A few interesting articles in the latest issue of War in History.
Robert Watt, ‘Apaches Without and Enemies Within: The US Army in New Mexico, 1879—1881′
When attempting to confront hostile Apache guerrillas in New Mexico between 1879 and 1881, the US Army encountered a style of warfare which took merciless advantage of its weaknesses. However, the failure of the army to defeat its enemies can be only partially ascribed to this factor. Its efforts were further hampered by the political context within which it had to operate. Nevertheless, these factors occasionally worked in the army’s favour. When these political constraints did undermine efforts to defeat the Apaches, the US Army demonstrated that it was sometimes capable of turning this political context to its advantage.
Mustafa Aksakal, “Holy War Made in Germany’? Ottoman Origins of the 1914 Jihad’
From the beginning the 1914 Ottoman jihad proclamation was portrayed by the Allies as the linchpin of a German scheme to revolutionize Muslim populations in the territories of Berlin’s enemies: in British Egypt and India, in French North Africa, and in the Russian Caucasus and Central Asia. This article questions the cliché of the German jihad by situating the 1914 declaration in its deeper Ottoman historical context. Did the Ottomans need Berlin’s blandishments to convince them of the advantages of issuing a jihad (jihād) declaration in 1914?
In October 1934 socialists in Spain attempted to seize control of the government in response to a perceived fascist threat by the present right-leaning government. The uprising failed everywhere except for Asturias, where socialists, anarchists, and communists joined in a united front led by radicalized coal miners. The uprising turned into a full-scale social revolution which threatened the nascent Second Republic. Fearful that conscripts were incapable of dealing with such a serious threat, the government turned to the battle-tested ‘Army of Africa’, composed of the Spanish Foreign Legion and the Moroccan Regulares. By employing the Army of Africa the government was able to quickly and ruthlessly crush the rebellious miners and restore order to Asturias. The use of the Army of Africa in 1934 would serve as a harbinger of what was to come for Spain in the summer of 1936.
Martin Thomas, ‘Resource War, Civil War, Rights War: Factoring Empire into French North Africa’s Second World War‘
This article considers the Second World War’s socio-economic impact on the colonized populations of French North Africa’s three adjoining territories: Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. It suggests that the war’s significance for the long-term political future of French colonial rule was markedly different from that typically ascribed to it both by contemporary French and Allied observers and by subsequent historians of the conflict. This argument will be developed by contrasting the signpost events usually assigned to north-west Africa in strategic histories of the Second World War with the internal episodes, socio-political trends, and local changes in the fabric of colonial rule that, arguably, held greater importance for the region’s people.