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)

Today in Caucasian history: the Battle of Sarikamish ends (1915)

Russia’s victory in the Battle of Sarikamish was so overwhelming that it put the Russians on the offensive in World War I’s Caucasian Theater for good–or, uh, until Russia quit the war following its 1917 revolution. And so its military impact is a little mixed, despite the lopsided outcome. Had the Ottomans been able to … Continue reading Today in Caucasian history: the Battle of Sarikamish ends (1915)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Gallipoli campaign ends (1916), and the Battle of Rafa (1917)

There are two World War I battles that have anniversaries today. Of them, Gallipoli is far and away the larger and more famous. But while we’re here I figured we could at least mention the other one. Technically this is anniversary of the end of the Gallipoli campaign, which lasted eight and a half months starting … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Gallipoli campaign ends (1916), and the Battle of Rafa (1917)

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) enthroned his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi (d. 1944), and thus founded the Pahlavi “Dynasty.” I put “dynasty” in quotes because it was just the two of them over the … Continue reading Today in Iranian history: Reza Pahlavi is crowned Shah (1925)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Capture of Damascus (1918)

The Egyptian Expeditionary Force’s capture of Damascus in early October, 1918, marks the end of World War I in the Middle East. Some scattered fighting continued around Aleppo, but it took only two weeks after losing Damascus for the Ottoman Empire to undergo a complete political upheaval and reach out to the British government to … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Capture of Damascus (1918)

Today in European/Middle Eastern history: Frederick Barbarossa drowns (1190) and more

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

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)