Today in Middle Eastern history: the Fall of Baghdad (1917)

Maude wisely spent the rest of 1916 repairing the damage that had been done in the campaign that culminated at Kut. He recruited new troops from India, trained them, and had his engineers build out a rail network that could support a full-scale northern offensive. His target was Baghdad, which at this particular point in … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Fall of Baghdad (1917)

Today in South Asian history: the Siege of Delhi ends (1857)

The 1857 Siege of Delhi is significant in at least two ways, one more tangible than the other. Regarding the former, Britain's victory effectively stifled the 1857-1859 Indian Rebellion, largely ensuring that it would fail even though the conflict continued for some time afterward. On the more intangible note, the siege marked the formal end … Continue reading Today in South Asian history: the Siege of Delhi ends (1857)

Today in Iranian history: the 1921 Iranian coup

The irony of Iran's experience during World War I is that the evaporation of Imperial Russia in the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution should have marked a positive turning point for the Qajar Dynasty, but instead it eventually led to their overthrow. Russia and Britain had dominated Iranian affairs (first as rivals, then as … Continue reading Today in Iranian history: the 1921 Iranian coup

Today in South Asian history: the Durand Line is drawn (1893)

The Durand Line, AKA "the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan," is one of those legacies of colonial times that everybody's still, unfortunately, living with today. Named after the guy who dreamed it up, British Foreign Secretary for India (at the time) Sir Mortimer Durand, it was meant to fix the border between British India and … Continue reading Today in South Asian history: the Durand Line is drawn (1893)