Roger Mickelson’s History Today

Second Jihad:    In 1492, Sultan Muhammad XII surrendered Granada, home of the Alhambra palace and the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, to the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand II and Isabella I, ending the Reconquest. Although the traditional beginning of the Reconquista goes back to c. 718, when the Christian Asturians opposed the Moors at the Battle of Covadonga, the impulse toward reconquest was not strong during the first three centuries of Muslim hegemony. It was in the 11th century, when Moorish unity broke down and the Christian kingdoms of northern Spain began to be affected by an aggressive, anti-Muslim, crusading spirit, that the movement began in earnest. A series of wars followed, and by the mid-13th century most of the peninsula had been subjected to Christian rule, though the continued existence of a Moorish enclave around Granada in southern Spain served to keep the spirit of the Reconquista alive until the end of the 15th century. Many historians believe that subsequent Spanish emphasis on religious uniformity, evidenced by the strong influence of the Inquisition and the expulsion of people of Moorish and Jewish descent, can be traced back to this crusading struggle of the Middle Ages.
        Commentary: In 1983, I was part of a two-man team sent by the US Army Chief of Staff to advise the Spanish Army on some matters after Spain became part of NATO. During one of the visits with senior Spanish Army officers, I had asked (re: the NATO alignment) who they thought the enemy was; two Spanish Generals pointed south to the still-Muslim dominated countries in North Africa.
One of the valleys used as an entry into Spain...

One of the valleys used as an entry into Spain during Operation: Reconquest of Spain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

American Civil War:    In 1863, the Battle of Stones River came to an end. General Braxton Bragg‘s 34,700-man Confederate army was confronted on Stones River near Murfreesboro by 41,400 Union troops under General William Starke Rosecrans, who had orders to drive Bragg out of eastern Tennessee. After the first day’s bitter, seesaw battle, the battered Union army was on the verge of retreating, but Rosecrans decided to hold fast. On January 3, Bragg’s equally exhausted Confederate forces withdrew southward. Rosecrans’s tenacity thus averted a potentially serious Union defeat. Union casualties numbered 12,906; Confederate losses totaled 11,739.


English: Montage of scenes from the American C...

English: Montage of scenes from the American Civil War. Top left: Battle of Stones River; top right: Confederate prisoners of war; bottom: Battle of Fort Hindman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Russo-Japanese War:    In 1905, the Russians surrendered Port Arthur (now Lüshun, China) to the Japanese.

World War II:    In 1942, Japanese forces captured the Philippine capital city of Manila.

Regards, Roger Mickelson
Source material includes Associated Press International and Encyclopædia Britannica.
“Industry pays debts…despair increases them.”          Biologist E.O. Wilson
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