Battle of Kassala
|Battle of Kassala|
|Part of the Mahdist War|
General Oreste Baratieri
|Kingdom of Italy||Mahdist Sudan|
|Commanders and leaders|
Captain Francesco Carchidio Malvolti †
(Emir of Kassala)
56 Italian officers
41 Italian NCOs
2,526 Askari troops
2,500 Mahdist infantry
600 Baqqara cavalry
|Casualties and losses|
1,400 dead & wounded|
hundreds were killed and drowned
Governor Oreste Baratieri sought to capture Kassala, so as to forestall Mahdist attacks on Eritrea. In July 1894, Baratieri saw his moment when the Atbarah River started to rise, and marched his small army of "56 Italian officers, 41 NCOs and 2510 Askari led by 16 Bukbashis" towards Kassala.
" 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 their 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, in addition, the Italians freed many slaves, including "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 General Oreste Baratieri left, leaving a garrison of a thousand men with two guns under Colonel Turitto. Three years later – in 1897 – the Italians gave back to the British the control of Kassala, returning to their Italian Eritrea, in order to get international recognition of their colony of Eritrea.
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