Today in European history: the Battle of Legnica (1241)

The double-envelopment, or pincer movement, is such a tried and true military tactic that the guy who literally wrote the book on war, Sun Tzu, discussed it in his book on war. It involves, as the name suggests, outflanking an enemy on both sides in order to encircle it completely. Sun Tzu actually argued against employing… Continue reading Today in European history: the Battle of Legnica (1241)

Islamic History, part 30: the early Islamic military (7th-9th centuries CE)

Islamic History Series I feel pretty certain that nowadays we would point to the advent of Islam as the most important development of the movement that Muhammad began in Mecca and Medina in the first part of the 7th century. However, to contemporary observers in the period immediately following his death, it must have seemed… Continue reading Islamic History, part 30: the early Islamic military (7th-9th centuries CE)

Good history reading: the Battle of Ctesiphon (1915)

Earlier this week (November 22-25) was the 100th anniversary of World War I’s Battle of Ctesiphon, the point at which Britain’s 1915 campaign to take Baghdad went from a bad decision in theory to a bad decision in fact. That campaign, in short, consisted of the 6th (Poona) Division of the British Indian Army, under… Continue reading Good history reading: the Battle of Ctesiphon (1915)

Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Battle of Manzikert (1071)

We’re in kind of a high season for major historical battles in the Middle East, like Yarmouk, Chaldiran, and Marj Dabiq (there’s another one coming next week). You could argue that Manzikert is the biggest of the bunch, because although it took another 400 years to finally come to fruition, Manzikert set in motion the… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Battle of Manzikert (1071)

Michael Collins Dunn on Civil War Officers in the Egyptian Army

Today we should celebrate the 150th anniversary of surrender of a gang of armed insurrectionists at Appomatox. Since he’s rerunning the piece today, and because a. I’ve read it and it’s fascinating and b. it’s in line with the kind of stuff I like to do around here when I have a chance, I’m sending… Continue reading Michael Collins Dunn on Civil War Officers in the Egyptian Army