Roger Mickelson’s History Today 8.26.14

Third Jihad:    In 1071, Seljuq Turk forces under Alp-Arslan vanquished the Byzantine army and captured the emperor Romanus IV Diogenes at the Battle of Manzikert. Spurred by Seljuq raids and incursions into Byzantine-ruled Anatolia, Romanus had earlier assembled a large army to reestablish the security of the Byzantine Empire’s eastern frontier there. In the spring of 1071 he led this army into parts of Turkish-held Armenia, entering Armenia along the southern branch of the Upper Euphrates River. Near the town of Manzikert (present Malazgirt, Turkey), he divided his army, which was composed of mercenaries that included a contingent of Turkmen, sending some ahead to secure the fortress of Akhlât on nearby Lake Van and taking others with him into Manzikert. Learning of the Byzantine foray into his territory, Alp-Arslan hastened to Manzikert, where he confronted the emperor’s army. Romanus abandoned Manzikert in an attempt to reunite his forces with the group besieging Akhlât. Trapped in a valley on the Akhlât road, he neglected to send out scouts to assess the enemy’s position, and the Turks fell upon him. Romanus fought valiantly and might have won if his position had not been weakened by treachery within his ranks; his Turkmen troops went over to the enemy the night before the battle, and one of his generals, Andronicus Ducas, perceiving that the cause was lost, fled with his men. The Byzantine army was destroyed, and Romanus was taken prisoner.


English: Byzantine empire after the battle of ...

English: Byzantine empire after the battle of Manzikert, before the crusades (spanish version) Español: Mapa del imperio bizantino antes de las cruzadas (versión en español) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hundred Years’ War:    In 1346, the English, led by Edward III, defeated the French at the Battle of Crécy. Philip VI of France advanced against Edward with some 12,000 men-at-arms and numerous other troops. Edward then turned sharply northeastward, crossing the Seine at Poissy and the Somme downstream from Abbeville, to take up a defensive position at Crécy-en-Ponthieu. There he posted dismounted men-at-arms in the center, with cavalry to their right (under his son Edward, the Black Prince) and to their left (under the earls of Arundel and of Northampton) and with archers on both wings. Italian crossbowmen in Philip’s service began the assault on the English position, but they were routed by the archers and fell back into the path of the French cavalry’s first charge. More and more French cavalry came up, to make further thoughtless charges at the English center; but while the latter stood firm, the archers wheeled forward, and the successive detachments of horsemen were mowed down by arrowshots from both sides. By the end of the day Philip’s brother, Charles II of Alençon, and his allies King John of Bohemia and Louis II of Nevers, count of Flanders, as well as 1,500 other knights and esquires were dead.


Česky: Bitva u Kresčaku 1346

Česky: Bitva u Kresčaku 1346 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1429, Joan of Arc and her soldiers reached the outskirts of Paris in preparation for an attack, part of Charles VII’s campaign to drive the English from French soil , but the assault ultimately failed.
In 1789, France’s National Assembly adopted its Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.


Representation of the Declaration of the Right...

Representation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789 Includes “Eye of providence” symbol (eye in triangle) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1883, the volcano Krakatoa in Indonesia began to erupt, and 36,000 people were killed by the eruption and the resulting tsunami.


English: An 1888 lithograph of the 1883 erupti...

English: An 1888 lithograph of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

World War I:    In 1914, the Battle of Tannenberg, fought between the Germans and the Russians, began. Two Russian armies, the 1st, which was under General P.K. Rennenkampf, and the 2nd, under A.V. Samsonov, invaded German East Prussia in August 1914. Rennenkampf fought a successful action at Gumbinnen on August 20 but failed to maintain contact with Samsonov. The German commanders Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff, making use of a plan devised by Lieutenant Colonel Max Hoffmann, threw all their strength against Samsonov’s isolated army near Uzdowo, just south of the historic site of Tannenberg. Samsonov fell back, losing about half of his army in the next few days. Samsonov shot himself in despair on August 29. The Germans took 92,000 prisoners. The Russians lost another 30,000 killed or wounded, while the Germans sustained a total of only 13,000 casualties.

English: Russian prisoners and guns captured a...

English: Russian prisoners and guns captured at Tannenberg Deutsch: Russische Gefangene nach der Schlacht bei Tannenberg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Regards, Roger Mickelson
Source material includes Associated Press International and Encyclopædia Britannica.
“Happiness does not come from without; it comes from within.”        Helen Keller


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