Today in South Asian history: the Indo-Pakistani War and Bangladesh Liberation War both end (1971)

India and Pakistan have fought no fewer than four full-on wars since the two nations came into being in 1947. Where the 1971 war stands out from the others is that it had nothing (directly, at least) to do with the disputed region of Kashmir. In fact, the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War was really the final… Continue reading Today in South Asian history: the Indo-Pakistani War and Bangladesh Liberation War both end (1971)

Morbid, but somehow appropriate

Today is the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Dayton Agreement, which ended the Bosnian War after 3 and a half years. As if on cue, Bosnian experts have just discovered a mass grave from that conflict: Forensic experts say they found a mass grave in northeast Bosnia most likely containing victims’ remains from… Continue reading Morbid, but somehow appropriate

Today in Iranian history: Reza Pahlavi is crowned Shah (1925)

Decades before they helped engineer the coup that restored Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi to power, the British were responsible for engineering another Iranian coup that eventually resulted in the enthronement of his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi (d. 1944), and the institution of the Pahlavi “Dynasty.” I put “dynasty” in quotes because it was just the… Continue reading Today in Iranian history: Reza Pahlavi is crowned Shah (1925)

Today in Middle Eastern history: Maʿarrat al-Nuʿman (1098)

The successful siege of the city of Maʿarrat al-Nuʿman was the first step along the First Crusade’s coastal march on the way from Antioch to Jerusalem, but that’s not why it’s memorable. Even more important than its strategic position, for the Crusaders, Maʿarra was (or at least they thought it was) a potential source of… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Maʿarrat al-Nuʿman (1098)

Today in Middle Eastern history: General Allenby comes to Jerusalem (1917)

Edmund Allenby was the first Christian commander to capture Jerusalem in battle since the leaders of the First Crusade managed the feat in 1099. There had been brief periods during the later Crusades, after Saladin captured Jerusalem in 1187, when the city nominally came back under Christian control via negotiations, and there was technically a… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: General Allenby comes to Jerusalem (1917)

Today in European History: the Russians capture Plevna (1877)

If you think the state of Russo-Turkish relations is bad these days…well, actually it’s kind of good lately. But historically that hasn’t always been the case. Consider that the Russian Empire, one of the precursors of modern Russia, and the Ottoman Empire, the precursor of modern Turkey, fought a whopping 12 wars against one another… Continue reading Today in European History: the Russians capture Plevna (1877)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the First Intifada begins (1987)

In contrast with the Second Intifada, which began with a deliberate provocation when Ariel Sharon and 1000 Israeli police officers marched on to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in September 2000, the First Intifada began almost by chance. On December 8, 1987, an IDF truck crashed into a line of cars stuck at the Erez crossing… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the First Intifada begins (1987)