Was trying to check the following description from the introduction to a board game:

In 1541, Portuguese soldiers [...] slipped into the port of Massawa [and] join[ed] the Christian forces. At the walled desert town of Kassala on the river Gash, in what is now Sudan, the forces of Emperor Galawdewos are believed to have made their climactic stand [and] the surviving Moslem forces withdrew to the safety of Khartoum, about two hundred fifty miles to the west.

For two years following the battle, the emperor recruited troops. Then, with a force of eight thousand infantry and five hundred cavalry, he attacked the Moslems at Waina Rega. After sixteen years in Ethiopia, Ahmed Gran fell to a Christian musket ball. Although Emperor Galawdewos died two years later in a minor engagement, he had turned the Moslem tide for good at Kassala.

And also have this note (unknown source, perhaps some encyclopedia):

1541-1543 Eastern Africa: Ethiopia: Portuguese intervention to aid the Ethiopians against the Muslims, A Portuguese force under Cristovao da Gama lands at Massawa to support the Ethiopians against the Muslims. After helping end the Muslim siege of Kassala, da Gama goes on to defeat the Muslim forees led by Ahmed Gran in the Battle of Waim Dega on February 21, 1543. Gran is killed in the battle.

But when googling, I find a rather different chronology:

At Massawa, governor Estevão da Gama responded to an appeal by the Bahr Negus to assist the Christian Ethiopian Empire against invading Adalite forces. [...] On February, 1542, the Portuguese were able to capture an important Adalite stronghold at the Battle of Baçente. The Portuguese were again victorious at the Battle of Jarte [...] However, the Gragn then requested aid from the Ottoman governor of Yemen in Aden [...] In the Battle of Wofla, Somali and Turkish forces defeated the Portuguese, Gama was captured and killed by Gragn himself upon refusing to convert to Islam.

Gelawdewos was eventually able to reorganize his forces and absorb the remaining Portuguese soldiers and defeated Gragn (who was killed) at the Battle of Wayna Daga [...]

All these places (Jarte, Wofla, Wayna Daga/Waim Dega/Wainadega) seem to be far south of Kassala. Based on the descriptions of the battle, Wayna Daga appears to be most similar to the one portrayed in the game (minus the town of Kassala).

Was there never a siege or battle at Kassala in the 16th c.? Which information are the earlier descriptions based on?

  • I think you may have answered your own question here. Minor historical inaccuracies in a book of board games would hardly be surprising.
    – Brian Z
    Aug 1 '20 at 15:21
  • The second quotation also says siege of Kassala. I'm pretty sure the board game book is not just fantasy, it is probably a more or less verbatim quote from some history book of that era.
    – Tomas By
    Aug 1 '20 at 15:26
  • 1
    Here's a drawing. Note that Cristóvão da Gama was the son of Vasco da Gama. Aug 1 '20 at 20:57

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