A Royal Marine
from Donald Featherstones Tel el Kebir, published by Osprey
I've been looking at the Egyptian Campaign of 1882 recently, mainly because I thought it would allow me to pit my Zulu War British against my Crimean War Turks. There were only a few engagements, but while I was noodling around on wikipedia, I came across the battle of Kafr el Dawwar. This an interesting engagement, not least because it was essentially written up as a win by both sides.
Kafr el Dawwar is not a name familiar to English speaking ears, more used to the bombardment of Alexandria, Kassassin and Tel el Kebir. It occurred at the beginning of the campaign and was essentially a British probe of the Egyptian works (which were considerable) outside Alexandria. Urabi Pasha described it was a victory where the British were driven off, while the General Alison described it as a reconnaissance in force. Both sides were of the opinion that they achieved what they came to do - it's an interesting illustration of a situation that would never arise in a wargame.
HAT Zulu War British infantry,
soon to be joining the ranks of the Royal Marines
I haven't been able to find a map for the battle, so I've been trying to piece things together from General Alison dispatch and some other sources. There aren't any Egyptian sources that I can find, but I've had a look at the battle site on googlemaps.
The engagement/battle involved some British mounted infantry, some line infantry, an armoured train and some Royal Marines. Normally, I wouldn't be that concerned about the RM as I have red coated British troops, but it appears (at least based on Featherstone) that they wore blue in Egypt. I didn't have any uniform reference as the Blandfords do not cover the RM. I was in this, as in most things in my life, blissful in my ignorance.
There's no rational explanation for why, now that I know that the uniforms were blue that I won't be quite happy until I've arranged some RM in blue. It's like an itch that I can't quite scratch.
Good thing I had some spare infantry lying around.