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Fashoda crisis

Fashoda crisis, 1898. In 1893 France, irritated by Britain's continued hold over Egypt, decided to go for Fashoda, on the White Nile to the south. An expedition was sent from the west under Colonel Marchand, to French Premier Delcassé's regrets later, because he feared it might provoke a conflict; but by then he could not call it back. Marchand arrived on 10 July 1898. On 18 September a British army under Kitchener met him there. Europe braced itself for war; but all that happened was that the two men sat down, cracked open a bottle of champagne Marchand had brought with him, swapped stories, and waited for the respective Foreign Offices to patch things up. In the end (3 November) the French gave in.

Bernard Porter

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