Khedive Ismail's Army examines military failure in the age of imperialism. On paper, the mid-nineteenth century Egyptian army seems a formidable regional power. It had a tradition of success, modern weapons, and mercenary officers with experience in major wars. Egypt's ruler, Khedive Ismail, hoped to combine the imported techlogy and brains with native manpower, and establish an Egyptian dominated Horn of Africa. His soldiers did conquer parts of the Sudan, but they suffered disastrous defeats during the Egyptian-Abyssinian War of 1875 - 1876. Providing the first detailed examination of the Egyptian-Abyssinian War in English and the book also looks at the root problems that made Ismail's soldiers ineffective. These include issues of class, racism, internal, and external politics, finance, and the rapidly changing world of mid-Nineteenth Century military techlogy. This book is aimed at military historians, and would also be of interest to those studying the Middle East or North East Africa.
John P. Dunn is an Assistant Professor of History at Valdosta State University, Georgia, USA. He studies military affairs in nineteenth century Egypt, Poland and China. His work has appeared in The Journal of Military History, War in History, and The Journal of Slavic Military Affairs.