The climax of the wars in Egypt and the Sudan came in 1898 when the British government decided to finish the matter once and for all. But by this time their forces had the Maxim gun whose reliability was beyond question, at their disposal. The final showdown of the campaign came at the Battle of Omdurman where the bulk of the Dervish forces repeatedly hurled themselves against the British lines, and were repeatedly beaten back by the deadly small-arms fire. The Maxims were the most deadly component of this massed firepower. A German war correspondent with the British wrote: "The gunners did not get the range at once, but as soon as they found it, the enemy went down in heaps, and it was evident that the six Maxim guns were doing a large share of the work in repelling the Dervish rush." Another eye-witness wrote of the effects of these weapons when he described the battlefield at the end of the day: "It was the last day of Mahdism and the greatest. They could never get near and they refused to hold back...It was not a battle but an execution ... The bodies were not in heaps - bodies hardly ever are; but they spread evenly over acres and acres. Some lay very composedly with their slippers placed under their heads for a last pillow; some knelt, cut short in the middle of a last prayer. Others were torn to pieces..." Because Winston Churchill was a participant in this battle, contemporary mythology has retained nothing of it except the futile charge of the 21st Lancers, in which Churchill took part. But at this time a much more accurate assessment of the significance of Omdurman was made by Sir Edward Arnold. Maxim proudly quotes the following remark in his autobiography: "In most of our wars it has been the dash, the skill, and the bravery of our officers and men that have won the day, but in this case the battle was won by a quiet scientific gentleman living in Kent." When one looks at the casualty figures for Omdurman, 28 British and 20 others killed against 11,000 Dervish dead , one can hardly ascribe to Sir Edward any particularly outstanding powers of analysis.