Thursday, February 27, 2014

New military history research: Safavid rise in 16th century Persia

Ali Anooshahr presents his research in Iranian Studies on an early Safavid chronicle.  Anooshahr states that the history presented in the chronicle by a number of Safavid veterans of the early 16th century Safavid wars to take Persia runs counter to modern understanding of this region and period.  Anooshahr states that the Safavid rise was not the result of an ‘apocalyptic explosion’ but rather a carefully planned campaign by Shah Isma’il’s military commanders.    
About 1688 - The Battle between Shah Ismail and Shaybani Khan

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New military history research: WWII Holocaust writings, Franco-Prussian War, and modern African conflict

The European Review of History presents two topics of interest.
Dana Mihailescu writes about the narratives produced by Polish child Holocaust experiences.  Mihailescu debates whether the narratives present what the author’s felt as children or what they thought about their experience once they reached adulthood.  The conclusion is that these authors are aware of the limitations on their memories and feelings and discusses how this is presented.
Christopher Ernest Barber explores diplomacy during the Franco-Prussian War.  Barber explains that European powers were trying to maintain moderation among the powers and examines to what extent this was maintained.
September 17, 1870 - Illustrated London News - "Discussing the War in a Paris Café"

The International History Review presents a study by Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses and Robert McNamara on a recurring combined military exercise between Portugal, Rhodesia and South Africa launched in 1970.  The authors discuss the goals of the exercise and how the participants did not realize Portugal was drawing away from its colonial wars.

Conflict, Security and Development presents a study by Andrea Edoardo Varisco on the United Kingdom’s attempts to assist the conflict-affected Sierra Leone.

Monday, February 24, 2014

New military history research: The 1212 Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa

The Journal of Medieval History presents a study by Jonathon Ray on the social effects of the Iberian reconquista in 1212 on Iberian Jews.  Ray finds that Jewish life changed very little after the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa and during the transition from Muslim to Christian rule.  But the greater transition occurred with the mixture of Arabised Jews of Andalusi and Latinized Jews of Northern Europe.

While not quite a military history article, it does feed my interest in the cultural changes that occurred when the rule of Iberia passed from Muslim to Christian hands.

1863 - The Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa by Francisco de Paula Van Halen

1892-1894 - Alfonso IX de Leon by Jose Maria Rodriguez de Losada

Alfonso IX of Leon was cousin to Alfonso VIII of Castile who had taken some of his lands.  Alfonso IX allied himself with the Almohad Muslims to get his lands back.  Alfonso's lands were put under papal control and he was forced to marry Alfonso VIII's daughter.  He still refused to join Alfonso VIII against the Almohad's at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa.  

A highly recommended scholarly study of the Crusades in Spain.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

New military history research: 1814 Army of the Andes, British diplomacy during the American Revolution, and US strategic control of Cold War era raw materials

The Journal of Latin American Studies has an article by Juan Luis Ossa Santa Cruz discussing the revolutionary Army of the Andes that was formed in Chile in 1814.  The study then discusses the personal politics involved in the revolution of this period against the Royalists.  Santa Cruz then considers the use of the populace to support the insurgency, spies and guerrilla warfare through to final victory in 1817.    

 1817- Soldier of the Army of the Andes

The International History review has two new articles of interest. 

 Stephen Conway writes on the alliances Britain pursued during the American Revolution.  Conway explains that though the pursuit of imperial alliances failed, the attempts reveal something of British attitudes at the time towards the Revolution.  

Mats Ingulstad considers US attempts to control its raw material needs at the beginning of the Cold War.  He focuses on three mechanisms used.  Building a strong trade regime to ensure continued access, providing foreign aid to producer nations to tighten relations and increase output, and third by using intergovernmental organizations to regulate the flow of raw materials in the world economy.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New military history related archaeology: Ancient Greece warrior

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens released their 2012-2013 Annual Report last month and it can be found here.  While normally I would prefer looking through the excavation reports, for now I must be content with this.  Page 8 shows an interesting find depicting an armed Greek warrior.  A small lekythos was excavated and it seems to depict an unusual scene – an apobates which is an event at the Panathenaic games where an armed competitor jumps on and off a moving chariot.  The scene shows a chariot with charioteer and a hoplite alongside.  A nice vivid, nearly complete image.  

 Pre 1904 image of Greek soldiers of the Greco-Persian Wars

Sunday, February 16, 2014

New military history research: WWII US propaganda in Spain and post WWII German technology transfer

The International History review has two articles on military history.

Pablo Leon-Aguinaga writes about US propaganda aimed at Spain during WWII.  Leon-Aguinaga argues that during WWII, the Spanish were opposed in views on US efforts.  One group saw US propaganda as a mass persuasion tool aimed at combating fascism whereas other believed US efforts should only be aimed at explaining US political positions and developing national friendship.  Leon-Aguinaga argues that the lessons learned in Spain influenced US propaganda efforts during the Cold War.

Douglas Michael O’Reagan discusses Allied exploitation of German technology during the post-WWII occupation of Germany.  O’Reagan examines the American, British and French approaches to technology transfer with Germany and argues that the French process was most amenable to Germany and helped develop strong ties between the two nations despite wartime antagonisms.     

 Hermes A-1 missile - American version of the German Wasserfall missile of World War II. Developed by the General Electric Company beginning in 1946 and was part of the larger Hermes program that took advantage of German wartime technology.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

New military history research: Iran and the Oman Rebellion of 1972

In Iranian Studies, James F. Goode writes on Iran’s 1972 assistance to Oman to quell a Marxist rebellion in that country.  The Shah of Iran acted without consulting the US or Great Britain and in opposition to his many Arab neighbors.  However, the action brought saved the Shah of Oman and strengthened the ties between the two men. 

"Oman 1974 -The bivouac area of the troop of Sultan's Engineers undergoing the final exercise in Wadi Nakhl, before operations in Dhofar. In view, Ken Orrell and Alec Tomlin." by Brian Harrington Spier from Shanghai, China is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

New military history research: Babylonian soldiers, Caesar's triumph, Roman legion veterans and Perisan-Roman war

The Classical Quarterly presents four studies related to ancient military matters and history.

Jennifer S. Starky discusses the use of Babylonian soldiers in Aristophanes’ play Babylonians. Starkey explains that the play and the history it discusses is misunderstood and further examination is needed.

1896 - Imaginary portrait of Aristophanes

Ida Ostenberg discusses Caeser’s use of Veni Vidi Vici after his triumph at Pontus in 46 B.C.  Ostenberg explains that the words were written on a placard and shown during his triumphal march.  Also, the argument is made that the words represent not Caesar’s deeds during the war but rather how swiftly he prevailed.

Rosalinde Kearsley addresses the formation of the second triumvirate in 43 B.C. and the large numbers of Roman veterans given land in Italy.  Kearsley argues that the resettlement had a great and difficult impact on Rome and the people of the Italian countryside.

Marion Kruse discusses Procopius’ Wars and specifically the Armenian speech to Persian king Khusrow.  Kruse asks whether the speech was written in a way that indicates Procopius’ criticism of  Justinian.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

New military history research: First Sicilian Slave War, Ancient Egyptian soldiers, Mytilene revolt and the Iliad

The Classical Quarterly presents four studies related to ancient military matters and history.

Peter Morton writes on the historic record of Eunus, leader of the first Sicilian Slave War of 135 B.C.  Morton states that the history of Eunus is fairly uncritical but that perhaps another look at the description of this leader is needed.

Christelle Fischer-Bovet addresses the status of Egyptian soldiers in the Hellenistic and Ptolemaic armies from about the fourth to first centuries B.C.  These soldiers were often described as second rate however, Fischer-Bovet argues that they were more important to Roman victories than previously thought.  

 Hellenistic soldiers circa 100 BCE, Ptolemaic Kingdom, Egypt

Edward M. Harris discusses the Mytilene revolt against Athens in 428 B.C.  The Mytilenians requested Spartan aid in this revolt but it did not arrive in time to counter the Athenians.  Harris discusses the resultant situation where the people turned against the government and made their own plans to plead with Athens for leniency.

 C.J, Mackie presents a study of how the Judgment of Paris is dealt with in the Iliad. Achilles’ mistreats Hector’s body and the gods are divided on how to deal with this grievous situation.  Mackie studies the story and presents his vies on the meaning on how the episode progresses and is resolved.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New military history research: The Portuguese conquest of Azammur, Morocco

The Journal of North African Studies presents a study of a Portuguese conquest by Jorge Correia, Andre Teixeira, and Maria Augusta Lima Cruz.  The study focuses on the military, political and social development of Azammur in Morocco from its Portuguese conquest to Portuguese abandonment.  The conquest came about through crusader zeal but Portugal was unable to make the city a financially prosperous and stable one.  The Muslim, Christian and Jewish populations fought and allied with each other over the period of occupation and the archaeology, architecture and history of the city in this time provide information on Portuguese and European evolution from a late-medieval condition to an early modern condition. 
1886 - Famed Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan 
who was present at the 1513 Portuguese attack on Azammur

Further reading on the subject of the Portuguese in West Africa during the medieval period:


Monday, February 3, 2014

New military history research: French Revolution and the 1683 Ottoman siege of Vienna

The Historical Journal provides two interesting articles.

One study by Anna Plassart discusses Scottish attitudes towards the French Revolution in the 1790s.  She finds that Scottish writers were worried about the new Revolutionary France.  While the nobles had been overthrown, France’s traditional national pride was replaced by a more enthusiastic national sentiment between individuals and state which could be dangerous in the future.
 1848 - The Duke of Chartres at Valmy (1792) by Eloi Firmin Feron

A study by Anders Ingram focuses on English writing in response to the Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683.  Apparently this military event generated more seventeenth century English writing on the Ottoman’s than any other event involving that empire.  The author focused on ballads written immediately after the event and finds that the image of the Turk was used often by ballad writers to connect the siege to political events of England at the time. 
 1871 - King John III Sobieski blessing the Polish attack on Turks in Vienna 1683 by Juliusz Kossak