So the battle for Berber. Major Elder was sent over the far right of Manley’s column to attack Berber with the support of Lt. Cmdr. Owen commanding the Gunboat Giza. The campaign is not going too well for our dervish because the entire Euro Force are colliding at these points. The Gunboats Giza and Cairo are on the hunt commanding the river up to this point. The Giza was ordered to support the assault at Berber while the Cairo steamed past Berber to get to Atbara. The Giza’s journey to get here will be told in the next AAR. So let’s talk about Berber...
The premise here was that our dervish forces are falling back toward Khartoum. Berber was going to fall but the Dervish still accumulated the points for one turn which helps the overall campaign cause. More specifically to this battle was that I thought I had a good defensive force to cope with Elder’s Battalion. Two Guns and Riflemen behind a zareba making them Class III targets. I also had two fuzzie rubs in support to counter the British breaking through the zareba or flanking Berber to the east. That made it 287 points to the British 262 (w/o Giza). As all TSAF battles you never know what is going to happen. And using these event cards, well it makes it that much more entertaining. Well, entertaining for one of us. Not me this time. As in all the one on one battles it was scheduled for 8 turns. That is just about right and it always comes down to the last turn or two.
The most notable failures on my part were not putting my dervish in the buildings which would have made it tougher for the British. But at the same time knowing the Giza was steaming up river to join the battle I wanted to start causing some casualties. Those casualties would effect the next battle. But to only wound about 3 or 4 Camel Corps for the whole battle was a dismal performance. My guns kept jamming and I got the “Did you bring the ammunition card” so one of my guns was running out of ammunition. We did manage to put some holes in the Giza. Nothing significant but an interesting gun duel. I am not sure how our Dhows are going to fare against these Gunboats, but we shall see very soon!
So with that, another British report, this time from Major Elder.
To: Lt. Colonel Manley
SIR, - The detachment of Grenadier Guards and Camel Corps, supported by a 6pdr gun and the sternwheeler Giza has fought a decisive battle at Berber. On arrival on the outskirts of Berber, the Grenadier Guards and Camel Corps advanced at a steady pace stopping at regular intervals firing volleys into the zareba surrounding Berber. The Giza commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Owen arrived to provide support in the form of a 6pdr Quick Fire and a Nordenfeldt. A group of Dervishes mysteriously sortied from Berber parallel to the Grenadier Guards. It quickly returned to Berber after receiving major casualties. The 6pdr field gun crew must be commended for their quick movement throughout the battlefield supporting all units.
The final assault had the Grenadier Guards advancing into Berber via the entrance and the Camel Corps breaking through the zareba. A final charge by the Dervishes towards the Grenadier Guards failed. Berber was captured with few Dervish escaping. The Grenadier Guards and the 6pdr field gun sustained no casualties. The Giza received only light hull damage. The Camel Corps detachment has four lightly wounded infantry. Two enemy guns have been captured.