Risings And Rebellions 1919 - 39: Interwar Colonial Campaigns in Africa, Asia, and the Americas (Armies of the 20th Century) Hardcover – 26 Jun 2009
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From the Publisher
Foundry Books Risings and Rebellions 1919-39
A series of definitive
military reference books,
with volumes covering
the armies of a variety
of periods and nations,
all presented in an A4 sized
hardback format with
traditional linen and
From the Author
An earlier volume in this series covered Small Wars and Skirmishes 1902-18. There is a common misconception that `small wars' - characterised by Sir Garnet Wolseley as warfare against `uncivilised nations' - took place only in the Victorian period, and the Second Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 is often referred to as the last of the small wars. Yet in the period 1902-14 the Americans, Belgians, British, Dutch, French, Germans, Portuguese and Spanish, for political, military or commercial reasons, all embarked on a new phase of colonialism involving expeditions into the hinterland of their overseas territories.
The present volume extends coverage of such `small wars' to the interwar years of 1919-39. After a hiatus during the Great War, when resources were diverted elsewhere, the earlier colonial incursions were followed in the 1920s and 1930s by a process of consolidation involving campaigns against emerging resistance movements, many of which owed their strength to religious fanaticism. Major nationalist leaders such as Abd el-Krim in Morocco and Omar al-Mukhtar in Libya emerged from 1920 onwards, and the spark provided by their resistance to foreign control lit the flame of post-1945 independence movements. The title of this volume, Risings and Rebellions 1919-39, reflects the change in emphasis compared with the earlier colonial campaigns. Indeed, the sheer scale of such wars as the risings against the French and Spanish forces in Morocco and the Italian reconquest of Libya takes them out of the category of `small wars' altogether.
A book such as this cannot hope to cover all the civil disturbances, emergencies, outright revolts, insurrections, insurgencies, rebellions and campaigns of passive resistance that occurred against the colonial powers over a period of two decades. What it does attempt to do is to illustrate the main types of campaign involved, the organisation of forces, the effects of new weaponry, and the tactics that the indigenous peoples used to counter the technology of the colonial invader, particularly by applying their local knowledge of some of the most difficult terrain in the world. In most cases at least one battle or skirmish is described in some detail in order to give a flavour of the significant factors involved. Sketch maps are provided to indicate the main campaigns and illustrations show the uniforms or tribal dress of the combatants.
Small wars and insurgencies did not, of course, end when Imperialism gave way to independence movements. They continued as incursions by more powerful neighbouring states once the colonial powers had departed the scene (East Timor, Tibet, Western Sahara) or as civil wars, often arising from ethnic conflicts caused by the artificial boundaries created by the former colonial powers (Angola, Dar Fur, India/Pakistan, Indo-China, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Zaire). Nor is any end in sight - the lessons of history take a long time to learn, if indeed they are ever learnt.
The present volume includes appendices on weaponry and equipment, mechanised vehicles, communications, and the use of aircraft, armoured cars and tanks in suppressing risings and rebellions. Each section of the text and the appendices is intended to be self-contained but concludes with a select bibliography in case readers wish to go back to original sources or to seek more detail on particular campaigns.
In relation to the vexed question of how foreign names should be rendered in English, T.E. Lawrence pointed out in Seven Pillars of Wisdom that no system of transliteration is perfect and one spelling is as good as another - even in the same text, in his view. Since vowels vary from district to district and some consonants in Arabic have no equivalent in English, many words can be represented in a variety of ways. In this study, well-known place names have for the sake of clarity been left as spelt in the older literature, eg `Medina' instead of the modern `al-Madinah'. However, more obscure names, of people and places that may not be generally familiar to readers, have been spelt according to the usage of modern authors from the country concerned who have written books or articles on the subject in English. Where there are several such versions of place names, I have preferred that given in The Times Atlas of the World. However, I do not claim to have achieved consistency in this approach!
For American and British campaigns, distances and weights are quoted in Imperial measures, followed by approximate metric equivalents. For other campaigns, the conversion is reversed. Yards are not converted into metres, or vice versa, unless the level of accuracy in the original narrative warrants this.
In reading various accounts of the actions covered in this volume, I have come across many inconsistencies in both primary and secondary sources. One author, for example, says that the mounted unit at the Battle of Messifré in Syria in 1925 was the French Foreign Legion's mounted company, with a mule for every two men, whereas it is clear from other sources that it was in fact a cavalry squadron with a full complement of horses. One account of the same action says it was the 18th Algerian Tirailleurs that came to the rescue of the besieged French force, when it was in fact the 16th Tunisian Tirailleurs. One account says there were six French strongpoints in or near the village, another that there were four. By consulting as many original sources as possible and using `inherent military probability', I have tried to iron out these factual inconsistencies.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The drawings are well done,the writing is concise,lucid and informative.
I love this series, because it covers an obscure period of history,and does it well,with enough detail to whet the interest,but not enough to overwelm. I would suggest buying it's companion "Small Wars And Skirmishes 1902-1918" to anyone who enjoyed this book as well.