The Arab wars

by Mitch on May 29, 2011 1 Comment

These Swahili of the East coast of Africa supplied most of the troops for the Arabs from Zanzibar and, indeed, those who had settled further into the interior. They also worked for European explorers and this picture of Speke's "faithfulls" gives a good idea of their appearance.

The greatest challenge faced by the Force Publique in its early years came in the 1890s, in the so-called “Arab wars”.

The sharpest struggles were those that had to be undertaken not against the Africans, but against Swahili slave traders (often called “Arabs” but rarely of pure Arab descent) and their followers in the eastern Congo.

The Congo Arab war was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the whole era of imperial conquest.

The fighting [was] massive, because both sides enlisted the aid of thousands of irregulars. An estimate of 70,000 dead on the Swahili–Arab side is probably exaggerated, while ...

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The Force Publique

by Mitch on May 29, 2011 0 Comments

In the beginning the private army King Leopold had decreed into existence in 1886, the Force Publique, was composed largely of African mercenaries recruited outside the Congo. Of the original 2,000 other ranks of the force, only 111 were Congolese. Preference in early recruiting was given to that much sought after “martial race”, the Hausas of the Central Sudan. In the end, however, these foreign mercenaries proved to be too expensive and local recruiting was intensified. In 1891, chiefs were ordered to produce a certain number of recruits per year, and a militia was founded from which men could be drafted to fill out the ranks in emergencies. In 1900 the term of enlistment in the Force Publique was raised from five to seven years. The Free State also used large numbers of irregulars in its campaigns. The Azande people of the north Congo and the Batetela people, who ...

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George Nathaniel Curzon

by Mitch on May 29, 2011 2 Comments

The English statesman George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston (1859-1925), served as viceroy of India and as a member of several Cabinets.


High offices in the British political and imperial structure at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century were generally held by men chosen on the basis of highly restrictive family and educational connections. George Curzon was the epitome of this system, and it was useful to his political and social ambitions before World War I. Afterward, however, he was hurt by his connection with it and by his inconsistent actions that bordered on opportunism in his late drive for government leadership.


Curzon was born on Jan. 11, 1859, at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire. His early life was dominated by the influence of a governess and a schoolmaster who were both strict disciplinarians; those years were not very happy ones for him ...

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Sir Francis Edward Younghusband

by Mitch on May 29, 2011 0 Comments

Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942) was an English soldier, explorer, leader of an expedition to Lhasa, and the founder of the World Fellowship of Faiths. Born into a family with strong military and Indian connections, Francis Younghusband duly entered the army and was posted to India in 1882. The lure of exploration in mountainous frontiers of strategic importance took him, on leave in 1886, across central Asia from Manchuria through Inner Mongolia and Sinkiang—regions where Russian interest was evident—to Kashmir, which he entered by the exacting Mustagh Pass. Accepted into the Foreign Service of the Indian government, he reconnoitered Russian activities in Hunza, where he crossed the extremely difficult, unexplored Saltoro Pass.


In 1891 Younghusband again encountered the Russians in the Pamir, and he was arrested and deported from territory claimed by them. On leave in 1895, he covered for the London Times the relief, from attack by ...

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East India Company

by Mitch on May 27, 2011 0 Comments

East India Company Collection logo

East India Company Collection

Take on the waters as you never have before with all four installments of the East India Company series with the release of the East India Company Collection. The East India Company Collection includes the Designer's Cut version of the East India Company along with the Pirate Bay, Privateer, and Battle of Trafalgar expansion packs in one bundled package.

Whether you want to create the largest trading empire in world or invade one as a pirate ship captain, this collection will satisfy your every naval desire.

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East India Company logo

East India Company

Unique combination of trading game and wargame. East India Company offers a fresh take on the strategy game and the best naval battles around. Player aims to create the most powerful company and dominate East Indian trade. Fleet engagements are played on cinematic tactical level.

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Pirate Bay - add-on

For those players who ...

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Pride of Nations Demo

by Mitch on May 27, 2011 0 Comments

The demo for Pride of Nations. This is a historical strategy game featuring a simultaneous turn-based engine, putting players at the head of the world's Great Powers between 1850 and 1920. In the full game, eight nations are playable in single-player and multiplayer - USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Russia, Austria-Hungary and Italy.


  • Immerse yourself in realistic historical gameplay set on a global map/
  • Play as the world’s Great Powers between 1850 and 1920.
  • Lead one of eight different countries, each with their own personality and agenda: USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.
  • Experience the most original diplomacy model ever created for a grand strategy game.
  • Discover an involved colonization and exploration system.
  • Fight against a strong, non scripted AI through a number of new game mechanisms.
  • Battle it out with others in multiplayer with a new simultaneous turn-based engine.
  • Engage in a detailed ...
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Britain's Rebel Air Force: War from the Air in Rhodesia, 1965-80

by Mitch on May 27, 2011 0 Comments

Britain's Rebel Air Force: War from the Air in Rhodesia, 1965-80 (Hardcover)

by Roy Conyers Nesbitt (Author)

The birth of Rhodesia's air force was unintentional. In the mid-thirties, when the re-emergence of a German threat to peace caused nations to re-examine their defences, the members of the Legislative Assembly of Southern Rhodesia did likewise. In a gesture of loyalty, they offered Britain £10,000 for the Royal Navy to strengthen imperial defence. They were not expecting the British to respond with the suggestion that Southern Rhodesia should establish an air-training unit. This illustrated the unique position of the Colony of Southern Rhodesia in the British Empire because, not only was she self-governing, but she had the right to defend herself despite not having the status of a dominion and therefore sovereignty. As external threats hardly existed, defence was left to the ...

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German Colonial Wars (1884–1919)

by Mitch on May 23, 2011 0 Comments

Battle of Waterberg

A short-lived “place in the sun.” The young German Empire did not establish colonies until 1884, and then mostly in areas of little economic or strategic value. It took the expenditure of military resources both to found and to maintain Germany’s place in the sun.


Beginning in 1884 the German flag was raised over several territories in Africa: Togo, Cameroon, German Southwest Africa (Namibia), and German East Africa (Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi). In the Pacific, Germany also claimed possession of northeast New Guinea and the Marshall and Solomon Islands, with the close support of the German navy.


The first military action was in Cameroon in December 1884, when a naval landing party of 350 men defeated the forces of a pro-British chieftain. One of the leaders of this party was Lieutenant Reinhard Scheer, later commander of the High Seas Fleet during World War I.


The creation ...

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by Mitch on May 20, 2011 0 Comments

Retired General Vo Nguyen Giap in 1991.

(b. 1911), general and commander of the People’s Army of Vietnam. Vo Nguyen Giap is best known as the general and commander of the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) during the Vietnamese resistance against France and the United States between 1946 and 1973. Giap is widely recognized as an expert in military science and particularly in logistics, tactics, and strategy. His personal style of conducting war, crafted from a wide array of sources and field experiences, enabled the Vietnamese armies under his command to oust both the French and U.S. military forces from his country.


Giap was born in Quan Binh Province in 1911 to a poor family that was fervently anti-French. After reading the writings of Ho Chi Minh (1890–1969), he joined the underground Communist Party in his teens and, because of his anti-French activities, was imprisoned by ...

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European Colonialism of Vietnam

by Mitch on May 20, 2011 0 Comments

French forces parachute into Dienbienphu, 1954

The Nguyen came to power at a time when European colonialism was experiencing a revival of interest in Asia. In 1861, the French seized Saigon. In 1882, they took Hanoi, and from there they spread out to occupy all of Vietnam a year later.


As with the Chinese period, the French colonial times were fraught with uprisings and rebellions. The pre-1930 anti-French struggles all ended in failures. Finally, the Vietnam Nationalist Party (Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang, commonly referred to as the VNQDD), organized along the same principles as Sun Yat Sen’s Nationalist Party in China and composed mainly of the new western-educated middle class, and the Dong Duong Cong San Dang, or Indochinese Communist Party (ICP), which counted among its members a great number of peasants and workers, discovered that they had to organize far more thoroughly before they could hope to ...

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Battle for Kufra 1941

by Mitch on May 15, 2011 1 Comment

A1940 Chevrolet WA is seen in the configuration developed by the LRDG for their operations in North Africa. The vehicle illustrated carries a Lewis gun behind the cab and a Browning .30 cal M1919 with AA barrel above the dashboard.


8 March 1941.


France had fallen, her empire in tatters, but her flag still flew from the isolated but strategically important ex-Italian fort of El Tag which dominated the Kufra oasis in Southern Libya. Free France had struck a blow, a beginning in the campaign to recapture France and defeat the Axis.


Colonel Leclerc and the intrepid Lt Col d’Ornano (commander of French Forces in Chad), on the orders of De Gaulle in London, were tasked with attacking Italian positions in Libya with the motley forces at their disposal in Chad which had declared for Free France. Kufra was the obvious target. The task of striking at the heavily ...

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German World War I Aims – The ‘September Programme’

by Mitch on May 15, 2011 0 Comments


On 9 September 1914 Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg announced Germany’s ‘September Programme’ of war aims. Whether this statement of territorial demands and military and economic ambitions was a triumphant response to early victories, or a pragmatic recognition that the war would not be short, and that the German people had to be made aware of what they were fighting for in a lengthy life-or-death struggle, the pre-emptive formulation of war aims was and remains controversial.


Although couched in defensive terminology, Germany’s war aims were expansionistic. Territorial annexations, economic domination and military control would provide, Bethmann Hollweg promised, ‘security for the German Reich in west and east for all imaginable time’. As such, Germany’s war aims were an expression of the social-Darwinist philosophy of imperialistic competition which had underpinned pre-war arms races and colonial rivalries. Weltpolitik may have failed in peacetime, but war presented an opportunity to achieve Germany ...

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by Mitch on May 7, 2011 0 Comments

The Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 was fought between Britain and the Zulu nation in South Africa. The war remains one of the most dramatic in both British and southern African history during the colonial period. It marked the end of the independence of the Zulu nation and the entrenchment of British colonialism in South Africa.


The Zulu kingdom emerged early in the nineteenth century along the eastern seaboard of southern Africa under its legendary ruler Shaka Zulu (1787–1828). The background to the war must be located in contestations over land between the Zulu, the Boers, and the British. British adventurers were attracted to Zululand in search of trade and by the 1840s the British colony of Natal had sprung up on the southern borders of Zululand. The expansion of the Boer into the southern African interior from 1835, the attempt by the Zulu to defend their own independence, and ...

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by Mitch on May 7, 2011 0 Comments

American Soldiers in the Philippines, 1899. American soldiers fire their rifles from behind a makeshift barricade at the West Beach Outpost in San Roque during the Philippine insurrection that followed the 1898 Spanish-American War.

The United States exercised formal colonial rule over the Philippines, its largest overseas colony, between 1899 and 1946. American economic and strategic interests in Asia and the Pacific were increasing in the late 1890s in the wake of an industrial depression and in the face of global, interimperial competition. Spanish colonialism was simultaneously being weakened by revolts in Cuba and the Philippines, its largest remaining colonies.


The Philippine Revolution of 1896 to 1897 destabilized Spanish colonialism but failed to remove Spanish colonial rule. The leaders of the revolution were exiled to Hong Kong. When the United States invaded Cuba and Puerto Rico in 1898 to shore up its hegemony in the Caribbean, the U.S. Pacific ...

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by Mitch on May 7, 2011 0 Comments

In economic terms, American colonial rule in the Philippines promoted an intensely dependent, export economy based on cash-crop agriculture and extractive industries like mining. American capital had initially regarded the Philippines as merely a ‘‘stepping stone’’ to the fabled China market, and American trade with the Philippine Islands was initially inhibited by reciprocity treaties that preserved Spanish trade rights. When these rights ended, U.S. capital divided politically over the question of free trade. American manufacturers supported free trade, hoping to secure in the Philippines both inexpensive raw materials and markets for finished goods, whereas sugar and tobacco producers opposed free trade because they feared Philippine competition. The Payne-Aldrich Tariff of 1909 established ‘‘free trade,’’ with the exception of rice, and set yearly quota limits for Philippine exports to the United States.


American trade with the Philippine Islands, which had grown since the war, boomed after 1909, and during the ...

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by Mitch on May 4, 2011 0 Comments

Japanese reoccupation of Shandong during its 1937 invasion of China

Shandong Peninsula (156,008 square kilometers, or 60,235 square miles) borders the Yellow River, the Bohai Sea, and the Yellow Sea, making it northern China’s most prosperous coastal trade center, with excellent natural ports at Weihaiwei and Qingdao. Historically, Shandong was home to the Shang dynasty (1766–1122 B.C.E.), the earliest Chinese state, and was the birthplace of Confucius (ca. 551–479 B.C.E.), China’s most famous philosopher and teacher, as well as the fifth century B.C.E. Sun Wu (better known as Sunzi or ‘‘Master Sun’’), the author of the classic military treatise The Art of War.


Although Japan invaded Shandong during the Sino- Japanese War (1894–1895), Shandong was not part of the Shimonseki Peace Treaty ending that war. However, in the 1895 ‘‘Triple Intervention,’’ Germany, Russia, and France blocked Japan ...

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by Mitch on May 4, 2011 0 Comments

Huangpu River in Shanghai, Circa 1920. Shanghai was connected to a vast Chinese hinterland through a network of rivers and canals that reached well into remote Sichuan Province. The Huangpu River provided a ready avenue into both the Yangzi River and Shanghai’s surrounding area.


Shanghai was not born in 1842 with the Nanjing Treaty that opened five Chinese port cities to foreign trade, nor in 1845 when the British were granted the right to establish a settlement (technically, ‘‘leased territory’’) in the outskirts of the walled city. For decades before these events, Shanghai had served as a major hub for trade between inland provinces and other port cities in China.


Located in the estuary of the Yangzi River, the main artery into inland China, Shanghai was connected to a vast hinterland through a dense network of rivers and canals that reached well into remote Sichuan Province 2,500 kilometers ...

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by Mitch on May 2, 2011 0 Comments

Japan participated in the great post–World War I (1914–1918) peace conferences in Paris in 1919 with three goals. Japan had declared war against Germany early in the war, and expected the resulting treaty to recognize Japan’s contribution. The Japanese delegation sought to take over German-held islands in the Pacific Ocean, to keep the German concession in Shandong, China that the Japanese army had seized during the war, and to secure approval for an amendment on racial equality among nations in the final Versailles Peace Treaty.


The so-called racial equality amendment challenged the comfortable European, Caucasian-controlled world. It aroused furious opposition from Australian Premier William H. Hughes. Hughes felt it threatened his clearly racist ‘‘white’’ Australia policy, and he worried at this early date about Japanese expansion in the Pacific. Hughes received support from Arthur Balfour and Robert Cecil and Dominion leaders who feared the amendment might threaten ...

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by Mitch on May 2, 2011 0 Comments

The Shah of Iran. Reza Pahlavi (1919–1980), the shah of Iran, crowned himself emperor on October 26, 1967, causing opposition from many segments of Iranian society.

On December 12, 1925, Iran’s parliament amended Iran’s constitution of 1906–1907 to replace the Qajar dynasty (1797–1925) with the Pahlavi dynasty as the legitimate sovereigns of Iran. On April 25, 1926, Rezā Pahlavi was formerly crowned Rezā Shāh. Rezā Shāh ascended the throne after four years of political intrigue that began when he, as commander of the Persian Cossack Brigade, committed those troops in support of a coup on February 21, 1921. Though his military rank was never higher than colonel during his career in the Persian Cossack Brigade, he rose through the ranks of government from minister of war to prime minister (in 1923) and finally king. Along the way he destroyed political allies, outmaneuvered or coopted the ...

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