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3 Taming the Wild Steppe, 1480–1600s

Michael Khodarkovsky Indiana University Press ePub

Throughout more than two hundred years of its history, the Golden Horde, a powerful confederation of nomadic and seminomadic tribes dominating the vast territory from western Siberia to Moscow, withstood numerous challenges from constituents of its enormous empire as well as outsiders. But by the late 1470s the Golden Horde was in irreversible decline. It had become irreparably split between warring members of the Chinggisid ruling families. The rivals were based in the peripheral regions of the Golden Horde’s territory: in the khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan on the Volga, the Crimea, and Tiumen in western Siberia. The core of the Golden Horde remained a nomadic confederation known as the Great Horde (Bol’shaia Orda), which roamed the steppe between the Don and Yaik rivers. The khans of the Great Horde considered themselves successors to the khans of the Golden Horde and attempted continually to reassert their authority over other entities of the former Golden Horde.

It was at this time, in 1474, that a departing envoy of the grand prince of Moscow, Ivan III, was given detailed instructions about how to respond to various issues that the Crimean khan, Mengli Giray, might raise. In anticipation of Mengli Giray’s insistence on Moscow’s help against the khan of the Great Horde, Ahmad, the envoy was directed to reply that Moscow could not break relations with Ahmad because “the patrimonial lands [votchina] of the grand prince and Ahmad khan have a common steppe frontier, and every year Ahmad khan comes to his pastures near my sovereign’s lands.”1 When in the following year Mengli Giray suggested similar terms of alliance, an exasperated Russian envoy explained that if the grand prince were to declare war against Ahmad, then Moscow would have to face two enemies on two fronts—Kazimierz IV, the king of Poland and Lithuania, and Ahmad khan of the Great Horde.2 The grand prince had yet to overcome his fear of a direct challenge to Ahmad khan and was interested only in Mengli Giray’s help against Poland and Lithuania.

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1 Journey to Ixtlan

Gregory V. Short University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter One

Journey to Ixtlan

“Conflict is an essential part of the evolutionary process.

For better or for worse, it washes away the old and brings in the new.”

In the latter part of January 1968, I found myself on a bus heading towards the Norton Air Force Base located in California. Earlier that morning at Camp Pendleton, the Marine base situated just north of San Diego, we had been briefed as to what was expected of us once we reached the air base. Apparently, the officers and noncoms were somewhat concerned about the possibility of our making a break for it. All day long, they kept hovering around us like a bunch of old mother hens. However, there wasn’t any need for them to have worried. After spending eight long weeks in boot camp and another six backbreaking weeks in infantry training, we weren’t about to bail out now.

As new and eager U.S. Marines, the overwhelming majority of us were just kids. Although I had turned only eighteen-years-old the previous month, the other guys around me weren’t much older. In fact, I would have bet that most of them had never been away from home before. Standing almost five-foot eleven, and weighing close to one-hundred-fifty pounds, I was in the best shape of my life. While possessing trimmed brown hair, deep blue eyes, and a determined chin, I probably could have passed for a Marine poster boy. Of course, I wasn’t the most educated guy in the world. But I had been blessed with a lot of common sense. Looking back, the whole experience seemed like a wild adventure. We were young, ignorant, and full of spunk. We believed in our country, our leaders, and in our mission. To our way of thinking, we were invincible. We represented the best, the brightest, and the richest country in the world.

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Blunden, Edmund Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF



he summer of 1918 drifted past with its eddies of intrigue and dispute and rumour in the camp and the world beyond. It was a camp among ancestral trees, copses, meadows, cornfields bubbling with poppies, windmills on their little heights of goat-grazed turf; besides, the sky was blue and the air southern; yet I screen my eyes from that summer. The delight of being away from France after almost two years of ruins and ever-spreading terror was not itself wholly good; youth, now certain of a short time to live, through some magic dispensation of the War Office, did strange things in a world which it had never had the time to study. Moved by some instinct of spiritual pride, I no sooner arrived in the camp for my six months’ respite than I wrote – I ‘had the honour to submit’ – my application to be allowed to return to France, where such unpleasant German manœuvres were proceeding. The application received no answer, except amused comment from an old major before dinner. I waited a week, then repeated my appeal with more eloquence. This time the

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3. Bad Blood in Dallas Leads to Ill Will Across Texas

Joseph E. Early, Jr. University of North Texas Press PDF





DURING THE 1880S, UNIFICATION was an important concept not only in the Baptist General Convention of Texas, but also in the many different areas of the secular world in Texas. The railroad in particular was a unifying force and Texas experienced significant growth in this industry. Prior to the Civil War there had been less than 500 miles of track in Texas. By 1890 there were

8,710 miles of track crisscrossing the Lone Star State connecting the smaller cities with the larger.1 The development of the railroad shortened the great distances between cities and allowed all areas of the state to prosper financially. Perhaps nowhere in Texas did the railroad have a more positive financial impact than in the Baptist cities of Dallas and Waco.

The development of Dallas as a major city was closely tied to the development of the railroad. The Houston and Central Railroad opened a station in Dallas in July of 1872. The following year the

Texas and Pacific Railroad set up operations. Just before the arrival of the Houston and Central, the population of Dallas was 1,200.

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6. The First World War, 1914–17

Anthony Clayton Indiana University Press ePub

ALTHOUGH SOME OF THE THEORY advanced by Schaw and Home at the end of the nineteenth century was to prove of value in close combat in the First World War, much was quickly overtaken by the advance in technology, particularly in artillery and machine guns, and the sheer vast scale and prolonged intensity of the war. No army had foreseen the likely nature of land warfare; none had even trained for trenches, let alone forests. Throughout the war numerous battles took place in woods and forests, some large conflicts involving two or more divisions, others involving one or two units but just as hard fought and often as significant politically and militarily as the greater ones. This work can only offer a selection of the most instructive.

The land war can be seen as falling into three main phases. The first consisted of movement on the Western Front as the Germans strove hard to repeat their victory of 1870–71; this phase, which lasted until late September 1914, also included movement on the Eastern Front with the German invasion of East Prussia and the fighting in Galicia that went on longer. The second phase, on the Western Front, was marked by trench warfare battles conducted from long lines of timber-strengthened trenches stretching from the Swiss frontier to the sea. In these battles, fighting for or in a wood, occasionally a forest, was frequently dramatic and bloody. The third phase, in which the German general Ludendorff’s final offensive, 1918 offensives, and the later Allied counteroffensive saw a return to movement, also led to battles that the generals of the Seven Years’ War would have understood and appreciated.

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