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Sunday, 31 July 2016

The Battle of Minden: the Great British Art of Bumbling Through


1759 was the Annus Mirablis ("Miracle Year") of the British Empire, with impressive military victories in all theatres of war—India, North America, Europe, and the open seas—against the power of France. The events of that year decided the course of the Seven Years War, as well as the history of the next 300 years, ensuring that the World would be dominated by Anglophone powers.

On August 1st, one of the key battles of that year took place in Northern Germany. An Anglo-German army (British, Hanoverians, Hessians, and a few Prussians) defeated a Franco-Saxon army, with the key part being played by six British regiments. Because of their remarkable exploits on that day, these regiments (or their successors) are still known as the "The Minden Regiments."

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The Ogaden War: The Greatest War Between African States


War, contrary to expectations, is a semi-civilized business, requiring, as it does, qualities of organization, discipline, and application that only civilized states are capable of. While most Sub-Saharan countries are capable of low-grade guerrilla anarchy, they are usually not able to carry out proper prolonged conflicts. For this reason, most African conflicts have little interest for the student of war or the military historian.

But African states do occasionally fight wars beyond the level of simple savagery. The most substantial war between two Sub-Saharan African states was probably that which started 39 years ago today between Somalia and Ethiopia, usually referred to as the Ogaden War.