Battle of Kassala

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Battle of Kassala
Part of the Mahdist War
Capture of Kassala in 1894
Date July 17, 1894
Location Kassala, Mahdist Sudan
Result Decisive Colonial Italian victory;[1]
Italians seize Kassala [2]
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Kingdom of Italy Mahdist Sudan
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Oreste Baratieri
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Captain Carchidio
Mussaed Gaidum[7]
(Emir of Kassala)
Italian troops:[3]
56 Italian officers
41 Italian of other rank
2,526 Askari troops
Mahdi troops:[3]
2,000 Mahdist infantry
600 Baqqara cavalry
Casualties and losses
28 killed[3][8]
41 wounded[3][9]
1,400 killed or wounded[3]
Hundreds were either killed or drowned[9][10]

The Battle of Kassala was fought on July 17, 1894, between an Italian colonial troop and Mahdist Sudanese forces.


Governor Baratieri sought to capture Kassala, as to forestall Mahdist attacks on Eritrea.[11] In July 1894, Baratieri saw his moment when the Atbarah River started to rise, and marched his small army:[11]

"56 Italian officers, 41 NCOs and 2510 Askari led by 16 Bukbashis"
towards Kassala.


An account of the capture of Kassala was published in the New York Times on July 20, 1894:[12]

" Rome, July 19.- ...The attack upon the earthworks of the Mahdists was at once ordered and a fiercely contested battle ensued. The Mahdists fought desperately, but were finally driven from there position, leaving hundreds of dead and wounded in and about the intrenchments. Being hotly pursued, the Mahdists scattered under a continuous fire, and many of them in their efforts to escape plunged into the River Adbara, hoping to reach the other side. ...Hundreds of the enemy were drowned, and it is believed that none succeeded in reaching the opposite bank."


The Italians captured two flags and a number of cannons,[12] in addition, the Italians freed many slaves:[11]

"several white-men and about a hundred of the remnants of the former Egyptian garrison; also a number from the tribes around, such as the Beni-Amer."

On July 23 the Generals left, leaving a garrison of a thousand men with two guns under Colonel Turitto.[11]


  1. ^ Swazey, Arthur (1894). The Interior: Vol.25. Chicago. 
  2. ^ Jaques, Tony (2007). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: A-E. Westport. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f McLachlan, Sean (2011). Armies of the Adowa Campaign 1896. Colchester. 
  4. ^ Fichera, Alfio (2005). Colpo grosso dei 4 pensionati. Milan. 
  5. ^ Istituto per la storia del risorigimento italiano (1936). Rassegna storica del risorgimento: Vol.23. Rome. 
  6. ^ Fitz-Hardinge Berkeley, George (1935). The campaign of Adowa and the rise of Menelik. London. 
  7. ^ von Frobel, Guido (1894). Militär-Wochenblatt: Vol.79. Berlin. 
  8. ^ Milkias, Paulos (2005). The Battle of Adwa: reflections on Ethiopia's historic victory against european colonialism. New York. 
  9. ^ a b Smith, Alfred Emanuel (1894). New Outlook: Vol.50. New York. 
  10. ^ The Christian work (1894). Christian work: illustrated family newspaper: Vol.57. New York. 
  11. ^ a b c d Anthony D'Avray, Richard Pankhurst (2000). The Nakfa documents: Aethiopistische Forschungen 53. Wiesbaden. 
  12. ^ a b "ITALIAN VICTORY IN AFRICA". New York Times. Retrieved 20 July 1894.