Tuesday, 31 May 2016


Human history is full of great wars and battles and these military conflicts gave rise to several such great military leaders who proved their bravery, skills and military leadership during these wars and battles. But there are few such military leaders and commanders who are regarded as the greatest military leaders of all time due to the long lasting effects they produce on the geopolitical situation of the world. Following is the list and brief description of such great military leaders who changed the world with their military leadership abilities for a long time and they are remembered till now. The list is presented here in chronological order.

Cyrus the Great

Cyrus the Great was the founder of first Persian empire, the Achaemenid Empire. He became King of Persia in 559 BC and established the Achaemenid Empire in 550 BC after capturing Media from his maternal grandfather Astyages. In 547 BC, Cyrus captured Lydia (now Anatolia) while Babylonia came under the Persian rule in 539 BC. At the time of death of Cyrus the Great, Achaemenid Empire span from Indus River in the east to Mediterranean in the west. The empire, founded by Cyrus the Great with his leadership qualities, lasted till 330 BC and only Alexander the Great was able to end the Achaemenid Empire of Cyrus the Great.

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great is perhaps the most famous military leader and conqueror. Alexander became King of Macedonia in 336 BC at the age of 20 years after death of his father Phillip II of Macedon. Alexander initially suppressed the rebellions and united all the Greeks to fight against their common enemy Persia. Then he started campaign against the Persian Empire in 334 BC. In just four years, the Achemanid Empire came to an end at the hands of Alexander the Great. But Alexander didn’t stop here and captured areas of central Asia and western India before his death in 323 BC. At the age of 32 years, Alexander conquered areas in North Africa (Egypt), Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Persia etc. Alexander fought several battles during his military career and always remained undefeated which makes him one of the greatest military leaders of all time. His conquered areas came under the powerful effect of Hellenistic civilization after his death.

Hannibal Barca

Hannibal Barca was a great Carthaginian military commander who is known for his military tactics and skills that he applied during the Second Punic War against the Roman Republic. Hannibal achieved so much fame for this war that it is also known as the Hannibalic War. His biggest achievement was crossing the Alps with thousands of soldiers and several elephants to invade the Roman Empire in Italy. It was considered impossible at that time. The Romans stunned at this successful journey and Hannibal inflicted crushing defeats to Roman Republic in the initial battles of Second Punic War. He is also known as the master of pincer movement and used this maneuver too perfectly to defeat the huge Roman army (more than 10 times his own army) in the famous Battle of Cannae in 216 BC. Though, Romans recovered from their early losses and the war ended with Roman victory but the bravery, adventure and military marvel of Hannibal is celebrated to this day which earned him a place in the list of greatest military commanders of all time.

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar was a Roman political and military leader. He is known for playing a major political role in changing Roman Republic to Roman Empire but his military achievements are also great. His main military achievement was the conquest of Gaul (now France and Belgium) which eliminated the danger of Gallic tribes as Gaul became a province of Roman Empire while he was also the first Roman leader to invade Britannia. Soon after Gallic Wars, he had to fight the Great Roman Civil War (also known as Caesar’s Civil War) from 49 to 45 BC. After defeating his opponents, he became a dictator of Roman Republic and remained at this place till his assassination in 44 BC.

Attila the Hun

Attila the Hun was a great military leader and king of Hunnic Empire from 434 to 453 AD (till his death). During his rule, he united all the tribes of Hun Empire and ruled most of the eastern and central Europe. He was the most feared warrior by Eastern and Western Roman Empire who called him Scourge of God. Attila initially invaded unsuccessfully against Persia and then attacked the Eastern Roman Empire in 440 AD despite a treaty. He defeated the Byzantine army several times but could not invade Constantinople due to its better defensive measures. Later, he turned his attention towards Balkan and forced the Western Roman Emperor to pay him tribute. In 451, he invaded Roman Gaul (modern-day France) where his advances were halted by the alliance of Romans and Visigoths. His last invasion was on Italy in 452. He occupied and plundered several areas of Italy but left Rome without invasion after negotiations. In 453, Attila died. He proved to be not only the greatest but also the last king of Hunnic Empire as it collapsed soon after his death.

Khalid ibn al-Walid

Khalid ibn al-Walid was the greatest Muslim military commander who was responsible for most of the earlier Muslim conquests of Iraq and Levant. Khalid proved his military skills even before his conversion to Islam as he played the most important role in the defeat of Muslims during Battle of Uhud while fighting for Quraysh. After his conversion to Islam, his initial biggest success was the Battle of Mu’tah during which he managed to save his small army from 33 times larger army of a rival Arab tribe and their Roman supporters. This battle earned him the title of Saifullah (Sword of Allah) from Muhammad (PBUH). Later during the caliphates of Abu Bakr and Umar, Khalid defeated several times the numerically and technically superior armies of the then two superpowers, Byzantine Empire and Persian Empire. Muslim conquest of Iraq and Syria is credited to his military marvel and leadership qualities. He never lost a battle against any opponent. During every battle, he used the strength of his military very effectively. He was not only the greatest warrior of his time but also one of the greatest of all time.

Tariq bin Ziyad

Tariq bin Ziyad was a Muslim Berber warrior and general who commanded the Muslim armies to conquer Iberian Peninsula. Tariq bin Ziyad invaded Hispania in 711. After initial successes by Tariq, he defeated the numerical superior army of Visigothcs in 712 in the decisive Battle of Guadalete during which King Roderic of Hispania was also killed. This victory paved the way for the Muslim capture of Visigothis capital Toledo and other important areas of Hispania. Tariq bin Ziyad is known as the founder of Muslim rule in European Hispania. Hispania (al-Andalus) remained under Muslim control and influence for around next 800 years which shows his campaign to be a long lasting one. Tariq bin Ziyad is famously known for burning his boats after reaching Gibraltar in order to create the feelings of victory or death in his soldiers after ending every way of retreat. This resulted in their victory against far superior army.  


Charlemagne was the king of Franks and Lombardy and the first Holy Roman Emperor. Charlemagne became king of Franks in 768 and later captured Lombardy in 774. He was appointed the first ever Holy Roman Emperor by pope in 800 Ad due to his services for Christianity. Charlemagne also protected the southern borders of his empire by creating a buffer zone at Pyrenees between Franks and Muslim Hispania. Later, this buffer zone proved important to halt the further advances of Muslims in Europe.


Salah-ud-Din Ayyubi (commonly known as Saladin in West) was a Muslim Kurdish leader and military commander who achieved fame during the Third Crusade (1189-1192). In 1187, Saladin captured Jerusalem from Christians after which the combined Christian forces started the Third Crusade in 1189. Despite severe efforts from the Crusaders, Saladin managed to save Jerusalem from going in the hands of Crusaders. His encounters with Richard the Lionheart and his treatment of the Christian prisoners are still remembered.

Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan was the founder of Mongol Empire who expanded the rule of the Mongols from a small area of Today’s Mongolia to northern China in the east and Central Asia and Eastern Europe in the west. After subjugating all the rival tribes in Mongolia, Genghis Khan entered China and then took control of central Asia after defeating the Khwarizm Empire in just 20 years (1207-1227). Southern Russia, Georgia and Armenia also came under wrath of the Mongols. The reasons behind such a large scale conquests by Genghis Khan were the unification of his men under the laws of “Yassa”, using the technology and war tactics of his opponents and assassinating anyone coming in his way. On several occasions, he killed even the whole population of area. Genghis Khan is known as one of the greatest and merciless leaders in the history.


Timur the Lame or Tamerlane is known as the greatest warrior king of the second half of 14th Century. After became sole ruler of Transoxiana, Timur remained at war against various opponents for the next 35 years (1370-1405) and expanded his empire to modern day Afghanistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and parts of India, Russia etc. During his rule, he defeated every great opponent of that time and one of them was the Ottoman sultan Bayazid Yeldrim. Timur prepared to conquer China but died before the start of this campaign in 1405. His military successes make him one of the greatest military commanders of all time.

Peter the Great

Peter the Great was the founder of Russian Empire. He became Tsar of Russia in 1682 and transformed Russia in to an Empire after several successful wars. The most famous war was the Great Northern War that he fought against Swedish Empire. The war lasted from 1700 to 1721. Despite initial losses, Peter continued his efforts and the war ended with a victory for Peter. The Northern war resulted in the emergence of Russian Empire as a new world power and it reduced the influence of Swedish Empire. Apart from reforms, Peter the Great is also known for his military leadership qualities which transformed Tsardom of Russia to Russian Empire.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte is known as the greatest French military leader and emperor who rose to fame after French Revolution. During French Revolution, Napoleon showed his military leadership abilities by crushing several rebellions and foreign interventions. Napoleon became French Emperor in 1804. During his reign, Napoleon defeated different coalitions three consecutive times (wars of third, fourth and fifth coalition) between 1803 and 1809. Napoleon was later defeated during the War of the Sixth Coalition due to defection of Napoleon’s allies and his rule completely ended after defeat in the War of the Seventh Coalition. But despite these defeats, Napoleon is regarded as one of the greatest military leaders by his supporters and opponents alike due to the role he played during Napoleonic Wars.

Monday, 29 February 2016


World War 2, WW2 or the Second World War is the deadliest war of the human history that took the lives of around 70 million people (including military and civilian) from around the world. This six year long (September 1939 to September 1945) war was mainly fought in Europe, Asia and Africa while all the great powers of that time were divided in two blocs (Allied and Axis) to participate in the WW2. Nazi Germany was leading the Axis Power which had main support from Japan and Italy. The Allied Powers were mainly comprised of UK, USA, France, Soviet Union, China and others. The war is especially known for the atrocities committed by both sides on civilians of opponents. Major examples are the Holocaust by Germany and the atomic bombings on Japan by USA. 

Causes of World War 2

·         After defeat in World War 1, Germany suffered harsh conditions from the victorious Allied Powers. All the German overseas territories were annexed while Germany also lost few German areas of Europe. Restrictions were laid on German armed forces while the German Empire was replaced by a democratic republic (Weimer Republic). There was a deep feeling in Germany that they were winning the WW1 but the inside traitors brought defeat for them. These feelings produced nationalism in Germans which gave rise to Nazi Party in power in 1933 and Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. The aim of Nazi party was to unite all Germans (which they considered as superior race).

·         Italy was on the side of Allied Powers during World War 1 but due to disagreement over the distribution of spoils of war, the nationalists in Italy were unhappy and the enhanced nationalistic feelings of Italian people later paved the way for Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini in 1925. The aim of this Fascist regime was to make Italy a world power on the lines of Roman Empire.

·         In the start of 20th Century, the Japanese Empire was becoming powerful with ideologies of Japanese nationalism and militarism and had the ambition to control the whole of Asia. After defeating Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05), Japan later annexed Manchuria (southeast China) in 1932 and formed a puppet government there in order to expand its territory and economic interests. Lesser conflicts between Japan and China continued later which culminated into Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. The border conflicts between Japan and Russia also started in 1932 due to Japan’s expansionist goals. 

Events Before World War 2

·         Ethiopian Empire was a rare independent country in Africa in the 19th and 20th Century that had already defeated Italy in the First Italo-Ethiopian War (1894-96). In order to accomplish its expansionist ideology, Italy invaded Ethiopia (known as Second Italo-Ethiopian War) in October 1935 and occupied the African country in May 1936. Both the countries were part of League of Nations by the league remained silent on this war.

·         In July 1936, the Spanish Civil War started between the leftist Republicans (who were in power) and their opponents Nationalists. Germany and Italy supported the Nationalists while the Republicans were mainly supported by Soviet Union. The war lasted till April 1939 and ended with victory for the Nationalists. Germany and Soviet Union used this proxy war to test their weapons and battle tactics for a major war. 

·         Germany started to accomplish its goal of unification of all German areas in 1938. In March 1938, Germany annexed the German-speaking country of Austria and then started claims on the German majority areas (Sudetenland) of Czechoslovakia. Sudetenland became part of Germany as a result of Munich Agreement in September 1938 through meditation from UK and France. Encouraged by this division, Germany and Italy forced Czechoslovakia to surrender its Hungarian-populated areas to Hungary in November 1938 through First Vienna Award. Later in March 1939, Germany captured the whole of Czechoslovakia and divided it in to two puppet states of Bohemia and Moravia and Slovak Republic. After German ultimatum, Lithuania also ceded its German-majority area of Klaipeda Region to Germany in March 1939.

·         Germans intentions were now clear and when Germany demanded the Free City of Danzig from Poland in August 1939, Britain and France assured their support for independence of Poland while the same assurance was provided to Greece and Romania after Italy’s capture of Albania in April 1939.

·         In retaliation, Germany signed Molotov-Ribbentop Pact with Soviet Union under which both the countries accepted the German influence over western Poland and Lithuania and Soviet influence over Finland, Estonia, Latvia and eastern Poland. The purpose of this pact was to protect the eastern side of Germany in case of any war with Britain and France.

Campaigns of World War 2 (WW2)

European Campaign

The World War 2 formally started on 1st September 1939 by Invasion of Poland by Germany, Slovak Republic and later Soviet Union. After one month, Poland was defeated and divided by the invaders. Germany took the western half of Poland and Free City of Danzig while Soviet Union annexed eastern half of Poland. Slovakia and Lithuania also took small parts of Poland. Britain and France declared war against Germany on 3rd September 1939.

In the end of November 1939, the Winter War started between Soviet Union and Finland after the former’s invasion of the latter. The war ended in March 1940 with limited soviet victory as it captured Gulf of Finland and few borders areas after sustaining heavy casualties. 

Norway was a neutral country during WW2 but the strategic location of Norway was very important for both the opponents. Both Germany and allies tried to make use of Norwegian neutral zone which later prompted Germany to start the Norwegian Campaign on 9th April 1940. Britain and France aided the resistance of Norway against Germany which lasted for 62 days and Germany was able to capture Norway on 10th June 1940 while the allied troops had to withdraw from Norwegian front after the German invasion of France in May 1940.

The Battle of France started on 10th May 1940 with German invasion of Luxembourg, Netherlands and Belgium. Luxembourg surrendered immediately while Germany captured Netherlands in a week and Belgium till 28th May 1940. Unlike World War 1, the trench warfare was not possible to save France due to advancement in warfare technology. German superior military, armored and fighter jets completely outclassed the French defending forces and the Battle of France ended on 25th June 1940 with a decisive victory for Germany and Italy. Large part of France was captured by Germany (Italy captured some French area near border) while the south area became Vichy France, a semi-independent state that either remained neutral or sided with Axis during WW2. 

After occupation of France, Britain was the only country left in the Western Europe that was fighting against Germany. In order to force Britain to surrender, Germany decided to invade Britain soon after the Fall of France. But Britain is an Island which had one of the strongest navies which made it impossible for Germany to invade Britain with its land forces (Heer). Instead, Germany invaded Britain with its air force (Luftwaffe) in order to demoralize the British military and civilians and this invasion is known as Battle of Britain. Air strikes from Germany started in July 1940 and lasted till October 1940. Initially, Germany bombarded the coastal areas of Britain to ensure the sea blockade and later initiated its target on Royal Air Force (RAF) in August 1940. In September 1940, Luftwaffe started strategic bombing of London and other important industrial cities (known as The Blitz) in order to reduce industrial production and decrease the morale of British people. But the effort remained unsuccessful due to stiff resistance by RAF while pilots of Poland, Belgium, Free France and other occupied countries also played important role in the success of Britain. The Battle of Britain was the first defeat for Germany in World War 2.

On 28th October 1940, the Balkan Campaign started with Italian invasion of Greece. Albania was already occupied by Italy in April 1939 and the Italian invasion of Greece took place from Albania. But Italy could not occupy Greece due to stiff resistance from the defenders and the Italian forces repelled till 13th November 1940. Soon after that, the Greek counteroffensive started which took even large part of Albania from Italy till January 1941. On seeing the defeat of Italy, Germany intervened in the campaign and German invasion of Yugoslavia started in April 1941. Yugoslavia surrendered within two weeks and divided by the Axis powers (Germany, Italy and Hungary). In April 1941, the Battle of Greece started with German help which ended the war in less than a month in favor of Axis. After successful Battle of Crete in May 1941, the Axis took control the whole of the Balkan area. 

Now Germany and its allies were in control of all of Europe except Britain and Hitler decided to accomplish its plan of eliminating Communism by capturing Soviet Union. Germans opened the Eastern Front with invasion of Soviet Union in June 1941 with the code name of Operation Barbarossa. The Germans were supported by Romania, Hungary and Finland. Initially, the operation remained very successful and the Germans occupied the Baltic States, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and few eastern parts of Russia within few months. But the stiff resistance from Russians and severe cold weather halted the German advances on the most important Russian cities during Battle of Moscow (October 1941-January 1942) and Siege of Leningrad (September 1941-January 1944). Later, Soviet counter-offensive started with the arrival of fresh Soviet troops from Siberia and Far Eastern Russia. After limited winter successes in 1941-42, Germans remained upper hand in this Soviet invasion. But the soviet victories in the Battle of Stalingrad (August 1942-February 1943) and the Battle of Kursk (July 1943) proved decisive for the outcome of the Eastern Front. After these battles, it was complete retreat from Germany and its allies on the Eastern Front and Soviet Union recaptured most of its areas lost to the Axis in 1944.

In the European Campaign, the situation began to reverse on both Eastern Front and West Front in 1944.  The Allies re-captured Normandy (France) on 6th June 1944 (known as D-Day) while Liberation of Paris came in August 1944. Germany carried out its last offensive on Western Front in December 1944 known as Battle of the Bulge that was fought at the Ardennes (Belgium & Netherlands). Germany failed to secure any ground but the battle delayed the Allied offensive for few weeks. In 1945, Allied Powers from west and Soviet Union from east were heading towards Germany and German defeat was looking obvious. At this time, Adolf Hitler committed suicide on 30th April 1945 and the Allied forces from both West and East entered Berlin on 8th May 1945 which ended the World War 2 in Europe. 

Asia & Pacific Campaign

After the European Campaign, the other most important theatre of World War 2 was the Asia and Pacific Campaign. During this campaign, Japan was mainly representing the Axis power while their major opponents were USA, China and Britain and its colonies. This campaign is especially important due to two reasons. The first is that this campaign started in 1937 before the proper start of World War 2 and ended around one month later after end of WW2 in Europe. Apart from that, the nuclear weapons were used by USA against Japan during this campaign.

The Second Sino-Japanese War started in July 1937 with Japanese invasion of China and lasted during the whole World War 2 till Japanese surrender on 9th September 1945. Japan had already captured Manchuria (northeast China) in 1932 and started the occupation of other parts of China in July 1937. In the same year, Japan captured the important northeastern areas of Beijing, Shanghai, Taiyuan and Nanjing (a massacre was committed by Japanese in Nanjing). First victory for Chinese came in 1938 in the Battle of Taierzhuang in southeast China and the. In 1939, the Chinese defended the southeast China by defeating Japan in the Battle of Suixian-Zaoyang (April-May 1939), Battle of Changsha (Sep-Oct 1939) and the Battle of South Guangxi (November 1939) and later they also launched a surprising but unsuccessful Winter Offensive in various parts of east China in the end of 1939 and beginning of 1940. In September 1940, Japan captured the French Indochina (Southeast Asia) to block Allied support of China. Japan’s invasion to China continues till 1945 but Chinese resistance limited the Japanese occupation to eastern part of China and later defeat of Japan at the hands of Allied powers helped the complete liberation of China from Japan. 

The Pacific War was an important campaign of World War 2. Japan and USA were major belligerents during this campaign while other Allied countries of Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, British colonies etc) also assisted US during the campaign. The war started with Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii (USA) on 7th December 1941 after which US declared war against Japan. Apart from ffew initial successes, the campaign proved disastrous for Japan as it lost successive battles against US and Allied forces. The last major battle of the campaign was Battle of Okinawa (April-June 1945) after which Japan lost all the areas to Allied powers except mainland Japan.

The South West Pacific Theatre was a separate campaign from Pacific Ocean Campaign of World War 2. During this campaign, the Allied colonies of South West Pacific were the main targets of Japan. From December 1941 to 1942, the Japanese invaded several areas in the Pacific Ocean under the control of Allied Powers and was able to capture Borneo, Philippines, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and parts of Solomon Island and Guinea. The Allied counteroffensive started in 1943 and they successfully regained all the areas lost to Japan. The Borneo Campaign (May-August 1945) was the last major campaign of the South West Pacific after which the island of Borneo was liberated from Japan.

The Asian Campaign was also fought in Southeast Asia from December 1941 to September 1945. Like other campaigns of Asia, the Japanese troops captured several areas in the beginning of the war including Hong Kong, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Andaman & Nicobar Islands (British India). But situation changed in the later years and Allied Powers regained all the lost areas to Japan in 1944 and 1945.

By the end of 1944, Japan had lost most of its occupied areas and the Allied forces started the Japan Campaign in and around mainland Japan in the start of 1945 in order to force the surrender by Japan. US played most important role during this campaign. Air raids along with naval and land battles were fought during this campaign. Japanese Volcano Islands were captured by Allies after Battle of Iwo Jima (February-March 1945) while the Japanese lost the control of Okinawa Island after the Battle of Okinawa (April-June 1945). The Allied powers crushed the naval power of Japan after Operation Ten-Go (April 1945) and the Battle of Sagami Bay (July 1945). 

Due to kazakami (suicide) attacks of Japanese on US naval ships, it was evident that the resistance of Japanese will be severe during invasion of mainland Japan by the Allied forces. In order to prevent any other long war, US decided to use its latest and most lethal weapon, nuclear weapon, on Japan to force the country to surrender. US bombarded two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6th and 9th August 1945 respectively. Around 200,000 Japanese (90% of them civilians) lost their lives due to this nuclear bombing and it forced Japan to surrender on 15th August 1945.

Soon after US nuclear bombings on Japan, the Soviet-Japanese War (1945) started on 9th August 1945 with Soviet invasion of Manchuria (Manchukuo). Japanese soon lost the control of Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, Korea and nearby areas to Allies after which the surrender was signed on 2nd September 1945 which ended the World War 2. 

Campaigns in Middle East and Africa

The Middle Eastern campaign during WW2 was fought in Iraq, Syria-Lebanon and Iran. The purpose of Anglo-Iraqi War (May 1941) was to abolish the newly established nationalist regime of Iraq and restore the former puppet regime. The British easily achieved their purpose in this one-month long war. The Syria-Lebanon Campaign started in June 1941 and lasted for 5 weeks. Syria-Lebanon was under the control of Vichy France and the campaign was launched by UK and Free France in order to take the area from Vichy France. After severe battles and heavy casualties, Free France took the area from Vichy France. The British and Soviet troops invaded Iran on 25th August 1941 in order to protect their oil fields and supply lines as Persian monarch Reza Shah had friendly relations with Axis powers. In less than a month, the Iranian king was deposed and replaced by his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi by the invading forces.  

In Africa, the World War 2 was fought in the areas of East Africa and North Africa. The East African Campaign was primarily fought around Italian East Africa (now Ethiopia, Eritrea & Somalia) and British controlled Kenya, Somaliland and Sudan from June 1940 to November 1941. Italy and UK were main belligerents during this campaign. In 1940, the Italians were on the offensive and they captures British Somaliland and few areas of British Sudan but the situation changed in 1941 as the Allies not only re took all their lost areas in their offensive but Italy also lost control of its East African area which resulted in restoration of Ethiopian Empire.

The North African Campaign was a major campaign of World War 2 that was fought for 3 years from June 1940 to May 1943 between Axis forces of Italy, Germany and Vichy France and Allied forces of UK, Free France and USA. The areas of this campaign were Italian Libya, French controlled Algeria, Tunisia & Morocco and the British puppet state of Egypt. Fierce battles were fought during the North African campaign while Allies remained on offensive during the campaign. The campaign ended with decisive victory for Allies and Italy and Vichy France lost all their areas in North Africa as the result of their defeat. Allied victory in North African Campaign paved their way for Italian Campaign. 

Italian Campaign

Soon after the North African Campaign, the Allied invasion of Sicily started in July 1943 and captured Sicily from defending forces of Italy and Germany till August 1943. Italian Empire signed the Armistice of Cassibile on 3rd September 1943 with Allied forces which ended Italian collaboration with Axis powers. Soon after, the Allied invasion of mainland Italy started in September 1943 and the invaders captured the southern areas of Italy including Selerno, Calabria and Taranto in two weeks. Also in September 1943, the local people of Naples liberated their area from Germans. The Allies slowly advances towards northern Italy in 1944 by breaking the defenses of Germany and the final offensive was launched in April 1945 which ended the German occupation of Italy till 2nd May 1945. 

Naval Campaign

Apart from Pacific Ocean, the naval warfare was fought during WW2 mainly in Atlantic and Arctic Ocean from 1939 to 1945. The purpose of the naval campaign by both the Allied and Axis was to blockade the sea routes of opponent in order to disrupt the economic and military transportation. Thousands of people (both military and civilians) from both sides were killed and hundreds of ships, submarines and aircrafts were destroyed during the naval campaign of WW2. 

Casualties during World War 2

World War 2 proved to be the deadliest war of human history as around 70 million people (estimates ranging from 50 to 85 million) died due to direct and indirect effects of war. Over 20 million soldiers of various countries lost their lives during the conflict. Around half (app. 9 million) of them belong to Soviet Union. Other countries that lost large number of soldiers include: Germany (approx. 4.5 million), China (more than 3 million) and Japan (more than 2 million). USA lost more soldiers (over 400,000) than UK (around 385,000).

The civilian deaths due to direct and indirect effects of World War 2 were around 50 million. The major sufferers were: Soviet Union (over 18 million), China (over 12 million) and Poland (over 5.5 million). According to estimates, more than 5 million Jews and less than 1 million Romani were among the civilian deaths as a result of Holocaust. 

Effects of World War 2

·         The defeat in World War 2 completely ended Nazism in Germany with death, execution and imprisonment of all the major figures of Nazi Party. Germany not only lost its all occupied areas but Germany itself was divided among West Germany and East Germany under the control of western countries and Soviet Union respectively.

·         Great European powers like UK, France and Germany were dominating the world politics since several centuries but World War 2 depleted their sources and these European powers were replaced by USA and Soviet Union as new world powers.

·         The emergence of USA and Soviet Union as world powers initiated the cold war between communism and capitalism. Soviet Union spread its influence in eastern and central Europe and several parts of Asia, Africa and South America while USA had allies in western, southern and northern Europe along many countries in other continents. Several proxy wars were fought between USA and USSR during this cold war that ended with disintegration of Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

·         Due to military and economic weakness, the European colonial powers were not able to keep their colonies under their control and all these colonies in Asia and Africa gained independence within few years from few decades after WW2.

·         Killing of large number of Jews by Germany during WW2 created sympathies for Jews in western world. These sympathies were used for creation of Israel in 1948 that started a long-lasting Arab-Israel conflict in the Middle East.

·         After Japanese surrender, USA took control of mainland Japan, several Japanese islands in Pacific and South Korea. Soviet Union took Sakhalin Island, Kuril Islands and North Korea. Chinese areas were given back to China.

·         The Civil War in China between Chinese nationalist regime and communists restarted after the end of WW2. World War 2 had weakened the nationalists a lot and provided good experience to the communists. In 1949, communists captured the mainland China that became People’s Republic of China. The nationalists took control over Taiwan (a small island south of mainland China).

·         United Nations Organization (UNO) was established after the end of World War 2 in order to prevent any such large scale war. League of Nations (formed after World War 1) proved ineffective against World War 2 but UN successfully prevented any world war in the course of Cold War. 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016


Russian Revolution is the event of change of Russian form of government from monarchy to Soviet Republic in 1917. During World War 1, the trembling military and economic situation of Russian Empire paved the way for abdication of Tsar Nicholas II by the Russian imperial parliament Duma in March 1917. But the Provisional Government continued Russia’s participation in the World War 1 which was not acceptable for Bolsheviks (radical socialists). The Bolsheviks formed their military wing, Red Guards, and overthrew the Provisional Government in November 1917. Soon after the empowerment of Bolsheviks, the Russian Civil War started that lasted till 1922 with victory for the Bolsheviks and they transformed Russia to Soviet Union.

Events Leading to the Russian Revolution
·         The economic condition of Russia was not stable since the beginning of 20th Century. This situation, along with Russia’s humiliating defeat in Russo-Japanese War, was used by socialists very effectively. The declining economic condition suffered the factory workers and peasants alike. The general strikes of factory workers increased many folds in the start of 20th Century and later the Russian Revolution of 1905 forced the Tsar Nicholas II to establish Duma (parliament). It was a big achievement for socialists and also provided them valuable experience for a revolution of larger scale in 1917.

·         The World War 1 started in 1914 in which Russia took part as one of the Allied Powers, opposing Central Powers. But the Russian Army suffered several defeats at the hands of Germany on the eastern front of the war and the causality rate was climbing with the passage of time. The defeats in war also brought economic instability and shortage of necessities of life (especially food shortage). This gave rise to protests by workers and mutinies by the soldiers (there were large number of conscript soldiers in the Russian military in 1917). February Revolution was the result of this situation. 

February Revolution

In February 1917, the situation became uncontrollable for the administration due to widespread strikes by workers (including women), students and teachers for their demand of bread and other necessities. Tsar was on the battlefront and he ordered the army on 11th March to suppress the riots by force. But due to mutiny among the soldiers, the orders could not be followed. Tsar reached the capital Petrograd on 14th March and he decided to abdicate throne to his brother Michael Alexandrovich on 15th March over advice from Army Chiefs and other ministers. But Michael refused to take the position without a consensus. After his refusal, a Provisional Government was announced on 16th March 1917 by Duma and Tsar Nicholas II was placed under house arrest along his family at the Alexander Palace. 
Protest in February 1917

Provisional Government

The Provisional Government was made up of centre-left members that were in majority in Duma. Georgy Lvov became the first Russian Prime Minister of post-monarchy era. He belonged to a liberal Constitutional Democratic Party. The socialists formed their own bloc in Duma, known as the Petrograd Soviet (workers’ council).

Although the liberals were in control of provisional government, the socialists also had strong influence in workers and soldiers. Therefore, the Provisional Government was like a dual power where liberals were in charge and socialists were a pressure group. On seeing greater role of socialists, they were offered by the Provisional Government to take part in the government. Most of the socialist parties declined the offer but a moderate faction Socialist Revolutionary Party (SRP) joined the government and its member Alexander Kerensky became the second Prime Minister of non-Imperial Russia on 17th July 1917.

The new government continued the participation of Russia in World War 1 while it was opposed by the more radical faction of the socialists, the Bolsheviks.
The continuous participation of Russia in World War 1 was bringing more defeats, deaths and shortage of supplies of food and other necessities of life. Germans were aware that Bolsheviks are against the war. The Bolsheviks’ leader Vladimir Lenin was in Switzerland. Germany brought him in train from Switzerland to Russia in order to strengthen the Bolsheviks so that pressure could be increased on the Provisional Government to end its participation in the war against Germany. Lenin returns to Russia in April 1917.

In June 1917, the Russian army opened an unsuccessful offensive against Central Powers and the counterattack of the opponents proved disastrous for the Russian military. The Bolsheviks and their supporters started demonstrations in Petrograd (known as July Days) demanding all power for the soviets but these demonstrations were suppresses by the Russian government. The government was aided by moderate socialists (SR, Mensheviks) and monarchy-supportive organization the Black Hundreds. All the important leaders of Bolsheviks were arrested while Lenin fled to Finland.

But Bolsheviks were able to restore their influence in August 1917 as a result of the Kornilov Affair. In August, Russian Supreme Commander Lavr Kornilov ordered his troops to pacify the city from radicals which was a coup attempt against the Russian Government. PM Karenski sought help from Bolsheviks and Red Guards and the coup failed due to Bolsheviks influence over workers and soldiers which halted the mobilization of Kornilov’s troops. Later, Kornilov was dismissed from his position. For their support, all the jailed Bolsheviks were freed by the government. 

October Revolution

After seeing favorable conditions, Lenin returned from Finland to Russia in October 1917. Lenin pressed on the overthrow of the Provisional Government. The Bolshevik Central Committee passed the resolution of armed resistance against the Provisional Government on 2nd November (20th October according to Julian calendar) 1917. The Military Revolutionary Committee (MRC) of Bolshevik party started taking action on 7th November (25th October) 1917 and soon captured the important buildings including Winter Palace in Petrograd. 

Russian civil War

Soon after the October Revolution, the Russian Civil War started between the Bolsheviks Red Army and the anti-communist forces known as the White Army. Russian nationalists, monarchists and moderate socialists were present in the White Army. During Russian Civil War, several separatist movements also started in the areas of Baltic, Eastern & Central Europe, North Caucasus etc. The White Army was also aided by several foreign powers including UK, USA, Japan, France etc. The Civil War lasted from November 1917 to October 1922. White Army gained few successes in the beginning of war but the Bolsheviks, supported by masses of Russian population, decisively defeated the White Army in the Russian Civil War. The Red Terror by Cheka (Bolsheviks secret police) also played important role in victory of Red Army while Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Poland gained independence. 

Assassination of Nicholas II

Emperor Nicholas II and his family were under house arrest since his abdication in March 1917. After October Revolution, the imperial family came under the arrest of the ruling Bolsheviks. After the start of full-scale Russian Civil War, the Imperial family was placed to Bolshevik stronghold of Yakaterinburg in April/ May 1918. The White Army was gaining victories in the war due to which there was danger that they could reach close to the imperial family. In this situation, Nicholas II was assassinated along his family members and servants on 16th July 1918 by their Bolshevik captors. 

Effects of Russian Revolution

After French Revolution, the Russian Revolution was the second most important revolution of Europe that created several major immediate and long-lasting effects in Russia and the whole world.

·         Soon after the Russian Revolution in 1917, several other areas in Europe, Asia and America took effects from the revolution but most of these efforts failed in other parts of the world till the end of World War 2. The victory of Soviet Russia in WW2 against Germany assisted the Soviet Union to spread its influence and communist ideology in other parts of the world that initiated the Cold War between Soviet Union and USA (the two new world powers).

·         The Russian Revolution changed the whole society, culture and governmental system of Russia. All the large industries and agricultural farms came under direct control of the government. In long term, this policy proved disastrous for economy.

·         The new regime suppressed any opposition very brutally. During Stalin’s era, numbers of detention camps (Gulag) were established in various parts of Russia where the opponents were put in large numbers and many among them died there due to cruel treatment by authorities and hard living conditions. From many parts of Russia, even the whole population was exiled to other parts. A prominent example is the people of North Caucasus and Crimea who were exiled to Siberia and Central Asia.

Saturday, 6 February 2016


World War 1 (WW1) or the Great War was a global war fought between powerful empires of the world (mainly Europe) from July 1914 to November 1918. World War 1 was fought in Europe, Asia and Africa. There were two alliances during WW1. Germany was leading the bloc of Central Powers while other members of this bloc were Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. Its opponent union was named the Allied Powers. British Empire, France, Russian Empire, USA and several other countries were present in this coalition.

Due to advancement in weaponry, WW1 proved to be one of the deadliest wars of human history. The military dead and wounded of both the coalitions were more than 38 million while more than 6 million civilians also lost their lives due to war and its effects. Allied Powers remained victorious in the WW1 and the war ended the German Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire and Russian Empire. 

Causes of WW1 (World War 1)

European colonial powers were expanding their influence and occupation in various parts of the world during the end of 19th Century which resulted in their opposing interests. In order to protect their interests, these European powers signed several pacts. The first such alliance was the Triple Alliance. It was a military alliance among the empires of Austria-Hungary, Germany and Italy that was signed in May 1882.

France, Russia and Britain also came closer in response to Triple Alliance. Initially France and Russia made an alliance in January 1894 and then France signed a pact with Britain in 1904, known as Entente Cordiale. In the last, Britain and Russia also settled their differences over the Great Game and the Anglo-Russian Entente was signed in August 1907.

The defining and last event that led to the First World War was the assassination of the heir of Austro-Hungarian Empire Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie on 28th June 1914 in Sarajevo by the members of a pan-Serbism secret group Black Hand. Austria-Hungary blamed the involvement of Serbia behind this assassination and gave a ten-point ultimatum to Serbia on 23rd July 1914 with deadline of 48 hours. Apart from one term, Serbia accepted all the terms of ultimatum but Austria-Hungary rejected their reply and declared war on Serbia on 28th July 1914 which started the World War 1. 
Franz Ferdinand

Theatres and Campaigns of World War 1

Different powers of both alliances were controlling several parts of the world due to which the war spread in various parts of the world. But the two most important theatres of the war were European Theatre and the Middle Eastern Theatre. Apart from these theatres, the WW1 was also fought in Africa, East Asia and various oceans.

European Theatre of WW1

Balkan Front
The initial and most important area of World War 1 was Europe. The war started with Austria-Hungary invasion on Serbia due to latter’s alleged involvement in the assassination of the former’s heir. The first campaign of the WW1 was Balkan Campaign. This campaign was fought in the areas of Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and other parts of Balkan. In 1914, Serbia surprisingly defeated the Austria-Hungary in the Battle of Cer, Battle of Drina and Battle of Kolubara and defended its territory. But the situation changed after entering of Bulgaria in the war in favor of Central Powers in October 1915. Bulgaria played important role in capturing Serbia in the last months of 1915 after decisive battles of Morava and Ovce Pole. On the other hand, Austria-Hungary captured Montenegro in January 1916. After the fall of Serbia and Montenegro, the Serbs started their resistance from Macedonia while they were assisted by France, Britain, Romania and Allied supporters of Greece. The resistance lasted till 1918 and the Allied forces liberated Serbia, Montenegro and Albania from Central Powers in November 1918.

Balkan Campaign also comprised Romania that entered the war in August 1916 as supporter of Allied Power in hope of getting Transylvania (Romanian majority area of Hungary). Romania fought against the combined forces of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire and Germany while main support for Romania was provided by Russia alone. Romania’s invasion on Transylvania failed and later it lost a major part of its own country after counterattack of the Central Powers. After evacuation of Russia from war, Romania also surrendered and had to suffer hard conditions from Central Powers. But later the Allied victory in WW1 made it possible for Romania to take control the areas of Transylvania and Bukovina. 

Western Front
The main front of the European Theatre of WW1 was the Western Front. Most of the war on Western Front was fought in Belgium, France and Germany. The campaign of Western Front started in August 1914 with German invasion and occupation of Luxembourg. Germans also captured Belgium in October 1914. On the other hand, German army made their way in to France and captured the northern frontier cities of France in their rapid advance during Battle of the Frontiers. The German advances were halted by French and British troops near Paris in the First Battle of Marne in September 1914. After this battle, both the opponents dug trenches to protect their territories. It is known as Trench Warfare. Despite severe efforts, no side was able to cross the opponent’s trench. The Allied used tanks for the first time in war, while both the opponents used chemical weapons but no changes could be made in the years 1915 and 1916.
French troops during Trench Warfare

Two events of 1917 changed the whole situation of the war. After Russian Revolution in 1917, the new communist Russian regime declared the end of its participation in WW1 and later USA entered the war in favor of Allied Powers. Russia and Germany signed a treaty in March 1918 after which Russia’s presence in the war ended. It helped Germany to transport its troops from Eastern Front to Western Front. In Mach 1918, Germany started its final effort to capture France through its Spring Offensive. The offensive lasted till July 1918 with minor gains. The Allied responded by their counter attack Hundred Days Offensive that lasted from 8th August to 11th November 1918. Around 2 million troops from USA also joined this decisive offensive that ended the war in favor of Allied Powers and brought an end to the German Empire. 

Eastern Front
Eastern Front was another important campaign of European Theatre of WW1 that was fought in Eastern and Central Europe. War on the Eastern Front started with Russian invasion of East Prussia (Germany) on 17th August 1914. This attack was repulsed but Russia captured Galicia (province of Austria-Hungary) in September 1914 after Battle of Galicia. After Russian offences, Germany helped Austria-Hungary with additional troops which halted the advances of Russia after few indecisive battles.

In May 1915, German and Austro-Hungarian army launched a major offensive (Gorlice-Tarnow Offensive) against Russia in order to push them back from frontiers. This 1915 summer offensive remained successful which forced the Russians to Great Retreat from Galicia after heavy casualties. Despite Russia’s great victory in Brusilov Offensive in summer of 1916, the ground situation of the area remained unchanged till the collapse of Russian Empire in 1917.

Another important campaign of the Eastern front was the Caucasus Campaign that was launched by the Ottoman Empire in order to recapture its South Caucasus area. German Empire was behind the Ottomans while Britain and Romania (entered the war in 1916 for Allied forces) were assisting Russia. This campaign lasted till 1918. The Ottoman Caucasus Campaign remained failed while the Armenians of Turkish Armenia suffered atrocities at the hands of Turks, commonly known as the Armenian Genocide. 

Italian Front
Italy was a member of Triple Alliance but it refused to join the Central Powers in the beginning of WW1 due to its reservations. Later in February 1915, Italy secretly signed Treaty of London with Allied Powers and entered the war against Central Powers.

Most battles of the Italian front were fought on the border of Austria-Hungary and Italy while these two empires were the belligerents in most of the battles. Twelve of these battles were fought around the Isonza River. From June 1915 to March 1916, Italy launched five offenses (from First Battle of Isonzo to Fifth Battle of Isonzo) against Austria-Hungary to capture the town of Gorizia (now in Slovenia) but Austria-Hungary repulsed the Italian attack each time. Italy managed to capture Gorizia after the Sixth Battle of Isonzo in August 1916. The next four battles of Isonzo (from seventh Battle of Isonzo to tenth Battle of Isonzo) were fought from September 1916 to June 1917 during which Italy remained unsuccessful.

In 1917, Germans joined the Austria-Hungary army. Their joint forced crushed the Italian army in the Battle of Caporetta (October-November 1917) where the Italians faced their biggest defeat of the war. But the Italians soon recovered. They prevented the fall of Venice after defeating the Austria-Hungary in the First Battle of Monte Grappa (November 1917). The situation changed in 1918. Italy initially defeated Austria-Hungary in the Battle of the Piave River (June 1918) and then in the decisive Battle of Vittorio Veneto (October-November 1918) where the other Allied powers were there to assist Italy. 

Middle Eastern Theatre of WW1

The Middle Eastern Theatre of the WW1 was mainly fought in Middle East and its surround areas. Ottoman Empire was the main opponent of the Middle Eastern campaign as they were trying to retake their areas lost to Russia and Britain in late 19th and early 20th Century. Another importance of this area was due to the presence of oil in Persia that was under control of Britain and Russia who want to protect these precious resources from Ottomans and Central Powers.

Gallipoli Campaign
Gallipoli peninsula is located in East Thrace while the presence of Dardanelles strait increased its strategic importance. The campaign for Gallipoli started in April 1915 after the Allied (Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand) attack on Gallipoli and lasted till January 1916 with victory for Ottoman. This campaign is known as the greatest Ottoman victory during WW1. Apart from Ottomans, this campaign is also given huge importance in Australia and New Zealand due to large number of casualties suffered by these two neighboring countries. 

Persian Campaign
During Persian campaign, Ottoman Empire was on one side (aided by Germany) while its opponents were the Russian Empire, British and Armenian and Assyrian volunteers. This campaign was fought in the mountainous areas of Armenia and northern Persia.  This campaign lasted from December 1914 to October 1918 and ended with defeat for Ottomans.

Mesopotamian Campaign
The Mesopotamian campaign was fought in today’s Iraq mainly between Ottoman Empire and British Empire (assisted by Kuwait). In 1914, Iraq was under the control of Ottomans but the area was quite significant for British due to the presence of petroleum. The campaign lasted from November 1914 to 1918.

In 1914 and 1915, British remained victorious in most battles of Mesopotamian Campaign. In November 1914, British captured important southern city of Basra and they captures Qurna in December which protected their oilfields from Ottomans. Ottomans attempts to take these areas back in 1915 remained unsuccessful.

Ottomans first victory came in November 1915 when they defeated the invading British forces in the Battle of Ctesiphon. Later in April 1916, Ottomans also captures southern town of Kut after the successful Siege of Kut. Several British efforts to retook Kut and relieve their besieged army in Kut garrison failed during January to March 1916.

But the situation changed in 1917. Britain recaptured Kut in February 1917 and took Baghdad and Fallujah in March 1917. In April 1917, British also captured Samarrah. Ramadi was the last important city of Iraq that was captured by Britain in September 1917 after the Second Battle of Ramadi. In 1918, Britain captured the northern Iraqi areas after the last battle of the campaign Battle of Sharqat (October 1918). 

Sinai & Palestine Campaign
The Sinai and Palestine Campaign was fought in Egypt (Sinai) and the Levant (Palestine, Jordan, Syria) between Ottoman Empire (aided by German Empire) and British Empire (including troops from Australia, New Zealand and India). The campaign lasted from January 1915 to October 1918 and ended with British capture of all these areas.

The campaign started with Ottoman invasion of Sinai (in control of British) in order to capture Suez Canal. But the invasion failed as the British repelled Ottomans during Raid on the Suez Canal (Jan-Feb 1915) and Battle of Romani(August 1916) despite Ottomans victory in Battle of Katia (April 1916). British successfully drove the Ottomans out of Sinai Peninsula in the start of 1917 after their decisive victory at the Battle of Magdhaba (December 1916).

The British offensive in Palestine started with successful Battle of Rafa (January 1917) but Ottomans successfully defended the important area of Gaza during First Battle of Gaza (March 1917) and Second Battle of Gaza (April 1917). After these defeats, Britain changed its strategy and started the Southern Palestine Offensive after a long stalemate. After capturing Beersheba on 30th October 1917, the British launched the successful Third Battle of Gaza on 1st November 1917 while the Ottomans completely evacuated Gaza till 7th November after Battle of Tel al-Khuweilfe and Battle of Hareira and Sheria. After defeating Ottomans in few small battles, the British invaded Jerusalem on 17th November 1917. The Battle of Jerusalem ended in December 1917 with Britain occupation of Jerusalem which completed the Southern Palestine Offensive.

After southern Palestine, British started the Jordanian front in 1918. Jericho (now in Palestine) was captured in February 1918. The Ottomans defended Amman during the First Battle of Amman (March 1918) but Amman was later captured by British in September 1918 after the decisive Second Battle of Amman.

Britain later defeated the Ottomans in the Battle of Megiddo, Battle of Sharon and Battle of Nablus to capture northern Palestine in September 1918. After Palestine, Britain captured Damascus on 1st October 1918 and later, whole of Syria in the end of October 1918 which completed the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. 

Arab Revolt
The Young Turks was a nationalist Turkish organization that was practically controlling the Ottoman Empire since the beginning of 20th Century. Their Turkish nationalism gave rise to several other nationalist movements in the Ottoman Empire and one among them was Arab nationalism, initiated by Hussian bin Ali (Sharifate of Makkah). The aim of Hussian bin Ali was to create a unified Arab state from Aleppo in the north to Aden in the south. British were aware about the plans of Sharifate of Makkah and assured their support to him in June 1916 and the soon after the agreement, the Arab revolt started against the Ottomans.

The Arabs capture Makkah and Taif in July 1916 while they besieged Madinah also but due to stiff resistance from Ottomans they could capture Madinah in 1919 (after end of WW1). After taking control of Hejaz, the Arabs started their campaign in the Levant. In July 1917, they captured Jordanian port of Aqaba After the Battle of Aqaba and then defeated the Ottoman invasion during Battle of Wadi Musa. In October 1918, the Sharifate army captured Aleppo after defeating Ottomans in the Battle of Aleppo. 

African Theatre of WW1

Before the start of World War 1, almost the whole of Africa was under the control of European colonial powers including Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Belgium and Spain. Germany had the possession of colonies in South-West Africa (now Namibia), Togoland (now Togo and Ghana), Cameroon and East Africa (now Tanzania) and the African campaigns were mainly fought in and around these areas while Ottomans fought a campaign in North Africa.

Togoland Campaign
Togoland campaign was the shortest campaign of African Theatre of WW1. British Empire and France invaded Togoland on 9th August and defeated the Germans till 26th August 1914. Later, Britain and France divided German Togoland in to Western and Eastern Togoland respectively.

Kamerun Campaign
Britain, France and Belgium invaded German Cameroon (Kamerun) in August 1914. Colony’s largest city Douala surrendered in September 1914 while Germany lost the whole colony in March 1916. 

South-West Africa Campaign
British colony of Union of South Africa and Portuguese colony of Angola played important role in this campaign against German South West Africa (now Namibia). Dung start of campaign, the Boers (Dutch settlers in South Africa) also rebelled against South Africa which is known as Maritz Rebellion (Maritz was leader of the rebels). But the rebellion was successfully crushed by South Africa in the start of 1915.

Germany invaded Portuguese Angola and South Africa several times with little success and lost the South-West Africa at the hands of South Africa in July 1915.

East African Campaign
East African Campaign was the longest and fatalist campaign of the African Theatre of World War 1. The campaign started in August 1914 and ended in November 1918 with the end of WW1. Against German East Africa, the Britain was accompanied by Portugal, Belgium and South Africa. Thousands of Europeans and native people from both the sides died during the campaign and Germany lost its East African colony also. 

North Africa in WW1
At the start of World War 1, North Africa was in the control of British Empire, France and Italy. Ottoman Empire encouraged the Muslim groups of the North Africa to rebel against the “Christian rule”. The most famous movement was Senussi Campaign that started armed resistance in eastern Egypt (under British control) and western Libya (under Italian control) in November 1915. After few initial successes, the Senussi were defeated by the alliance of Britain and Libya till February 1917.

The Zaian War was fought in the French-occupied Morocco between France and Berber tribes (known as Zaian confederation) with support from Ottomans. The war started in 1914 and France could pacify the whole area in 1921. The biggest victory of Zaian came in November 1914 at the Battle of al-Harri which made them close to capture the important city of Khenifra but their later efforts to get any such victory remained unsuccessful due to artillery and other modern weaponry of the French and the French managed to defeat the rebels.

The rebellions of Sultanate of Darfur and Tuareg tribe were successfully suppressed by British Empire and France respectively. 

Naval Campaign

In the start of 20th Century, Germany was trying to build a navy comparable to the British royal navy which was also a cause of enmity between the two empires. The naval campaign during World War 1 was fought mainly in Atlantic Ocean, North Sea, Baltic Sea, Mediterranean etc. but the naval warfare in Atlantic was the most famous one because of the activities of German U-Boats (submarines).

Germany was suffering a blockade by British navy in after which it used its U-Boats to counterattack Britain. German U-Boats drowned thousands of ships (mostly merchant ships) during the campaign but the intensity of the attacks reduced after better measures taken by the Allied navy. Due to indiscriminate sinking of ships, many neutral countries also suffered losses from German U-Boats and it was an important reason for USA to enter the war in favor of Allied powers. 

Effects of World War 1

World War 1 was the deadliest war of 20th Century before the start of World War 2 and its effects were severe and long-lasting. Neither of the opponents was expecting this war to be fought on such large-scale with such huge loses. The Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28th June 1919 with Germany that formally ended the WW1.

·         Central Powers lost the war and the winners (Allied Powers) inflicted harsh conditions on the defeated empires and nations.

·         Germany suffered badly after the war. Germany lost all of its colonies in Africa and Asia and some part of its European area to other countries while most of the war penalties were laid on Germany. Several restrictions were imposed on German military in order to discourage Germany from any other military adventure. These sanctions created the feelings of humiliation, nationalism and patriotism. German Empire was replaced by Weimer Republic. Later, Nazi Party and its leader Adolf Hitler used these feelings of German people to start the bloodiest war of the human history World War 2.

·         Austro-Hungarian Empire was completely abolished. Austria and Hungary became two independent states while the north-west of the Empire became a new state of Czechoslovakia. Serbian Empire became Yugoslavia after annexing the Slav-speaking areas of Austria-Hungary. Romania and Poland (became independent country after over a century) also got a good share from this division.

·         According to Treaty of Sevres (1920), Ottoman Empire lost all its area outside Anatolia while the East Thrace and Smyrna were awarded to Greece and Constantinople and its nearby area became demilitarized zone. Apart from that the eastern area of Erzurum was acquired by Romania. This treaty was rejected by the Turkish people and the Turkish nationalists started the Turkish War of Independence under the leadership of Mustafa Kamal Pasha. Turks successfully regained all of their Anatolian areas in the east (Erzurum), west (Smyrna, East Thrace, Constantinople) and south which resulted in a more respectful Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. Later, Grand National Assembly abolished the Ottoman Empire and Turkey became a secular republic.

·         Russia evacuated from the war after the Russian Revolution in 1917 and later the new regime signed a treaty with Central Powers. After the war, many new states were formed from former Russian Empire in Eastern Europe and Baltic including Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

·         In 1920, League of Nations was established in order to prevent any such large scale war and maintain peace in the world through negotiations. But the League of Nations failed to prevent the start of World War 2.