World War Civ 40: How Britain Took Palestine in 1917

General Allenby, Sharif Hussein and his son Feisal, and their handler TE Lawrence array the forces of the British Empire and the Arab Revolt against the Turco-German forces in Palestine. The battle starts in Gaza and ends with Allenby walking into the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem. The story of the fateful campaign that brought British imperialism to Palestine (and Lebanon, and Syria…). We note that the British found Gaza to be a “fortress” from which it was impossible to dislodge the Turkish forces; Justin felt TE Lawrence was overrated, just another imperialist; and we compare admiration of the stoicism with which Allenby took news of his son’s death, with an analogous situation today.

WW Civ 36: The Easter Rising in Ireland 1916

The conditions may not have been optimal but they didn’t look to be getting better – so the Irish Revolutionaries made their move in Easter 1916. A week of urban warfare followed – the revolutionaries lost – but they succeeded in transforming the Irish question forever and setting the nation on the inevitable road to independence.

World War Civ 34: The Armenian Genocide 1915-16

Genocides happen in broad daylight – it is only afterwards that they are covered up. There are still fewer countries that recognize the Armenian Genocide than countries that do not. We read scholars that take the view that it was a genocide as well as a scholar that describes the events without using the label, presenting the story of 1915-1916 as well as the trial of the leaders after the war. One scholar of the genocide says that by refusing to investigate these events enough, “society has lost its moral sensitivity to past genocide as well as to current and possibly future episodes of mass violence.”

World War Civ 32: Britain’s plans for Arab lands – Sykes-Picot, 1916

Early in the Great War Britain decided to dismantle the Turkish Empire and made promises to Arab leaders of independence if they would rebel against Britain’s Turkish enemy. While one British leader was making these promises, another, Mark Sykes, was making a deal with other imperialists for the division of Arab lands between them. Follow Mark Sykes on his world tour that culminates in the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, an agreement we’re all still suffering from to this day.