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: General Allenby comes to Jerusalem (1917)

Welcome to the anniversary of one of the most symbolically important events of the First World War, British General Edmund Allenby’s dramatic entrance into Jerusalem. The Battle of Jerusalem was an almost six-week affair that began in mid-November, 1917, when Allenby and his Egyptian Expeditionary Force followed up their success at Mughar Ridge by pushing… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: General Allenby comes to Jerusalem (1917)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Balfour Declaration (1917)

The Balfour Declaration has a lot more importance in hindsight than it really had at the time Balfour wrote it. In 1917, Britain was only just embarking on its period of greatest success in the Middle Eastern theater of World War I, when it captured Baghdad and used the Arab revolt that it had fomented… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Balfour Declaration (1917)

Today in World history: the Armistice of Mudros (1918)

The Ottomans I think sometimes get a bad rap for losing World War I, because, hey, if you only go by the final result it was a pretty total Ottoman defeat. But the fact of the matter is that Ottoman forces generally acquitted themselves well for most of the war, especially in Europe and the… Continue reading Today in World history: the Armistice of Mudros (1918)