The Battle of Kasserine Pass, which took place from February 19-25, 1943, was the follow up to the Battle of Sidi Bouzid earlier that month and and engagement at nearby Faïd Pass in late January. In the first two clashes, Axis forces under the command of General Hans-Jürgen von Arnim and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel … Continue reading Today in North African history: the Battle of Kasserine Pass (1943)
Stephen Decatur (d. 1820) is one of the US Navy’s first famous figures, alongside Revolutionary War captain John Paul Jones, and among the first famous American military figures in general. Technically we should call him Stephen Decatur Junior, so as not to confuse him with his father, who was also an important early American naval … Continue reading Today in US history: the burning of the USS Philadelphia (1804)
The central Tunisian city of Sidi Bouzid is best known today as the birthplace of the Arab Spring. It was in Sidi Bouzid where Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in December 2010 to protest what he believed was unfair treatment at the hands of Tunisia’s corrupt government. The repercussions of that single act of … Continue reading Today in North African history: the Battle of Sidi Bouzid begins (1943)
Prince Henry the Navigator (d. 1460) is one of those Portuguese guys you spend a few minutes on in high school history class in the US at the start of the Age of Discovery unit, in the rush to get to Columbus. But he’s a much more consequential figure than generally regarded. The explorations Henry … Continue reading Today in North African history: the Battle of Tangier ends (1437)
I've been continuing to track Ibn Battuta's journey across North Africa on Twitter, Facebook, and at TheRihlah.com. Today we brought him as far as Alexandria, ready to enter the Mamluk Sultanate and begin the next part of his expedition: Last time we saw Ibn Battuta through the Kingdom of Tlemcen, which at the time was … Continue reading The Rihlah: Ibn Battuta’s 1325, part 3 (subscriber post)
I'm kicking off my new "Ibn Battuta's Journey" project over at TheRihlah.com this weekend, and our first serious post talks about who Ibn Battuta was and what he did. Please check it out: Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Lawati al-Tangi ibn Battuta, or “Ibn Battuta” for short, was born in the Moroccan city of Tangier … Continue reading The Rihlah: Who was Ibn Battuta?
Some days there are a bunch of little historical anniversaries to commemorate, but none that of themselves seem to warrant their own post. June 10 is one of those days. We’ve got four different anniversaries to note, so let’s take them in chronological order. Read the rest at my new home, Foreign Exchanges! Go to … Continue reading Today in European/Middle Eastern history: Frederick Barbarossa drowns (1190) and more