We need to come up with a subject for a game at Carronade in May so I thought I’d go back through the last 100 years and see what anniversaries it might be interesting to commemorate.
One hundred years ago in 1910 we have an Albanian uprising against Ottoman rule, the Wadai War (French colonial conflict in what is now Chad), and the outbreak of revolution in Mexico. 1910 also saw Royal Navy patrols active against gun runners in the Persian Gulf and on the coasts of Baluchistan - this was the subject of our 2007 game at Gauntlet.
In 1935 (75 years ago) we have the beginning of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War as Italian forces under General Emilio de Bono invade Ethiopia.
I’m ignoring, for now, the seventieth anniversary of the Blitzkrieg campaigns in western Europe - I think we all know what the options are there. Much of it’s been done before.
60 years ago takes us to 1950; not a great year for world peace. The French-Indo China War was in full swing. June saw the beginning of the Korean War and October the Chinese invasion of Tibet.
2010 is the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Mau Mau insurgency in Kenya (January 1960). That month also saw a major insurrection in French Algiers. In February there were clashes on the snowy borders of India and China and in December there was a failed coup d’etat in Ethiopia.
Moving on to 1980 (30 years ago) we have Operation Eagle Claw - the failed Delta Force operation to rescue the US Hostages in Tehran. A few days later, the SAS successfully retook the Irnaian Embassy in London after it had been seized by six Iranian-born terrorists.
Meanwhile, the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan was on-going. The first offensive in the Panjsher Valley took place in Spring this year and the Soviets began to adopt a scorched earth policy to deny resources to the Mujahideen.
In September, Iraqi forces moved into Iran initiating the longest conventional war of the twentieth century.
Finally, as far as interesting anniversaries go we come to 1985 and the silver anniversary of the Third World War! You missed that one? Well it was actually a fictional war as covered in General Sir John Hackett’s book of the same name - a great excuse to dust off those Cold War forces and go at it on the North German Plain one more time!