Even the best laid plans for an assassination can go awry, as one of the most famous military commanders of the Middle Ages, Vlad III, realized when he attempted to cut off the Ottoman Empire at the head.   The Night Attack at Targoviste came at the end of a particularly violent struggle between the …

  • June 18, 2021
  • Comments Off on Guerrillas in the Mist of Targoviste

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A tomb now suffices him for whom the world was not enough. — epitaph on the tomb of Alexander the Great Kings who conquer huge swathes of the known world before they are in their mid-thirties generally don’t die outside of battle, so it should come as no surprise that the rumors of poisoning began …

  • June 9, 2021
  • Comments Off on The World Was Not Enough

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The tiny African island of Mauritius is only slightly bigger than the City of London, and much less densely packed – slightly more than 1.2 million people versus London’s nearly 9 million.   The island punched above its weight in providing heroic agents for the Allied Cause in World War II, however.  One of those …

  • May 12, 2021
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“In a home where the woman speaks, there is discord.” —Rwandan proverb Agathe Uwilingiyimana was not known for being quiet.  Born an ethnic Hutu in Rwanda in the village of Butare, her parents spent the first few years of her life working in the Congo.  By 1957 they returned, and Agathe buckled down to her …

  • March 26, 2021
  • Rwanda
  • Comments Off on God Will Protect Us All

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The Battle of Kumanovo, on 23 October 1912, marked the end of the Ottoman Empire in Europe – even if the Ottomans didn’t quite fully accept the loss until May 1913. It was a victory that shocked the Great Powers of Europe; that the small and seemingly backward nations of the Balkans- long viewed as …

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When the Mau Mau leader Dedan Kimathi was captured on 21 October 1956, the military portion of the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya was effectively over. That did not end the British system of camps, called the “Pipeline“, nor did it end the systemized torture torture and brutality that played a large role in quelling …

  • October 21, 2020
  • Comments Off on Winning the War But Losing Everything

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By the Battle Of Kumanovo on 23 – 24 October 1912, the First Balkan War was young, but already in full swing – it would be a decisive victory for the Serbian forces, and a shattering loss for the Ottoman.  Just a week prior, on 18 October 1912, King Peter I of Serbia had issued …

  • October 9, 2020
  • Serbia
  • Comments Off on Franco-Serbian Tactics and Prussian-Ottoman Strategy in Kumanovo

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In the 15th Century the Ottomans were racing through Europe, conquering everything in their path.  By 1493 they had reached Croatia and the last bastion of strong defense before Vienna. On 9 September 1493, the Battle of Krbava Field in Croatia began one hundred years of war between the Ottomans and what would become the …

  • September 9, 2020
  • Culture
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Royalty dictates that every dynasty and Kingdom is eternal, until history dictates that the dynasty abruptly ends and the Kingdom is shattered.  Often the end is peaceful, with one generation failing to produce an heir, and another family stepping in to take leadership and divide up the territory.  Sometimes the end is violent, on the …

  • August 26, 2020
  • Croatia
  • Comments Off on The End of Dynasties

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Sometimes it feels like there was never a world without Top Gun. There was, of course.  Aircraft in combat and thrilling dogfights had to originate somewhere. That place was the sky over Serbia.  And the when was August 25, 1914 at the first battle of World War I – the Battle of Cer. As it …

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