Political map of Sub-Saharan Africa 8 April 1898 (Battle of Atbara): In late 1897 the Anglo-Egyptian army under Herbert Kitchener began preparing for a final push south to recapture Khartoum (Anglo-Egyptian conquest of Sudan) and destroy Mahdist power in the Sudan (Mahdist State). As he gathered his forces, the Mahdists attempted to oppose him, but were completely routed in the 45-minute Battle of Atbara in April 1898. Defeated, the Mahdists withdrew to Omdurman.