.
3rd KRRC: 2 men killed, 28 men wounded.
Staff: 1 offr wounded.
RN: 1 x offr wounded.

Total: 3 men killed, 2 & 75 wounded. (Horses 5 x killed, 10 x wounded).

In the first action at Kassassin, Graham's Bde lost 1 & 7 killed and 10 & 51 wounded; while the cavalry bde had 0 & 8 killed and 1 & 17 wounded.

I have to say, without wishing to provoke Mick, that taken in the round I don't regard these sorts of figures as particular testament to the fighting spirit of the enemy. There was plenty of sophisticated modern weaponry around by 1882 (as in longer ranged, quick firing and much more accurate than formerly)...so that it was just about impossible to spend any time in the presence of a modernised enemy (which the Egyptians were) without the casualty toll nudging up a bit.

The loss at Tel el Kebir was significant, however, at 9 & 48 killed and 27 & 355 wounded. Part of the problem there though was Wolseley's attacking directly into the frontal arcs of a stong, entrenched enemy position. Placed in the context of an age of military transition, there is I think some suggestion of yesterday's tactics being trotted out in an inappropriate fashion about this. Of course everybody was at it....Pickett's charge serving as one the most notorious examples of flesh and blood being asked to overcome heavy fire across open fields of fire....while Wolseley at least deserves credit for evolving the night approach march and 'silent' surprise attack at dawn. It would have been more impressive if he could have managed to strike the enemy position from a flank I feel, though I recognize the additional difficulty inherent in such a manoeuvre.

Regards

Mike
Dr Mike Snook MBE psc
User avatar
mike snook
Honorary Academic Advisor
 
Posts: 1334
Joined: 19 Jun 2008 09:35

Re: Kassassin

Postby HerbertKitch12 » 22 Jul 2014 12:57

mike snook wrote:G Bty, B Bde, RHA: 1 man wounded.
2nd Bengal Cav: 2 men wounded.
13th L: 1 man killed, 1 man wounded.
N Bty, A Bde, RHA: 2 men wounded.
2nd Bn Royal Irish Regt: 2 men wounded.
RMLI: 25 men wounded.
2nd Bn York & Lancaster Regt: 6 men wounded.
A Bty, 1st Bde, RA: 3 men wounded.
3rd KRRC: 2 men killed, 28 men wounded.
Staff: 1 offr wounded.
RN: 1 x offr wounded.

Total: 3 men killed, 2 & 75 wounded. (Horses 5 x killed, 10 x wounded).

In the first action at Kassassin, Graham's Bde lost 1 & 7 killed and 10 & 51 wounded; while the cavalry bde had 0 & 8 killed and 1 & 17 wounded.

I have to say, without wishing to provoke Mick, that taken in the round I don't regard these sorts of figures as particular testament to the fighting spirit of the enemy. There was plenty of sophisticated modern weaponry around by 1882 (as in longer ranged, quick firing and much more accurate than formerly)...so that it was just about impossible to spend any time in the presence of a modernised enemy (which the Egyptians were) without the casualty toll nudging up a bit.

The loss at Tel el Kebir was significant, however, at 9 & 48 killed and 27 & 355 wounded. Part of the problem there though was Wolseley's attacking directly into the frontal arcs of a stong, entrenched enemy position. Placed in the context of an age of military transition, there is I think some suggestion of yesterday's tactics being trotted out in an inappropriate fashion about this. Of course everybody was at it....Pickett's charge serving as one the most notorious examples of flesh and blood being asked to overcome heavy fire across open fields of fire....while Wolseley at least deserves credit for evolving the night approach march and 'silent' surprise attack at dawn. It would have been more impressive if he could have managed to strike the enemy position from a flank I feel, though I recognize the additional difficulty inherent in such a manoeuvre.

Regards

Mike


Thanks once again :-)

Rather stupid that I have made that mistake re Barthorp.

I would imagine the fact that the enemy being stationed on high ground would have had an impact on British casualties as well.

"The heights of Tel-el-Kebir represented a significant natural barrier in otherwise flat and featureless terrain."

Forgive my stupidity but what do you mean when you say eg 1 & 7 killed and 10 & 51 wounded, is that cavalry and infantry? (Like I say sorry for the stupid question)
HerbertKitch12
New Member
 
Posts: 96
Joined: 28 Oct 2013 13:49

Re: Kassassin

Postby Mark A. Reid » 22 Jul 2014 13:29

Hello All:

Just to round out the casualty figures, an independent, if not un-biased, military observer, Lieut. Colonel Hermann Vogt, estimated that the Egyptian Army suffered about 250 casualties on 09 September. Further to Mick Ryan's comments, this German officer claimed that the Egyptians " ... very nearly overthrew the English " that day.
Cheers,

Mark
User avatar
Mark A. Reid
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 762
Joined: 16 Nov 2009 21:37

Re: Kassassin

Postby mike snook » 22 Jul 2014 14:37

Herb

There is no assuredly no such thing as a stupid question....I've made it more difficult than need be by a stylised omission of words which can be taken as read, (but only if the reader knows the code to begin with, if you see what I mean!)

It is simply a fairly standardised way amongst soldiers and military historians of reporting the division between numbers of commissioned officers at issue and numbers of NCOs & men at issue. Most typically it is used in the contexts of unit strengths or casualties. eg. ......The regiment paraded at a strength of 25 officers & 679 NCOs and men. Its casualties by the close of that terrible day had climbed to 14 officers & 346 NCOs and men....

'NCOs and men' if you're British or derivative and 'other ranks' if you are American, which is also a derivative state but traditionally much bolshier, (though doubtless our transatlantic cousins would express it as more 'independent minded'....let's face it they are unlikely to cough to being 'bolshy')!

Mark

Predictable!

As ever

Mike
Last edited by mike snook on 22 Jul 2014 14:44, edited 1 time in total.
Dr Mike Snook MBE psc
User avatar
mike snook
Honorary Academic Advisor
 
Posts: 1334
Joined: 19 Jun 2008 09:35

Re: Kassassin

Postby mike snook » 22 Jul 2014 14:40

PS. Herb, I've been to Tel-el-Kebir. Didn't spot anything which would pass muster as 'heights' in my book. The open desert of course exaggerates the slightest hint of contour.

Regards

Mike
Dr Mike Snook MBE psc
User avatar
mike snook
Honorary Academic Advisor
 
Posts: 1334
Joined: 19 Jun 2008 09:35

Re: Kassassin

Postby jf42 » 22 Jul 2014 14:42

mike snook wrote:
PS. Poor old Barthorp - why must everybody insist on sticking an imaginary e on the end of his name!!?


It must be those Danish genes.
User avatar
jf42
Senior Veteran member
 
Posts: 2299
Joined: 10 Mar 2011 15:12

Next

Return to Egypt & Sudan 1882-98

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests