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Templar Wargames

Conflict Back Ground

Indian Mutiny 1857

The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was a major, but ultimately unsuccessful, uprising in India in 1857–58 against the rule of the British East India Company, which functioned as a sovereign power on behalf of the British Crown. The rebellion began on 10 May 1857 in the form of a mutiny of sepoys of the Company's army in the garrison town of Meerut, 40 mi (64 km) northeast of Delhi (now Old Delhi). It then erupted into other mutinies and civilian rebellions chiefly in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, though incidents of revolt also occurred farther north and east. The rebellion posed a considerable threat to British power in that region, and was contained only with the rebels' defeat in Gwalior on 20 June 1858. On 1 November 1858, the British granted amnesty to all rebels not involved in murder, though they did not declare the hostilities to have formally ended until 8 July 1859. The rebellion is known by many names, including the Sepoy Mutiny, the Indian Mutiny, the Great Rebellion, the Revolt of 1857, the Indian Insurrection, and the First War of Independence.
The Indian rebellion was fed by resentments born of diverse perceptions, including invasive British-style social reforms, harsh land taxes, summary treatment of some rich landowners and princes, as well as scepticism about the improvements brought about by British rule. Many Indians rose against the British; however, many also fought for the British, and the majority remained seemingly compliant to British rule. Violence, which sometimes betrayed exceptional cruelty, was inflicted on both sides, on British officers, and civilians, including women and children, by the rebels, and on the rebels, and their supporters, including sometimes entire villages, by British reprisals; the cities of Delhi and Lucknow were laid waste in the fighting and the British retaliation.
After the outbreak of the mutiny in Meerut, the rebels very quickly reached Delhi, whose 81-year-old Mughal ruler, Bahadur Shah Zafar, they declared the Emperor of Hindustan. Soon, the rebels had also captured large tracts of the North-Western Provinces and Awadh (Oudh). The East India Company's response came rapidly as well. With help from reinforcements, Kanpur was retaken by mid-July 1857, and Delhi by the end of September. However, it then took the remainder of 1857 and the better part of 1858 for the rebellion to be suppressed in Jhansi, Lucknow, and especially the Awadh countryside. Other regions of Company controlled India—Bengal province, the Bombay Presidency, and the Madras Presidency—remained largely calm. In the Punjab, the Sikh princes crucially helped the British by providing both soldiers and support. The large princely states, Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore, and Kashmir, as well as the smaller ones of Rajputana, did not join the rebellion, serving the British, in the Governor-General Lord Canning's words, as "breakwaters in a storm."
In some regions, most notably in Awadh, the rebellion took on the attributes of a patriotic revolt against European oppression. However, the rebel leaders proclaimed no articles of faith that presaged a new political system. Even so, the rebellion proved to be an important watershed in Indian- and British Empire history. It led to the dissolution of the East India Company, and forced the British to reorganize the army, the financial system, and the administration in India, through passage of the Government of India Act 1858. India was thereafter administered directly by the British government in the new British Raj. On 1 November 1858, Queen Victoria issued a proclamation to Indians, which while lacking the authority of a constitutional provision, promised rights similar to those of other British subjects. In the following decades, when admission to these rights was not always forthcoming, Indians were to pointedly refer to the Queen's proclamation in growing avowals of a new nationalism.

Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War (Spanish: Guerra Civil Española), widely known in Spain simply as The Civil War (Spanish: Guerra Civil) or The War (Spanish: La Guerra), took place from 1936 to 1939 and was fought between the Republicans, who were loyal to the democratic, left-leaning and relatively urban Second Spanish Republic in an alliance of convenience with the Anarchists, versus the Nationalists, a falangist, Carlist, and a largely aristocratic conservative group led by General Francisco Franco. Although the war is often portrayed as a struggle between democracy and fascism, some historians consider it more accurately described as a struggle between leftist revolution and rightist counter-revolution. Ultimately, the Nationalists won, and Franco then ruled Spain for the next 36 years, from April 1939 until his death in November 1975.
The war began after a pronunciamiento (declaration of opposition) by a group of generals of the Spanish Republican Armed Forces, originally under the leadership of José Sanjurjo, against the elected, leftist government of the Second Spanish Republic, at the time under the leadership of President Manuel Azaña. The Nationalist group was supported by a number of conservative groups, including the Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right-wing Groups (Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas, or CEDA), monarchists such as the religious conservative (Catholic) Carlists, and the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista, a fascist group. Sanjurjo was killed in an aircraft accident while attempting to return from exile in Portugal, whereupon Franco emerged as the leader of the Nationalists.
The coup was supported by military units in the Spanish protectorate in Morocco, Pamplona, Burgos, Zaragoza, Valladolid, Cádiz, Córdoba, and Seville. However, rebelling units in some important cities—such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, and Málaga—did not gain control, and those cities remained under the control of the government. Spain was thus left militarily and politically divided. The Nationalists and the Republican government fought for control of the country. The Nationalist forces received munitions and soldiers from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, while the Republican (Loyalist) side received support from the Communist Soviet Union and leftist populist Mexico. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom and France, operated an official policy of non-intervention.
The Nationalists advanced from their strongholds in the south and west, capturing most of Spain's northern coastline in 1937. They also besieged Madrid and the area to its south and west for much of the war. After large parts of Catalonia were captured in 1938 and 1939, the war ended with the victory of the Nationalists and the exile of thousands of leftist Spaniards, many of whom fled to refugee camps in southern France. Those associated with the losing Republicans were persecuted by the victorious Nationalists. With the establishment of a dictatorship led by General Franco in the aftermath of the war, all right-wing parties were fused into the structure of the Franco regime.
The war became notable for the passion and political division it inspired and for the many atrocities that occurred. Organized purges occurred in territory captured by Franco's forces to consolidate the future regime. A significant number of killings took place in areas controlled by the Republicans. The extent to which Republican authorities took part in killings in Republican territory varied.

The Rif War

Origins of The Rif War
During the early 20th century, Morocco had fallen into the French and Spanish spheres of influence, becoming divided into protectorates ruled by the two European nations. The Rif region had been assigned to Spain, but given that even the Sultans of Morocco had been unable to exert control over the region, Spanish sovereignty over the Rif was strictly theoretical. For centuries, the Berber tribes of the Rif had fought off any attempt to impose outside control on them. Though nominally Muslim, the tribes of the Rif had continued many pagan practices such as worshipping water spirits and forest spirits that were contrary to Islam. Attempts by the Moroccan sultans to impose orthodox Islam on the Rif had been successfully resisted by the tribesmen.
For centuries Europeans had seen the Rif mountains and the outlines of people on the mountains from ships in the Mediterranean Sea, but almost no European had ever ventured into the mountains. Walter Burton Harris, the Morocco correspondent for The Times, who covered the war wrote that as late as 1912 only "one or two Europeans had been able to visit the cedar forests that lie south of Fez. A few had traveled in the southern Atlas and pushed on into the Sus...and that was almost all". The reason for, as Harris wrote, was the Berbers "were often as inhospitable to the Arab as they were to the foreigner", and generally killed any outsiders who ventured into their territory.
Vincent Sheean, who covered the war for The New York Times, wrote that the Rif was a truly beautiful countryside of "Crimson mountains flung against a sky of hieratic blue, gorges magnificent and terrifying, peaceful green valleys between protecting precipices", a place that reminded him of his native Colorado. The Rif was also rich in high-grade iron, which could be easily extracted via open pit mining. The Spanish state could collect much money in the form of taxes and royalties from the iron mining, which made the Spanish state anxious to bring the Rif under its control. The concession to mine iron in the Rif had been granted to the millionaire Don Horacio Echevarrieta who by 1920 had brought out 800, 000 tons of high grade iron which as it had been extracted via open pit mining was cheaply attained and fetched the highest prices. The iron mining caused much environmental damage and required the displacement of the Riffans, who of course received no share of the profits, and thus understandably were opposed to the iron mines being developed on their land. When King Alfonso XIII of Spain ascended to the throne in 1886, Spain could at least make the pretense of being a world power, having colonies in the Americans, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. In the Spanish-American War of 1898, Spain lost Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, and in 1899 sold the Mariana and Caroline islands to Germany, leaving Spain only with some footholds on the Moroccan coast and Spanish Guinea. To compensate for the lost empire in the Americas and Asia, there emerged a powerful africanista faction in Spain led by Alfonso, who wanted a new empire in Africa. Finally, the Roman Catholic Church was politically powerful in Spain, and much of the Spanish clergy preached the need for new crusade to continue the Reconquista by conquering Morocco, thus adding their voices to the africanista choir. For all these reasons, Spain had been pushing into the Rif since 1909.