Specialist290

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Much later, his head was cut and displayed on a pole outside Sokoto as a warning for future traitors.

Called it!

It's intriguing to see how much Sokoto's conquests have already changed the region in the span of a few short years. The slave trade is starting to collapse (good riddance!), and Abu Bakr's apparently laying the groundwork for a professional military that will become the envy of West Africa, by the sounds of things. With luck, within another couple decades or so they might even find themselves in a good enough state to fight off the European colonizing powers when they turn their attention to that corner of the world...
 
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mad orc

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Guns for people, one of the central inhumanities of the unspeakable crime of the slave trade. Chilling to see its effects in 19th century Africa.
Ay, Yasir Tahid’s fate was grim indeed.
Yes. Things are definitely in for the change !
Thankyou so much for commenting man. I really appreciate it !

Dendi should have not been involved in this affair ...
Well, they were going to be dealt with either way.
Thanks for commenting Mike!
:):):):)

Called it!

It's intriguing to see how much Sokoto's conquests have already changed the region in the span of a few short years. The slave trade is starting to collapse (good riddance!), and Abu Bakr's apparently laying the groundwork for a professional military that will become the envy of West Africa, by the sounds of things. With luck, within another couple decades or so they might even find themselves in a good enough state to fight off the European colonizing powers when they turn their attention to that corner of the world...
I absolutely love your big comments. You seem to be enjoying my story. Thank You so much !
:):):):)

Yes Sokoto is building up. But with these pesky Europeans it's never enough.
 

mad orc

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Chapter 8

Wars generally bring destruction and eat away the strength of the nation and its army. In the case of the Dendi war though, things were different. By the time it ended in October 1839, the deadly famine of the previous two years had subsided. This, coupled with the looting of Dendi created a huge surplus in Sokoto's treasury. With this surplus, Abu Bakr and Usman Amadu were finally able to build the strong army that they had lacked since the Oyo war. Virtually every single troop was taken apart and a completely new army was built within a period of 6 months. To prevent low military numbers due to famine in the future, Usman Amadu suggested that every single soldier be paid a minimum amount of salary atleast during wars.

Militaries in Sokoto and in this part of the world in general were not professionally paid. They were managed more akin to medieval European armies. The soldiers were not paid any fixed salaries except for some money to equip them on the campaign. Salaries were often given out by the local chieftains at their leisure and choice. Many poor peasants were forced to fight the whole war without a salary. As a result, the men mainly depended on loot gained from victory for getting paid. This system worked out well but now Abu Bakr's plans of continuous conquests needed a large army and as was seen during the famine, the men were reluctant to leave their families behind not knowing if they would survive the famine or not. Hence, Usman Amadu's proposal was valid. Surprisingly Abu Bakr accepted it and even made Amadu the supervisor of this new salary system, so big was his thirst for power and conquest. Of course, his booming treasury also had a lot to do with this affirmative decision. This was yet another unknowing step that Sokoto had taken towards developing into a modern nation state. However plans for this step could not be made immediately because there were other more important matters at hand.

To the west of Sokoto lay the Mossi kingdom.

CwxEG9rZ29AGRlQdAkYcwNFYyVxs3QGsVcLt0cr0foFmHiG8NlJUIzjCJjlQc3sg5vCvRAj4QhUKsXxJVTvxpuzoQbe9IZTeothIeNE13lQniqyd4B6-SWpjNaX32GowNoSiITDYsI8=s0-d

"Yennenga was a legendary princess and the mother of the Mossi people. She was a famous warrior precious for her father. But the princess aspired to another destiny and decided to leave the kingdom. On the run with her horse, she meets a young hunter, Rialé with whom she had a child called Ouedraogo. Yennenga and her son Ouedraogo are considered the founders of the Mossi Kingdoms."
-Official Mossi folklore

According to folklore the Mossi kingdom had existed since time immemorial. But realistically the Mossi kingdom probably began in the late 11th or early 12th century and would become a vassal state of one power or another from time to time. Though never managing to become too powerful, the Mossi remained a powerful local force and after the fall of Shonghai they became an independent entity. Being located near many of the main Islamic states of West Africa, the Mossi kingdoms developed a mixed religious system recognizing some authority for Islam while retaining earlier ancestor-focused religious worship. The king participated in two great festivals, one focused on the genealogy of the royal lineage (in order to increase their naam) and another of sacrifices to tenga.

69a683bc5e6c0d37666008881389ff34.jpg

Court of the Rima(King) of Mossi. This painting was made from descriptions given by various individuals.

By the 18th century, the Mossi kingdoms had increased significantly in terms of economic and military power in the region. Foreign trade relations increased significantly throughout Africa with significant connections to the Fula kingdoms and the Mali Empire. These relations included military attacks on many times with the Mossi being attacked by a variety of African forces. Although there were a number of jihad states in the region trying to forcibly spread Islam, namely the Massina Empire and the Sokoto Caliphate, the Mossi kingdoms largely retained their traditional religious and ritual practices.

The Mossi kings made a major compromise with Islam around the time of the various Fulani and Massina Jihads. In Ouagadougou, the king assigned an Imam who was allowed to deliver readings of the Qur'an to the royalty in exchange for recognizing the Pagan genealogical power of the king. This however did not bring peace but sowed the seeds of war.

The title of the Mossi ruler was Rima(Literally it means "The person who eats that which is not chewed", ie.the King). By 1840, Rima Naaba Totebaldbo ruled over Mossi. Like his father before him, the Rima hated the compromise that had been made with the Muslim Inams. In 1838 he had decided to discourage their activities by over-taxing Ouagadougou. This caused large famines in the area as the peasants suffered. The Inams made several complaints to the Rima but he ignored them. Then in March 1839, the Inams finally declared war on the Rima and raised the flag of rebellion. This was the opportunity that the Rima had been waiting for. He promptly marched his army into Ouagadougou and crushed the rebels and razed the mosque down to the ground.

Unfortunately for the Rima, the chief Inam and his men managed to escape. They went straight to the court of Abu Bakr and pleaded for his help in the matter. Of course, Abu Bakr was furious. He demanded that the Rima immediately convert his entire kingdom to Islam and disband his pagan rituals and worships or face war. The Rima obviously declined and Abu Bakr decided to declare war.
But the actual declaration of war would come 3 months later as Usman Amadu warned that the new army, while recruited was still only half-trained and equipped. So Abu Bakr waited until the harvest season was over and the army was fully equipped. Then, he declared war in August 1840.

x2WtwT7.png


Meanwhile, in late 1839 a new kind of visitor arrived at the doors of Sokoto. British explorer and diplomat John Lander.

John_Lander.jpg

John Lander, British explorer and diplomat.

This was by no means the first contact that the British or any other Europeans had had with the Fulani and Hausa peoples. As early as 1796, the explorer Mungo Park had visited the region. Explorers Hugh Clapperton and Dixon Denham had visited Bornu and Sokoto in 1823. On 17 February 1823, the party had reached Kuka, capital of the Bornu Empire, where they were well received by the sultan Sheikh Al-Kaneimi, having earlier become the first white men to see Lake Chad. Along their return journey they also visited Sokoto but could not get an audience with Muhammed Bello. Clapperton returned to West Africa again in 1826. He landed at Badagry in the Bight of Benin, and started overland for the Niger on 7 December 1825, having with him his servant Richard Lemon Lander, Captain Pearce and Dr. Morrison, navy surgeon and naturalist. Before the month was out Pearce and Morrison were dead of fever. Clapperton continued his journey, and, passing through the Yoruba country, in January 1826 he crossed the Niger at Bussa, the spot where Mungo Park had died twenty years before. In July, Clapperton arrived at Kano and thence the Fulani capital Sokoto, intending to continue to Bornu and renew his acquaintance with the Kanuri leader Sheikh Al-Kaneimi. However, the Fulani were now at war with Al-Kaneimi(The first war which became a stalemate. Not to be confused with Abu Bakr's second successful war), and Sultan Muhammed Bello refused him permission to leave until the duration of the war. Shortly after this, Clapperton died of malaria and his crew returned home after the war was finished.

By the 1830s the British occasionally sent diplomats and communications increased. In fact the British governor of Sierra Leone Colonel Hery Dundass Campbell wrote in 1836 that,

"The state of Sokoto is the most amicable relation that we have among the peoples of the interior. In the unlikely case of war with the natives we could possibly look towards the Sooltans for temporary help"

John Lander and his brother Richard Lander were both explorers. As discussed earlier, Richard had accompanied Clapperton on his second journey to the West African interior. In 1830 the brothers went on an expedition to determine the course of the Niger River. They landed at Badagry in, took Clapperton's route to Bussa, then ascended the river for 160 kilometres before descending to explore the Benue River and the Niger Delta. They returned to Britain in 1831. Richard returned to the Niger in 1832, but John was employed in the custom house in Liverpool and later in London through the patronage of Lord Goderich, the president of the Royal Geographical Society. It was through this posting that he was recruited by the British colony at Sierra Leone as a diplomat after having displayed an exceptional skill and knowledge of this work.
John Lander's meeting was important for the reason that the first formal relation between Britain and Sokoto was established with Sultan Abu Bakr 'recognising' Queen Victoria as the Queen of Britain and vice versa. Plans were also made for the establishment of a British embassy at Sokoto by 1841. After 2 more months, Lander left in January 1840.

Meanwhile, as discussed earlier, Sokoto was once again up in arms by August 1840 and the Mossi war started!
 
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DensleyBlair

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And so Europe makes itself known to the interior. Let us hope the British continue in the amicable spirit in which they seem to have set out.
 

mad orc

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And so Europe makes itself known to the interior. Let us hope the British continue in the amicable spirit in which they seem to have set out.
The British. Who's foolish enough to fully trust them eh?:D

Thanks so much for commenting man:)
 

mike the knight

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volksmarschall

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This has been a most intriguing AAR especially since it takes place in the forgotten continent of the age of imperialism!

Count me in.
Cheers!
 

Nikolai

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Seems like the British might be a pain soon enough...
 

Specialist290

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Ah, the British -- they always come with a smile at first, but it's incredibly convenient how many "diplomatic incidents" start happening in places they take an interest in. Fortunately, for now Sokoto seems to be far enough out of the way to have some room to expand and consolidate before the Europeans start showing up in earnest.
 

MatthewP

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An intriguing and eventful few years. It seems clear that Sokoto is headed towards regional dominance at breakneck speed. The question is, how much unwanted attention will their dominance draw from jealous European powers? And will the Caliphate have time to prepare?
 

mad orc

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I mean sure ,why not trust them :p Abu Bakr should keep a keen eye on his relatives from now on
Are you being naive. You trust 19th century Brits?:p:D
Thankyou so much for commenting man!
Thanks

This has been a most intriguing AAR especially since it takes place in the forgotten continent of the age of imperialism!

Count me in.
Cheers!
Welcome to Africa!
Thank You so much for reading and Thank You even more for commenting man. Comments always inspire me to write more

Seems like the British might be a pain soon enough...
Hmm. You may be right
Thanks so much for commenting!:)

Ah, the British -- they always come with a smile at first, but it's incredibly convenient how many "diplomatic incidents" start happening in places they take an interest in. Fortunately, for now Sokoto seems to be far enough out of the way to have some room to expand and consolidate before the Europeans start showing up in earnest.
Very aptly said
Thanks for commenting.

An intriguing and eventful few years. It seems clear that Sokoto is headed towards regional dominance at breakneck speed. The question is, how much unwanted attention will their dominance draw from jealous European powers? And will the Caliphate have time to prepare?
That remains to be seen. For now things are well.
Thankyou very very much for commenting man!
 

mad orc

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Chapter 9

Until the Mossi war, Sokoto and its army had been a regional powerhouse. Its armies were very strong primarily because they were made of men committed to Jihad, the holy war. However in terms of quality there was hardly any difference between Sokoto or its enemies. But the Mossi war could be pointed out as the first instance where Sokoto outclassed its opponents. Sultan Abu Bakr's reforms combined with the passionate and dynamic leadership of her generals made the Sokotan army dominate the war.

After the declaration of war in August 1840, the Sokotan armies rapidly marched into Mossi territory. By now, Abu Bakr and Usman Amadu had reduced Sokoto to three armies instead of one. Rather than divide up the men along Emirates, all the fiefs and emirs had to dedicate their men to these two armies. One under Usman Amadu and the second under Usman Dadi, a general handpicked by Abu Bakr for his efficiency. This was largely possible because the conquests of Damagaram, Bornu and Dendi had expanded the personal domains of Abu Bakr so much that it was impossible for any Emirs to rebel against his authority. Amadu Amadu had meanwhile retired from active duty by 1840.

By January 1841 the Sokotan forces had negated all initial resistance and the Massina Jihadists had destroyed the power of the Bambara empire who were allied to Mossi. The Rima of Mossi was clearly fighting a defensive war. He was not one to be underestimated though. He commanded a large army and could still put up a fight if he chose to. However the Rima simply kept moving from town to town in an attempt to elude and outrun the Sokotans who in turn mercilessly looted and destroyed his empire whenever they occupied a city.

TUHgREq.png


Abu Bakr's own memoirs say that the Sokotans finally bribed one of the Rima's vassals to trick him to into thinking that the Sokotans could be defended against Wahiguya and the Rima stopped running. He himself was exhausted and finally decided to make a stand and the battle of Wahiguya started on the Savannah outside the town on the morning of March 30 1841.
Usman Amadu, confident with his gunnery from the Damagaram war decided to apply the same technique. He stationed lines of archers who wielded muskets and ordered them to fire at the enemy charge. It was a complete disaster!
The Mossi cavalry annihilated the musketeers and killed more than a thousand of them. The Mossi cavalry was famed for being one of the fastest and it showed. After the light cavalry had charged, the Mossi brought in their famed heavy cavalry to mop up the remaining gunners. The Mossi were one of the few Sub-Saharan empires to invest in heavy chain mail armour.

moissi-empire-1892.jpg

A Mossi heavy cavalryman

By noon the Mossi appeared to be clearly winning the battle when suddenly the Sokotan second army under Usman Dadi appeared on the battlefield. According to memoirs, Dadi had heard of the engagement at Wahiguya in the morning. He had marched across one province at breakneck speed and arrived on the field. His arrival sent terror through the Mossi ranks and they retreated away from the battlefield in a disorganized manner. Though technically a victory, Wahiguya had been all but one for Usman Amadu.

2LV3723.png


But unlike most of the generals in this part of the world, Usman did not lose his faith on the use of guns on the battlefield. Instead, he accepted his own shortcomings and improvised his tactics.
After Wahiguya, the two armies next met at the battle of Bobo Dioulasso in mid April 1841. BD was actually a province made up of two large villages, Tunuma and Sia proper. They were located a few hundred meters from each other on a narrow spit of land bounded by 10-to-15-foot-deep (3.0–4.6-metre) ravines on either side, carved by the We (Houët) river to the east and by its tributary Sanyo to the west. The Sokotan army was on Tunuma and the Mossi army was in Sia.

For the first few hours the two armies both fired at each other from the towns and did not dare cross the narrow ravine pass. Finally the Mossi army surged forward and attacked with its heavy cavalry at dusk. Here Usman Amadu's brilliance came into light. He recognized that his gunners needed to be protected and so he stationed a band of warriors around each gunner to protect them. The technique worked. The guns fired away killing many Mossi heavy cavalrymen who did not realize that their armour could be penetrated by the gunpowder.

Egy_sudanese_gunners_info.png

"With all the brave young gunmen buried at Wahiguya, the general turned to the old and rotting men. The veterans. He gave them the guns. They did not disappoint!
-From the memoirs of Sultan Abu Bakr

By nightfall the Mossi retreated back into Sia expecting that Usman Amadu may not attack into the night. Instead, he gave the ruse of stalemate and then surprised the Mossi army by having his men descend into the deep ravines and making a ferocious attack on the Mossi camp. Absolute pandemonium ensued. Some of the Mossi were killed, some captured while others ran away. In the confusion, the Rima was captured alive. After his men had sufficiently occupied Sia, then Amadu ordered his own cavalry and the gunners to move from Tunuma into Sia to mop up the remaining enemies and pursue those who had fled. The Rima was forced to sign the treaty of surrender of his kingdom and its conversion to Islam.

5DOAPu3.jpg

Sokotan troops cheer from the rooftops of Sia after its capture on the morning of April 16, 1841.

Absolutely brilliant Usman Amadu had managed to reverse the numbers of the previous battle by inflicting way more casualties upon the enemy.

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The Rima's surrender however was not the end. Independent Mossi chieftains continued to resist for months with the help of the Bambara. The Sokotans resorted to using the now converted Rima as a puppet. They paraded him through town after town and forced him to request his people to convert to Islam just as he had. Obviously many listened and tribe after tribe joined the Sokotan forces as the 'Messiahs' who had shown them the truth of god. Final peace was signed in August 1841 with the rebellious chiefs and the Bambara kingdom. The Rima meanwhile named Sultan Abu Bakr as his successor and under that condition he was installed back on the Mossi throne as a puppet. However the Rima died in September 1841 from natural causes under suspicious circumstances and Mossi was fully integrated into the Caliphate.

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Just days after the victory, Lander returned to Sokoto and established the first formal embassy, a large tent outside town which would be used whenever a British diplomat arrived in Sokoto. A native officer from Sierra Leone, Thomas Motubwa was installed as a permanent British resident and he was promised full safety in this tent by Abu Bakr himself. Lander also exchanged many Arabic translated English books about warfare and its ways as Abu Bakr had requested to see the 'wisdom of warfare' to him during the last meeting. When Lander heard accounts of the battle of Bobo Dioulasso, he congratulated Usman Amadu with the words,

"A general is always expected to be dynamic and must learn from his mistakes. He(Usma Amadu) has shown just that rare combination of brilliance and humility and thus I rank him as a great general".

When he went back to British Sierra Leone, Lander sold this story of the 'Unknown exotic Sokoto and the battles fought by its mighty Sooltan' along with his quote about Usman Amadu to a newspaper which published it in London. It would be the first time that the civilized world had heard about Sokoto. It would not be the last!

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DensleyBlair

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Another impressive victory. And interesting to see potential movement towards modernisation. Will the Sokot Caliphate be able to establish itself as a power capable of going up against the Europeans, or will the coming decades prove the ultimate futility of challenging the settler capitalist nations?
 

mad orc

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Everyone,
If you are loving this story then pls take a moment and clap for @HyperTwerp
I was banging my head trying to find a good African game from Ck2 to HOI4 and it was she who suggested me to play Sokoto.
Thanks Hypertwerp !
 

mad orc

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Another impressive victory. And interesting to see potential movement towards modernisation. Will the Sokot Caliphate be able to establish itself as a power capable of going up against the Europeans, or will the coming decades prove the ultimate futility of challenging the settler capitalist nations?
Yes. The New world awaits!
Thankyou so much for the comment. I really love comments!:)
 

SibCDC

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Be wary of admiration from the Europeans, it might quickly turn into envy.
 

Nikolai

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Modernization cannot happen too fast. But it obviously needs to be done right, taking into consideration the history and culture of the Sokoto. Would not do to lose your throne or head, would it Abu Bakr? :p
 

mike the knight

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Just be careful whom you will call to help you modernise :p Its nice to see victories rolling one after another
 

Specialist290

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Sokoto has gone from one regional power among many, to arguably the single most powerful state in West Africa. Of course, such power often times provokes envy from those who don't have it themselves...

Usman Amadu has proven to be quite the innovative and far-sighted general so far. Hopefully he continues to have a long and successful career ahead of him.