King's College London
Online Exhibitions
Armies Abroad: Britain in Somaliland

Final Conflict

Letter from Mohammed Abdullah Hassan mocking the British. Ref: Ismay (3/1/22/2)Letter from Mohammed Abdullah Hassan to IsmayDuring the course of the conflict, the British found themselves defeated by the Dervishes on many occasions, the most famous of which was the Battle of Dul Madoba in 1913.

Following the end of the First World War in Europe, attention turned back to Hassan in Somaliland who had grown stronger in the region and more confident in his abilities, as demonstrated by this letter.

Having been defeated by Mohammed Abdullah Hassan’s forces in close combat before, there was a pressing desire to reassess their military tactics in British Somaliland.

It was agreed that the Royal Air Forces and Somaliland Camel Corps, a newly established constabulary, would assist forces in British Somaliland.

As Hassan had officially created a permanent base at Taleh, the use of a combined ground and aerial attack was successful. Heavy losses were incurred by the Dervishes and Hassan fled to Ogaden, resulting in the immediate fall of the Dervish state.

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