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Colonel Sir R. Slatin Pasha
(1857-1932)

 

 

How fickle is Fate. She raises a common solider up from the ranks to the exalted position of governor, then dashes his life into pieces, makes him a slave of a cruel master, drapes him in chains and casts him to suffer for years in a desert purgatory. Yet then, realizing she has overstepped herself, Fate renews her interest in saving this wretch and once again places him on a pedestal, awarding him with honours, wealth and one final gift, this unforgettable book.

If such a story sounds like fiction, not historical fact, then you are not familiar with the astonishing tale of Slatin Pasha (1857 – 1932), the Austrian soldier of fortune whose epic life story you hold in your hands. Born near Vienna, the young Slatin had already fought in Bosnia when he was offered a high-ranking military post in the Sudan. This desert king-dom was ruled on behalf of the nearby Egyptian government by General Charles Gordon, the brilliant British soldier turned administrator. With a slim hold on power, Gordon was in need of strong, brave, linguistically talented, young men like Rudolf Slatin.

 

Fire and Sword in the Sudan

Colonel Sir R. Slatin Pasha

ISBN 1590481399

 

If Slatin was looking for adventure as he rode his camel into Sudan’s Darfur province in 1881 he got it in spades when one of the most spectacular wars of the 19th century broke out. Under the leadership of their leader known as the Mahdi, a vast native army arose to throw off their Egyptian overlords and cast out its foreign governors. Suddenly what had seemed to Slatin like a well-ordered military career in a quiet back water became a savage struggle of survival between natives and foreigners. Slatin was captured and enslaved. Gordon was surrounded at his capital in Khartoum and beheaded. England eventually arose in outrage and sent out an army to retaliate. But it did not arrive before the young Austrian had undergone a series of adventures, survived cruelties too numerous to mention and escaped across the desert one step ahead of his enraged captors.

Fire and Sword in the Sudan records the life story of one of the 19th century’s most gallant soldiers, a man who after escaping from brutal slavery, was awarded military honours by Queen Victoria and returned to the Sudan to assist the very people who had held him in captivity. Amply illustrated, this timeless account remains one of the most important and captivating tales of the Sudan ever written.

 

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