Today in European history: the Gallipoli campaign ends (1916)

January 9 is the anniversary of the end of World War I's very extended Gallipoli campaign, which lasted eight and a half months starting from late April 1915. In full disclosure, the date is a bit misleading--while "January 9" is the date upon which the last British (Canadian, if you want to be particular about … Continue reading Today in European history: the Gallipoli campaign ends (1916)

Today in Middle Eastern history: Reza Pahlavi is crowned Shah of Iran (1925)

A couple of decades before Britain sat Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi on the Iranian throne and several decades before they helped engineer the coup that kept him in power, British operatives were also responsible for the Iranian coup that enthroned his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi (d. 1944), and instituted the Pahlavi “Dynasty.” I put “dynasty” in quotes … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Reza Pahlavi is crowned Shah of Iran (1925)

Today in Middle Eastern history: General Allenby comes to Jerusalem (1917)

In a sense, if you’re into this sort of thing, there are some parallels you could draw between the British army’s capture of Jerusalem and the Crusades. I mean, Edmund Allenby was technically a European Christian, and there he was, on December 11, 1917, marching into having successfully conquered the city that had been the … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: General Allenby comes to Jerusalem (1917)

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

It was on November 2, 1917, when British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour sent a relatively brief letter to Walter Rothschild that would wind up becoming one of the most consequential letters in modern Middle Eastern history. If you’d read it at the time, you probably wouldn’t have envisioned the importance it would come to … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Balfour Declaration (1917)