In 1538, the Mediterranean Gulf of Arta would become the battle ground between two opposing forces. As the Ottoman Empire seeks to expand it’s territory and cultural influence into the heart of Europe, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Venice, and even the Papal States, fear for the loss of their status as world powers, their sovereignty as independent nations, and their freedom as human beings. For if their leaders and people were to act blissfully ignorant to the marauding hordes of the Ottoman Turks upon their arrival to their doorsteps, they would surly become lambs of God among the wolves of Allah. Fueled by political and religious ideologies, these diametrically opposed entities would use the latest of military technology and strategy to shed their blood. For the victors would become the most dominant naval force of the Mediterranean Sea; and remembered by the annals of time and history as a new generation of ruthless conquerors or faithful crusaders. The purpose of this essay is to is to analyze the critical intangibles and x-factors which determined the Battle of Preveza’s outcome, and how it shaped it’s political fallout for both the Europeans and the Ottoman Empire.
In the long term of the human condition, a true spoil that belongs to the victors of human
conflict is the history for which their efforts will be remembered by future generations to come.
No stronger does this correlate than in an event described as “America’s Second War of
Independence”; The War of 1812. This war marks a secondary process of military violence
between the young United States and the British Empire in order to secure permanent
sovereignty on the North American continent and would cost over 15,000 American, British,
Canadian, and Indigenous lives. Surprisingly though, there is an irony which lies in how our
modern generations have metaphorically shrugged aside the historical importance of this
conflict. Even the author and state-historian, James H. Madison writes only three paragraphs
about the wartime experience in the then Indiana Territory in his 400 page book Hoosiers: A
New History of Indiana. Certainly, the events that took place in Indiana are rather miniscule
compared to the Burning of Washington or the Battle of New Orleans. However, I wish to argue
that the strategic value of the Indiana Territory at the time was equally as important as the White
House or the bayous of Louisiana. For Hoosiers, the War of 1812, is utterly consequential as part
of Indiana’s state-based identity. This is largely in part due to the numerous indian tribes, united
under the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, and were willing to fight to the death to protect their
sovereign lands surrounding the Great Lakes; as well as the dire American holdouts, which
would retain U.S. dominance in the territory; even when under the threat of annihilation.
On 13th February 1945 Great Britain committed one of the worst war crimes ever perpetrated, namely the senseless and unnecessary bombing of Dresden that killed more than 130,000 people and destroyed one of the most beautiful and historic cities of Europe.
I carry with me a very heavy heart as I spill these saddening words out on to a page. As I type this story with my two-year-old daughter sitting close by smiling gleefully, oblivious to the corrupt world outside of our home, I feel a grieving pain in my chest.
In 1942, a British-Czech-Slovak joint operation successfully assassinated one of the most fearsome and high-ranking Nazis in the Third Reich. Regarded by many as the darkest figure in the Nazi elite, Reinhard Heydrich died due to injuries sustained in an ambush on his personal vehicle, which was struck by an explosive device on May 27 of that year.
There has been a few key moments in history where the world stands together in the name of peace and liberty. It is in these times that differences are forgotten and unity grows. In addition, there are also times when some nations are united and some are not, which allows the world to be broken and for its citizens to pick sides. World War II happened because of a cruel and harsh set of rules placed on one country, it was also one of the bloodiest wars that the world has seen and lastly, it caused the world to be even more defensive and build more destructive weapons.
In 2018 my friends from Russia found the place where a battle took place. That was quite an undistinguished place far away in a steppe. Among the findings there were relics which are rather common for such places – bullets, individual equipment, horse harness, cold-arms, etc.
For several years, I went to the Service of Remembrance to take photographs and talk with Evan, who served on five continents in the Second World War. Evan was always very humble about what he did for this country during that war, and I don’t think he ever fully appreciated what his service meant to others.
I visited Vietnam in 2018, travelling from the capital, Hanoi, in the North, to the former capital, Ho Chi Minh City, in the South before heading to Cambodia. HCM City was formerly called Saigon, and in truth still is by many Vietnamese, whether they live in the city or not. There are even beers called Hanoi and Saigon, but no beer called Ho Chi Minh City.