by Mitch on February 27, 2011 0 Comments

William Walker


The persistent political disorder in Spanish America in the post-independence period greatly affected the region’s foreign affairs. In the 1850s, private U.S. citizens known as filibusters intervened militarily in Latin American affairs. Always encouraged by instability and sometimes invited by rival national political factions, U.S. citizens joined filibuster expeditions by the thousands in search of private wealth. Yet filibustering is mostly associated with the U.S. South seeking to extend slavery in the face of the North’s efforts to halt its expansion in the contiguous United States. William Walker, who succeeded in ruling Nicaragua for a short time in the mid-1850s, is the most famous filibuster. Although unsuccessful, the filibustering expeditions further contributed to anti-U.S. sentiment throughout Latin America. Many Latin Americans identified filibustering as a manifestation of U.S. imperialism and attempted territorial expansion inspired by ideas of manifest destiny.


Several failed ...

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Akhal Tekin [Akhal-Tekke] Campaign

by Mitch on February 25, 2011 0 Comments

Nikolai Dmitriev-Orenburgsky. General Skobelev on the Horse (1883) He returned to Turkestan after the war, and in 1880 and 1881 further distinguished himself by retrieving the disasters inflicted by the Tekke Turkomans: following Siege of Geoktepe he captured the city, and, after much slaughter, reduced the Akhal-Tekke country to submission. He was advancing on Ashkhabad and Kalat i-Nadiri when he was disavowed and recalled. He was given the command at Minsk. During a campaign in Khiva, his Turkmen opponents called him goz zanli or "Bloody Eyes".

Turkmen soldiers

In 1880, Russian seamen participated in General Mikhail Skobelev's Akhal Tekin Campaign. Commander Makarov commanded the naval forces and supplied Russian troops in the Caspian Sea with provisions and ammunition.


In 1867, Russia established Konstantin Petrovich Kaufman as governor-general in Turkestan, with his capital at Tashkent. By 1868, he had taken Samarkand and established Bukhara and Kokand alike as Russian protectorates ...

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by Mitch on February 24, 2011 0 Comments

The period of Menelik’s reign (1889–1914) is another important milestone in modern Ethiopian history. Not only did the era coincide with the consummation of European theories of imperialism and the scramble for African territories, with the partition sanctioned at the Berlin Conference, but the era was also marked, ironically, by the large-scale unification of Ethiopian national territory. Between 1872 and 1896, Menelik was able to double the territory under his control, occupying as many areas as were seized by European powers in the scramble for territories in the northeastern region. A combination of military and diplomatic campaigns in the Galla region, the sultanate of Harar, and the regions of Wellega, Wellamo, Jimma, Kaffa, and Gomma, led to their annexation and political realignment as part of Christian Ethiopia.


Menelik of Shoa, formerly known as Prince Sahle Mariam, was the most powerful and least tractable of the emperor’s vassals ...

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Riel’s Rebellion (1885)

by Mitch on February 23, 2011 0 Comments

The Battle of Fish Creek.

In 1867,Canada became a commonwealth under a confederation and in 1870 assumed authority from the Hudson Bay Company over the Prairie Provinces, planning to join them to the rest of Canada via a transcontinental railway. This new authority, asserted by the Mounted Police on behalf of an increasing wave of emigrant settlers, angered and provoked the métis, descendants of the original French-British traders and local natives, who felt cheated by the new courts and displaced from their land. Finding a charismatic leader in Louis Riel, the métis and the Cree tribes rebelled in 1885,declaring a provisional government at Batoche and issuing a Revolutionary Bill of Rights.


When a 100-man police force was unable to dislodge the rebels and was forced to evacuate Fort Carleton, the government in Ottawa, fearing an Indian war like those recently fought by the United States, assembled a 3 ...

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Frederick Sleigh Roberts, First Earl, Viscount St. Pierre of Kandahar (1832–1914)

by Mitch on February 23, 2011 0 Comments

Late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century British military commander. Born in Cawnpore, India, Frederick Sleigh Roberts joined the Bengal artillery in 1851 despite his blindness in one eye. He won the Victoria Cross during the suppression of the Indian Mutiny in 1857.Earmarked thereafter for the highest command, he was involved in an Afghan border campaign in 1865, the 1866–1868 Abyssinian expedition, the 1871 northeastern India campaign, the 1874 Bihar famine relief, and the 1875 Imperial Assembly at Delhi, where Victoria was proclaimed empress of India.


An advocate of a forward Afghanistan policy to deny Russia control of the Himalayan passes, Roberts commanded the Punjab Frontier Force at the Battle of Charasia, during the occupation of Kabul and during the famous march from Kabul to Kandahar in 1878–1880.After serving as commander in chief in India from 1885 to 1893, as a field marshal he was commander in chief in Ireland ...

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Blaise Diagne

by Mitch on February 18, 2011 0 Comments

(1872–1934) Senegalese politician

Gaiaye M’Baye Diagne was born on the island of Gorée, the old slave trade base, in 1872. His energy and intelligence attracted the attention of wealthy mulattoes (people of mixed race), who sponsored his education at a religious school, where he was baptized as Blaise. Diagne was educated in Senegal and France and entered the French colonial administrative service in 1891. He served in a number of administrative posts in parts of the French West African Empire. In 1909 he married a Frenchwoman.


A proponent of assimilation and African rights as equal participants in French political and cultural life, Diagne became the first black African member of the French parliament in 1914. He became the first African member of the French government when he was appointed commissioner of the republic in West Africa in 1918; in the 1930s he became undersecretary of state for the ...

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Iraqi rebellion (1920)

by Mitch on February 17, 2011 0 Comments

Three 8 Sqn dH9As Over Iraq - 1924

The Iraqi rebellion of 1920 was a massive nationalist revolt against the British occupation of the country. In 1915 in the midst of World War I, British and imperial troops moved into southern Iraq and then north toward Baghdad, where they were defeated by Ottoman troops. In 1917 a new British expedition took Baghdad, and by the end of the war they controlled the northern Iraqi province of Mosul as well. Mosul was of particular importance owing to its oil fields, over which the British meant to retain control.


The initial British occupation met with little Iraqi resistance, but after the San Remo Treaty of 1920 formalized British control under the mandate, Iraqi opposition to a prolonged occupation mounted. The full-scale war that broke out in the summer of 1920 raged throughout the country but was particularly strong in rural areas. The war ...

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by Mitch on February 14, 2011 0 Comments

During the Java War (1825–1830), the Dutch government was forced to create a new type of military force to deal with that rebellion. This military force consisted of a professional army of Dutch officers, coupled with native Indonesian troops. These troops made up an army that operated against native populations, and a force that was not dependent on Dutch citizens to maintain its strength.


In 1830 Governor-General Johannes van den Bosch (1780–1844) officially organized these colonial forces into the Oost-Indisch Leger (East Indies Army). This army operated as the military arm of the colonial administration, with naval assistance provided by the Royal Netherlands Navy. From 1830 to 1870, the Oost- Indisch Leger was employed to control the numerous rebellions cropping up throughout the physical territory of the colony. Many wars, such as the Padri War (1821– 1836), were ongoing conflicts that were downgraded to allow the Oost-Indisch Leger ...

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Khyber Pass

by Mitch on February 14, 2011 0 Comments

In 1881, the British removed their forces from Afghanistan, but not before offering Abdur Rahman Khan the throne and requiring the new amir to uphold the Treaty of Gandamak. Despite gaining a minor amount of territory and influence in Afghanistan, the British knew that the Afghan people would embrace Abdur Rahman Khan since he was the nephew of Sher Ali, and he would also remain loyal to the influence of the British and conduct Afghanistan’s foreign policy through the government of India. During Amir Abdur’s 20-year reign from 1880 to 1901, the British and the Russians established the official boundaries and territorial lines of present-day Afghanistan.


Additionally during his reign, the British established several corps of the Northwest Frontier Province, which were set up to protect this region from invasion. Previously under the British invasion of Afghanistan, the Khyber Rifles was one of eight “frontier corps” that served ...

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by Mitch on February 11, 2011 0 Comments

Much literature contrasts—with reason—the moralizing claims European conquerors made with a sordid history of bloody conquest, oppressive rule, and meager spending on education and health. Recent scholars add an emphasis on both the limits and the unintended consequences of colonial rule. Ruling colonies was much more difficult than conquering them. Conquest proceeded rapidly thanks to differences in military technology and communications, the concentration of force, the terrorizing of villages, and the ability to reward allies among already colonized populations. Setting up routine administration—capable of maintaining order, collecting taxes, encouraging peasant production, and recruiting labor—was another matter. Having worked to define African kings, chiefs, and elders as backward tyrants, colonial administrators had to redefine them as representatives of traditional authority in order to have the intermediaries that empires, as in the past, needed to make good the chain of command. In Asia as well as Africa, indigenous ...

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by Mitch on February 11, 2011 0 Comments

Although historians have debated whether the last part of the nineteenth century witnessed a ‘‘new imperialism,’’ some writers at the time were convinced that ‘‘modern colonialism’’—the work of engineers, merchants, teachers, and doctors, and not of conquistadors—would produce a rational system of economic complementarities that would serve the imperial center while helping to civilize colonized populations. In Great Britain missionaries and other humanitarians increasingly moved from criticism of British colonizers to calls to save indigenous societies from slave traders and tyrannical kings in Africa, to end the mistreatment of women in India, and to remove the impediments posed by backwardness to the extension of Christianity, orderly commerce, and civilization. The Indian Mutiny of 1857 fostered efforts to make rule more thorough and transformative, but pointed up the need to be careful about upsetting Indian social structure; its most concrete effect was to eliminate the East India Company and ...

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Savage and Solder Online website

by Mitch on February 5, 2011 0 Comments

Welcome (9/14/1998)

Welcome to the new Savage and Solder Online website! For those of you who do not know, Savage and Soldier was a traditional ink-on-paper periodical that has served the colonial gaming community since 1965 (which makes it the oldest period specific miniature -zine in the world).

The story behind S&S itself is quite long and involved, (I'll save that for another day). Just to make a long one short though, after close to a four year absence, I am trying to bring all 30 years worth of the back issues to cyberspace. Most of the material in S&S have dated quite well, and I think their availability on the web would be a great resource for the colonial buffs out there.

It is still quite early in the project, which involves scanning in all the S&S articles (words and pictures), and even ...

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French Colonial Conquest of Dahomey in 1892

by Mitch on February 5, 2011 0 Comments

On July 23, 1892, Echo d'Oran, the daily newspaper serving the Algerian town of Sidi-Bel-Abes, headquarters of the French Foreign Legion, included this announcement: 'FOR DAHOMEY. The War Ministry has agreed to the attachment of a Foreign Legion battalion to the Admiralty. The battalion will leave on 4 August, will be 800 strong (400 from the 1st Regiment at Bel-Abes, 400 from the 2nd at Saida), and will be commanded by Major Faurax.

That evening, Frederic Martyn, a British legionnaire who had recently returned from Indochina, read the item as he was sitting down to a meal in a restaurant with a comrade. The two of them polished off their dinner and dashed back to the barracks to enlist for the new campaign. So did almost every other soldier in his unit.

The short announcement in Echo d'Oran had in fact been a Help Wanted advertisement, seeking volunteers ...

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by Mitch on February 3, 2011 0 Comments

General Sudirman, (January 24, 1916 - January 29, 1950; also spelled Soedirman)first commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces October 1950. On 12 November 1945 he was elected Commander-in-chief of the Army, a position he held until his death. During much of the next five years he was sick with tuberculosis, but led several guerrilla actions against the Dutch. He led the resistance to the Dutch attack on Yogyakarta, then the Republic of Indonesia's headquarters, in December 1948. Theodore Friend (2003) describes him as having "...a strangely blended samurai discipline, Marxist disposition, and raw courage."

In the early 1600s, two maritime nations, Britain and the Netherlands, were emerging as powerful players in the world economy. Seeking to challenge the network of the Portuguese and the Spanish, who had divided the non-European world between them under the authority of a Papal Bull (edict), the two emerging Protestant nations sought to control ...

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by Mitch on February 3, 2011 0 Comments

2nd/5th Royal Gurkha Rifles, North-West Frontier 1923

The Treaty of Rawalpindi in August 1919, ending the Third Afghan War and restoring Afghanistan’s control of its foreign relations, opened a new chapter in relations between Afghanistan and India. To the government of India, Afghanistan was a pathway for a Soviet advance and subversion, or a source of instability from internal unrest or actions by Kabul or tribal or religious leaders who could exploit the cross-border sympathies of the Pathan population. To Indian nationalists, Afghanistan provided an attractive destination, whether Deobandi-educated Muslim clergy, Communists enroute to Moscow, or deserting soldiers. Indian and Afghan nationalism developed many links. Extensive ties of culture and commerce between Afghanistan and India included the Hindu and Sikh minorities in Afghanistan, while Afghan traders were long established throughout India.


The accession to the Afghan throne of the anti-British modernizing nationalist Amanullah Shah in 1919 ended Afghanistan ...

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