Armies of the 19th Century: Africa - THE AFRICAN KNIGHTS
Armies of the 19th Century: Africa
THE AFRICAN KNIGHTS
THE ARMIES OF SOKOTO, BORNU AND BAGIRMI IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
by Conrad Cairns
In the 19th century the eastern Savannah (now divided between the countries of Nigeria, Niger, Mali, and Cameroon) was one of the most neglected parts of the African continent, and yet at the same time one of the most culturally sophisticated. During this period warfare among the peoples of the eastern Savannah, and in particular the three most significant native states – the Sokoto Caliphate, the ancient kingdom of Bornu, and the somewhat less ancient state of Bagirmi – was largely dominated by cavalry, and a significant proportion of these mounted troops were armoured. This groundbreaking book covers the period that began with the Sokoto jihad in 1804 and ended with the extinction of the Savannah states by the European colonial powers at the turn of the 20th century. In addition to providing a brief outline history of the three states, it examines in detail the arms, equipment and methods of warfare used by their armoured ‘knights’ and infantry, and includes in addition sections on their horses, artillery, flags, fortifications, and clothing. It is illustrated throughout with contemporary photographs and engravings.