Today in Middle Eastern history: the North Yemen Civil War begins (1962)

Historians of the 20th century Middle East have to reckon with the impact of not one, but two cold wars. The main one was of course the Cold War, in which the United States and Soviet Union jockeyed for power and influence all over the world and particularly in the oil-rich Greater Middle East. The second was … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the North Yemen Civil War begins (1962)

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Today in European history: the Siege of Thessaloniki ends (1430)

The city of Thessaloniki (formerly Thessalonica) always struck me as one of the ultimate urban runners up in history. It became the most important city in Macedonia…right before the Romans showed up. It became an important Roman city…because it was a way point on the main route from Rome to Byzantium. When the Roman Empire … Continue reading Today in European history: the Siege of Thessaloniki ends (1430)

Today in European history: the (third) Siege of Algeciras ends (1344)

They say the three rules of real estate are “location, location, location,” and I suppose that’s as true when you’re looking for a city to conquer as it is when you’re looking to buy a house. One of the signs that a city is sitting on some prime real estate is its age, or more … Continue reading Today in European history: the (third) Siege of Algeciras ends (1344)

Today in South Asian history: Nader Shah sacks Delhi (1739)

The good news is that I actually feel OK today for the first time since the flu hit last weekend. Since it's my birthday on Sunday, I'm going to give myself a couple more days to recover and, barring any setbacks, we'll be back to normal operations on Monday. Meanwhile, here's today's history post and … Continue reading Today in South Asian history: Nader Shah sacks Delhi (1739)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Badr (624)

The Battle of Badr was a small affair, involving maybe around 1250 combatants in total, but seeing as how it was the the first military victory by a Muslim army (of sorts), I suppose you could say it’s pretty important. It was the first of three named battles between Muhammad’s Medinan followers and the Quraysh … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Badr (624)

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

Forewarning: this post is mostly outsourced. For background you’ll want to read Michael Collins Dunn’s account of the Second Battle of Kut from late February. April 1916’s First Battle of Kut, as we know, was a complete Ottoman victory and one of the low points for Britain in the whole war. Following that disaster, the British … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Fall of Baghdad (1917)