Persian Book Review Journal Evaluates Farrokh 2005 On-Line Book

The Persian Book Review Journal has evaluated Farrokh’s 2005 On-Line Book entitled: “Pan-Turanism takes aim at Azarbaijan“. The Review of the 2005 On-line book is available for download from Academia.edu.

    VamberyArminius (Hermann) Vambery (1832-1913) seen above in eastern dress (left) and European attire (right) (Picture Sources: Public Domain). Vambery was a Hungarian professor, philologist and traveler working as an advisory to the Ottoman Sultan in 1857-1863. Vambery is one of the leading founders of pan-Turkism which is essentially a European invention. In a sense, it may be stated that the anti-Persian philosophy of pan-Turkism has never originated among the Turks – this was first created among European thinkers and through Russian support of anti-Persianism in the southern Caucasus in the 19th century.

Kindly note that the 2005 on-line book is being extensively updated and revised and will appear as a monograph with a different title under the guidance of Professor Garnik S. Asatrian (Chair, Iranian Studies Dept., Yerevan State University; Editor, “Iran and the Caucasus”, BRILL, Leiden-Boston) and Professor Victoria Arakelova (Associate Professor, Department of Iranian Studies, Yerevan State University; Associate Editor, “Iran and the Caucasus”, BRILL, Leiden). Below are excerpts of the review of the 2005 On-line text.

Saberi, 2005-2006, pp. 89-90:

“...heavy investment has taken place among Western governments towards the study of domains pertaining to Iran with a large number of Think Tanks engaged in the research of the sociology, psychology, economics, politics, culture and history of Iran and utilizing these against Iran with respect to politics, diplomacy, and propaganda…a book named “Pan-Turanism Takes Aim at Azarbaijan” has been written by Kaveh Farrokh of the University of British Columbia in Canada and it is fortunate that this has been placed on-line on the internet. As far as can be ascertained, this book has not been translated into Persian, and it is incumbent upon translators to engage in this task. The writer of this book has engaged in the attention to a series of issues which are not paid attention to at the present time, but which could due to international circumstances transform into a major political crisis for Iran and profoundly impact upon the life of Iranians. This book considers a number of Western objectives towards Iran, especially with respect to the promotion of Democracy and Human Rights in Iran.”

Ralph Peters’ version of the Bernard Lewis Plan (Professor Bernard Lewis denies being the originator of this plan). The above is a “revised” map of Iran and the Middle East as proposed by Ralph Peters (source: Peters, R. 2006. Blood Borders: How a better Middle East would Look. Armed Forces Journal, June Issue). Note that the Republic of Azarbaijan has absorbed Iran’s Azarbaijan province, a Greater Kurdistan has absorbed Iran’s Kurdish and Luri regions, Iran’s Khuzistan province has become joined to a southern Iraqi Arab state, Iran’s southeast is joined to a Greater Baluchistan. Interestingly, Peters has “compensated” Iran by “granting” it the city of Herat, which was in fact a part of historical Iran until its official detachment from the country by the British Empire in the late 1850s.

Saberi, 2005-2006, pp. 90:

Pan-Turkism, or in its broader sense, pan-Turanism, is a racist ideology akin to pan-Arabism, pan-Iranism, Fascism, Nazism which conveys the message that the culture and history of the Turks is superior to all other peoples in the world, with the aim of creating a Turkish state stretching from Europe to Asia… “

 Super-TuranA map of the proposed pan-Turkic or pan-Turanian state (Picture Source: The apricity). Much of this philosophy can be traced to European thinkers such as Leon Cahun (see below).

David-Leon-CahunDavid Leon Cahun (1841-1900) proposed that the Turks were a superior race or more specifically “supermen” (Picture Source: Public Domain). The notion of racial superiority is an alien concept among the Turks who have always been (and remain) warm, open, friendly and hospitable to all who visit or settle in Turkey. Racism has never existed among Turks or Turkic-speakers – the importation of this concept can be traced to European thinkers such as Cahun who placed a heavy emphasis on drafting pan-Turkism as an anti-Slavic, anti-Islamic  and anti-Persianate philosophy.

Saberi (2005-2006, pp. 91) provides the following overview:

In summary this book provides a detailed description of pan-Turkism and how this is being sponsored by Western economic interests…the writer notes how this ideology claims that the founders of human culture, civilization and language are Turks and that the civilizations of Iran, Greece, Rome and Sumeria were founded by Turks. Tajiks, Kurds and native (North American Indians) are claimed as Turks.”

Pic20-indianTurk Painting of the mythical Grey Wolf (Ashena) and what is presented as a Turkish Indian warrior (Picture Source: Network54). One of the assertions of Pan-Turkism is that the entire spectrum of the native Indian population of North America are essentially Turks as these crossed Asia into the North American continent along the Bering Strait. Turkic peoples however had not formed as an ethnic group tens of thousands of years ago and linguistic analyses fail to provide any correlations between any indigenous Indian languages in North America (which are highly diverse in their own right) and any Turkic languages.

it is important to note that in contrast to the current establishment in Baku (modern-day Republic of Azarbaijan known as Arran and the Khanates until 1918), many modern-day Turkish historians seriously question the premises of pan-Turkism and acknowledge its ideological nature. Turkish professor  Ayse Gül Altinay has summarized seven premises of pan-Turkism in her 2004 book: The Myth of the Military-Nation: Militarism, Gender, and Education in Turkey, Published by Palgrave-Macmillan, pages 22-23:

  • The original homeland of the Turks is in Central Asia or Turkistan and not on Mongolia.
  • The Turks are a white race of the Brachycephalic type and are not derived from the Asiatic or ‘Yellow” races.
  • The Neolithic civilization of mankind was invented by the Turks in Central Asia.
  • Climactic factors (mainly drought) forced the Turks to migrate out of Central Asia. This resulted in the Turks introducing Neolithic civilization to Asia, the Americas and Europe.
  • Early civilizations of the Near and Middle East such as Mesopotamia, Egypt and Anatolia (especially the Hittites) were founded by the Turks.
  • Turkish is the oldest sophisticated language of mankind and is the basis of ancient Hittite and Sumerian languages.
  • Turks are the founders of several states, kingdoms and empires in history.

As noted Saberi, 2005-2006, pp. 91 with respect to the 2005 Farrokh text:

In part II of the book, the writer engages in the description of pan-Turkist claims to [Iranian] Azerbaijan…being a part of Greater Turkestan. These claims are being mainly promoted by Western petroleum interests…The writer also engages in the examination of the false thesis that Azerbaijan was a large kingdom split between Iran and Russia during the Qajar era resulting in a “South Azerbaijan” and a “North Azerbaijan” which must be “re-united” like Vietnam…

A post-Soviet era propaganda map produced in Baku. The above map (click on the above map to see the associated video) promotes the false notion that a “Greater Azerbaijan” was divided in two by Russia and Iran in 1828. Historically false claims such as these were first promoted by the pan-Turkists of the early 20th century which were then propagated by the former Soviet Union and the Communists, notably Joseph Stalin and Mirjaafar Baguirov. Unfortunately the legacy of historical amnesia has continued to persist at the official level in the South Caucasian state.

Saberi (2005-2006, pp. 91) notes that pan-Turkists claim that:

“...poets such as Shabestari, Ganjavi and Molavi were Turks who were forced to write in Persian…

False Statue in RomeBaku Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov at Nizami Ganjavi monument at Rome’s Villa Borghese park in early February 2013. The Aliev Foundation  funded the installation of this statue as part of the initiative of falsifying Iranian historical icons (see Petition to correct the historical identity of the statue in Rome). Ganjavi composed his poetry in Persian and wrote extensively on the Iranian cultural realm.

Saberi, 2005-2006, pp. 92:

Among the other falsifications examined by the writer is the notion that Turks have resided in the Caucasus for over five thousand years and have spoken Turkish for that time…

Saberi then notes of the writer’s use of primary sources to disprove such claims and demonstrate that Turkic languages are historically-speaking, relative newcomers to the region, beginning from the post-Islamic era in the 11th century CE.

Polo_game_from_poem_Guy_u_ChawganA Persian miniature made in 1546, during the reign of the Safavid dynasty of Iran (1501-1722). This artwork is of the Persian poem Guy-o Chawgân (“Ball and Polo-mallet”) depicting Iranian nobles engaged in the game of polo, which has been played in Iran for thousands of years (Picture Source: Public Domain). The Baku establishment initially attempted to convince UNESCO that Polo was part of the “Azerbaijani heritage”, however in a positive development, their authorities acknowledged the diverse historical legacy of the game lin 2013. The term “Azerbaijan” never existed in the South Caucasus until May 1918. The only historically attested Azerbaijan is in Iran’s northwest which has been a cultural and historical part of the Iranian realm for thousands of years.

New Book by Andrew James: Blood of Kings

Andrew James’ new book “Blood of Kings” has captured the very spirit of the Ancient Achaemenids.  Thanks to James’ deep understanding and appreciation of the ancient Achaemenid Empire, he literally takes the reader back in time to the Persians of old.

BLOOD OF KINGS coverjpgAndrew James’ book “Blood of Kings” is available from Amazon, Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, Kobo, Apple iTunes and other online stores.

“Blood of Kings” is a highly recommended historical novel for students of ancient history. James has succeeded in providing a balanced view of the ancient Persians, one that goes past Eurocentric views and even Orientalism – this results in the reader seeing a more human side of ancient Persia.

Cyrus-Babylon[Click to Enlarge] A painting of Cyrus the Great-کوروش بزرگ- as he enters Babylon (Picture Source: Mani-Persepolis.nu). Cyrus’ arrival occurred just as the inhabitants of Babylon were engaged in celebrations and festivals, as corroborated by Greek sources (Herodotus, I, 19; Xenophon, Cyropaedia, 7. 5.15). The Nabonidus Chronicle also states that “Cyrus entered Babylon…the state of peace was imposed on all the city, Cyrus sent greetings to all Babylon” (Nabonidus Chronicle, III, 12-22). The inhabitants of Babylon-city are recorded as having laid branches before Cyrus as he entered through the city gates. To learn more, click here…

Set against the backdrop of Persia’s invasion of Egypt in 525 BC, Blood of Kings tells the story of the death of Cyrus the Great, the succession and death of Cambyses, and Darius the Great’s rise to power. Inspired by the magnificence of the ancient Persian Empire, it is one of very few books in Western literature to be written from a Persian point of view, with the story being told largely through the eyes of Darius himself. Whereas many Western writers paint an unfair picture of the ancient Persians, Andrew James has depicted them truthfully, showing them to be by far the most advanced nation of their day.

Part Three of History Channel Program “Engineering an Empire: The Persians” (2006). This section discusses Darius the Great’s Royal Road, the Battle of Marathon, digging of the canal between the Red Sea (ancient Arabian Gulf) and Mediterranean Sea, and the building of the bridge over Bosphorus. For the entire History Channel program see:  Engineering an Empire -آغاز یک امپراطوری – هخامنشیان-

Andrew was born in London and studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Trinity College, Oxford, before practicing for twelve years as counsel at the English Bar. Visiting Iran in 2005 and 2007 he was captivated by the beauty and sophistication of Persepolis, and by the highly advanced culture it revealed. After learning of the size of the Persian Empire, Andrew decided he wanted to know more about these ancient Achaemenid warriors, whose armies conquered on three continents, including Europe.

akenakes-achaemenid-dr-khorasani1[Click to Enlarge] Achaemenid Akenakes. Note the lion and ram motifs on this finely crafted weapon, both symbols of ancient Iran (Copyright of Dr. Manouchehr M. Khorasani, 2006 – for more see here… and his Facebook page).

Reading a translation of the Bisitun Inscription while standing beneath the great carving James was gripped by the drama of Darius’s account, and was inspired to retell the story in a novel. Andrew then set off to follow the probable line of march of Cambyses’s army across the desert to Siwa Oasis in Egypt, and in 2008 he gave up his career at the Bar to move to the desert, where he spent three years researching and writing his first novel, Blood of Kings.

The Wall of JerusalemThe West Wall in Jerusalem. After his conquest of Babylon, Cyrus the Great-کوروش بزرگ- allowed the Jewish captives to return to Israel and rebuild the Hebrew temple. It is believed that approximately 40,000 did permanently return to Israel. To learn more, click here…

To write Blood of Kings Andrew spent several years researching ancient Persian history and military affairs, including several visits to the National Museum in Tehran and smaller museums around Iran. The book not only makes a thrilling read for lovers of historical adventure, but also sympathetically portrays ancient Persian culture and life. Blood of Kings has received such a warm welcome from Iranian readers around the world, that Andrew has already received an offer from a respected publisher in Tehran to translate it into Persian.

Bagh e Eram of ShirazA descendant of Cyrus the Great’s Gardens at ancient Pasargadae: The Garden of Eram at Shiraz, one of those Persian Gardens in Iran declared as UNESCO heritage sites (Photo provided to Kavehfarrokh.com by Mani Moradi).

New Book: Iranian-Russian Encounters Empires and Revolutions since 1800

There is new book  on the history of Iranian-Russian relations:

 Routledge text

  • Title :Iranian-Russian Encounters: Empires and Revolutions since 1800
  • Publisher: Iranian Studies Series, Routledge.
  • Date: December, 2012.
  • Description & Ordering: Hardback: 978–0–415–62433–6: $160.00 – £95.00; 20% off with code: GDC72 from Routledge.com – for more information to order from Routledge click here.

This important book has been made possible as a result of the efforts of Soudavar Memorial Foundatio and the Iran Heritage Fund who were the funders of an important conference entitled:

Empires and Revolutions: Iranian-Russian Encounters since 1800 (Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, London, 12-13 June 2009)

The material and academic information presented at that conference gave rise to the book.

The book has been edited by Professor Stephanie Cronin.

 Stephanie-Cronin

Professor Stephanie Cronin is the editor of this textbook. She is a lecturer in Iranian History at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, and a member of St Antony’s College. She is the author of Shahs, Soldiers and Subalterns (2010); Tribal Politics in Iran (Routledge, 2006); and The Army and the Creation of the Pahlavi State in Iran, 1910–1926 (1997); and editor of Subalterns and Social Protest (Routledge, 2007); Reformers and Revolutionaries in Modern Iran (Routledge, 2004); and The Making of Modern Iran (Routledge, 2003). She is currently working on a comparative history of state–building in the Middle East. For on Professor Cronin, please see Iranian Studies Directory.

Kindly note that the pictures inserted below do not appear in the book.

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Book Summary:

Over the past two hundred years, encounters between Iran and Russia have been both rich and complex. This book explores the myriad dimensions of the Iranian-Russian encounter during a dramatic period which saw both Iran and Russia subject to revolutionary upheavals and transformed from multinational dynastic empires typical of the nineteenth century to modernizing, authoritarian states typical of the twentieth.

 1-Hermitage-Battle-Caucasus

Painting in the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg depicting a victory of Abbas Mirza`s army over the Russians in the Caucasus. The above painting is of interest as it shows the Shir o Khorshid (Lion and Sun) emblem of the Iranians versus the Double-headed Romanov eagle of the Russians. Though defeated in the Russo-Iranian wars of 1804-1813 and 1826-1828, Abbas Mirza fought well despite the more advanced weaponry and modern tactics of his opponents (Picture Source: Iranian.com)

The collection provides a fresh perspective on traditional preoccupations of international relations: wars and diplomacy, the hostility of opposing nationalisms, the Russian imperial menace in the nineteenth century and the Soviet threat in the twentieth. Going beyond the traditional, this book examines subaltern as well as elite relations and combines a cultural, social and intellectual dimension with the political and diplomatic. In doing so the book seeks to construct a new discourse which contests the notion of an implacable enmity between Iran and Russia.

2-Farrokh-Family-Photo-Reza-Shah-Coronation-1926

A photo taken in 1926 of a military assembly in Tehran (book cover for Iran at War: 1500-1988). This was the Iranian Army headquarters at the time and is today the Iranian University of the Arts (محوطه ساختمانی که قبلا ستاد ارتش بوده و الان دانشکده هنر است ). The troops are about to pose for a military review. Note the diverse nature of the Iranian troops – reminiscent of the armies of Iran since antiquity: one can see Kurds, Azaris, Lurs, Baluchis, Qashqais, Persians, etc. partaking in the assembly.  Gendarme Colonel Haji Khan Pirbastami (standing at far left) died just a year later when fighting as a colonel with the Iranian army against Bolshevik/Communist and Russian troops attempting to overrun northern Iran after World War One.

Bringing together leading scholars in the field, this book demonstrates extensive use of family archives, Iranian, Russian and Caucasian travelogues and memoirs, and newly available archives in both Iran and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Providing essential background to current international tensions, this book will be of particular use to students and scholars with an interest in the Middle East and Russia.

3-Foxbat-Tomcat

(Left) Soviet Mig-25 Foxbat (Right) Iranian Air Force Grumman F-14A Tomcat. The Tomcat remains the most modern aircraft in the Iranian Air Force inventory, past and present. The Tomcat “persuaded” the Russians to halt their Mig-25 Foxbat over-flights into Iranian airspace in the late 1970s. The Mig-25 was destined to meet the Tomcat again in combat during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988). Tomcats shot down large numbers of Iraqi jets during the war, including Russian piloted Foxbats. The London-based Air Power Journal reported in 1999 that “…the presence of one or two Tomcats was usually enough to send the Iraqi jets scurrying away…” (See pp. 32 in “IRIAF: 75th Anniversary review”, World Air Power Journal, Volume 39 Winter 1999 issue, pp.28-37). (Picture Sources: Left Photo from World Blue Airways and Right photo from IIAF.net).

Below are the Table of Contents of the book.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Empires and Revolutions: Iranian–Russian Encounters since 1800 – Stephanie Cronin
  •  The Impact of Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union on Qajar and Pahlavi Iran: Notes toward a Revisionist Historiography – Afshin Matin–asghari
  • The early Qajars and the Russian Wars – Maziar Behrooz
  • Khosrow Mirza’s mission to Saint Petersburg in 1829 – Firuza Abdullaeva
  • Russian Land Acquisition in Iran: 1828 to 1911 – Morteza Nourai and Vanessa Martin
  • How Russia hosted the entrepreneur who gave them indigestion: New revelations on Hajj Kazem Malek al–Tujjar – Fatema Soudavar
  • Deserters, Converts, Cossacks and Revolutionaries : Russians in Iranian Military Service 1800–1920 –  Stephanie Cronin
  • The Question of the Iranian Ijtima‘iyun–e ‘Amiyun Party – Sohrab Yazdani
  • Georgian Sources on the Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1905–1911): Sergo Gamdlishvili’s Memoirs of the Gilan Resistance – Iago Gocheleishvili
  • Constitutionalists and Cossacks: the Constitutional Movement and Russian Intervention in Tabriz, 1907–1911 – James Clark
  • Duping the British and outwitting the Russians? Iran’s foreign policy, the ‘Bolshevik threat’, and the genesis of the Soviet–Iranian Treaty of 1921 – Oliver Bast
  • The Comintern, the Soviet Union and Working Class Militancy in Interwar Iran Touraj Atabaki
  • An Iranian–Russian Cinematic Encounter – Emily Jane O’Dell
  • The Impact of Soviet Contact on Iranian Theatre: Abdolhossein Nushin and the Tudeh Party. Saeed Talajooy
  • Iran, Russia and Tajikistan’s Civil War – Muriel Atkin
  • Iran and Russia: a Tactical Entente – Clément Therme

Book Review of Farrokh Text by Small Wars Journal

 

Kaveh Farrokh’s third text. Iran at War: 1500-1988-(ایران در جنگ (۱۹۸۸-۱۵۰۰– has been reviewed in the Small Wars Journal by Youssef Aboul-Enein on July 12, 2012.

 

 

Iran at War: 1500-1988. Osprey Hardcover 480 pages, released May 24, 2011 • ISBN: 978-1-84603-491-6. Contact: John Tintera, Marketing Director @ 718/433-4402, john.tintera@ospreypublishing.com.

To order consult Chapters-Indigo or Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

Cover jacket of Iran at War: 1500-1988. [CLICK TO ENLARGE] A photo taken in 1926 of a military assembly in Tehran. The troops are about to pose for a military review. Standing at far left with hand resting on sword is Colonel Haji Khan Pirbastami (of Northern Iranian origin). Note the diverse nature of Iranian troops, reminiscent of the armies of Iran since antiquity. Kurds, Azaris, Lurs, Baluchis, Qashqais, Persians, all partake as one in the assembly.  Colonel Haji Khan and the officer to the right are members of the Gendarmerie para-military forces. Haji Khan died just a year later when fighting as a colonel with the Iranian army against Bolshevik/Communist and Russian troops attempting to overrun northern Iran after World War One.  

Note that this text has also been reviewed by the Wall Street journal (click on icon below):

 

The Farrokh text has been reviewed by the Iran-based Library, Museum and Center of Manuscripts (see also –ارایه کتاب «ایران در جنگ: ۱۹۸۸-۱۵۰۰» در کتابخانه مجلس-).

The review by Youssef Aboul-Enein opens in the following fashion:

Dr. Kaveh Farrokh … has published a timely volume immersing readers in five centuries of how Persians have waged and conducted war.  The book delves deeply into the history and psychology of warfare and provides a grounding of how Iranians see threats and challenges today. 

The book begins with the Safavids, the empire that ruled Persia from 1501 to 1736, and was largely responsible for imposing Shiism in the region, making it the state religion and forcing the conversion of Sunni Muslims, Jews and Zoroastrians.  His insights are fascinating, and include the caste system introduced by the Arabs when they conquered Persia, which led to a yearning for an Islamic system that incorporated and respected Persian identity.  Shah Ismail I, the founder of the Safavid Empire, is detailed and we see a military leader who although was merciless towards Sunnis, personally provided medical care to his soldiers.  Shah Ismail would battle the Uzbeks, Portuguese, and Ottoman.   

[Click to Enlarge]Shah Ismail as depicted by a European painter – the painting is now housed in the Uffizi Gallery in Italy. Note the Latin terms “Rex Persareum” [Monarch of Persia] which makes clear that Shah Ismail was the king of Safavid Persia or Iran. Despite being hopelessly outmatched by the Ottoman armies in manpower and firerams, Ismail stood his ground in Chaldiran on August 23, 1514. Despite their victory, the Ottoman Turks, who had also sufferred heavy losses,  failed to conquer Iran.

Note then the following observation about the Safavids by Youssef Aboul-Enein:

It was under Shah Abbas I that the Persian army began to acquire gunpowder, and readers will be surprised to learn of the intrigues between the Shiite Muslim Empire of the Safavids and various European monarchs wanting to use the Safavids to divert the growing power of the Sunni Ottoman Empire.  Imagine what the Ottomans could have accomplished if it were not for the Shiite Safavid Empire challenging the eastern edges of their empire

 

Rare drawing by a European traveller who witnessed the aftermath of the liberation of Tabriz by Shah Abbas I on October 21, 1603. Local Azari citizens welcomed the Iranian Safavid army as liberators and took harsh reprisals against the defeated Ottoman Turks who had been occupying their city. Many unfortunate Turks fell into the hands of Tabriz’s citizens and were decapitated (Picture Source: Matofi, A., 1999, Tarikh-e-Chahar Hezar Sal-e Artesh-e Iran: Az Tamadon-e Elam ta 1320 Khorsheedi, Jang-e- Iran va Araqh [The 4000 Year History of the Army of Iran: From the Elamite Civilizaiton to 1941, the Iran-Iraq War]. Tehran:Entesharat-e Iman, p.63). Had the Ottomans not been embroiled in Iran and the Caucasus, their armies could have advanced much deeper into Europe.

Youssef Aboul-Enein then notes the following regarding the military career of Nader Shah:

The section on Nader Shah is exquisite, and contains a few unique tactical innovations, like the use of camels with incendiary materials sent within the ranks of Elephants causing them to panic and turn against their Mugal opponents.  Reading Nader Shah’s campaigns matter for it will give you a grounding on fighting in the terrains as varied as Iraq to Afghanistan.  After the Shah Tahmasp I was attacked by the Ottomans, Afghans and Russians, the Safavid Persian Empire was carved up between these powers.  Nader Shah would reorganize the Persian Army and would be instrumental in restoring the Persian Empire created by Shah Ismail and Abbas, he would also put aside the weak figurehead Shah Tahmasp II and assume rule evolving from Nader Khan to Nader Shah, he is right or wrong Islam’s Napoleon and just as controversial.  Nader Shah use of a highly mobile light cannon, the Zanbourak, that can be packed on camels and set up quickly to amass firepower is a must read. 

 

[CLICK TO ENLARGE] A painting of the Battle of Karnal (February 22, 1739) made by Mosavar ol-Mamalek.The battle ended in an overwhelming victory for Nader Shah (see his statue in the inset photo). The Iranians then occupied Delhi and captured India’s royal jewels. Some Indian historians (i.e. Sarkar) have argued that India was severely weakened by Nader Shah; this allowed the British Empire to easily spread its dominance over the entire Indian subcontinent just decades after the battle of Karnal (picture source: R. Tarverdi (Editor) & A. Massoudi (Art editor), The land of Kings, Tehran: Rahnama Publications, 1971, p.228).

The review then discusses the book’s sections on the Zands, Qajars, and Pahlavis. Youssef Aboul-Enein then concludes: 

The section on the Iran-Iraq War is a must read and offers a fresh narrative of the tactics used by the Islamic Republic against Saddam’s armies.  My only critique is that I would have liked to have seen a discussion or even section on Iranian use of proxies like Hizbullah to asymmetrically undermine their adversaries.  That said, the book is recommended for anyone interest in warfare generally, the Middle East, and even Afghanistan.  In short, this is the kind of book worthy of discussion in America’s War Colleges of the 21st century.

 

[CLICK TO ENLARGE] Elements of the Iraqi 12th Armored Division assemble at Fakkeh (in the Dezful area) on March 23rd 1982 to rescue remnants of the Iraqi 4th Army Corps crushed by a powerful Iranian offensive (Left – Steven J. Zaloga, Modern Soviet Combat Tanks, Osprey Vanguard  37, pp.32).  As these units deployed to attack, they were bombed and strafed by up to 95 Iranian F-4 and F-5 combat aircraft.  The Iraqi 12th Armored Division was virtually eliminated. At right are Iranian regular army troops atop an overturned Iraqi tank of the 12th armoured division (source: www.shahed.isaar.ir). Note that the vehicle has been overturned as a result of aerial bombardment by Iranian F-4 and F-5 combat aircraft.  For more see Pars TV (August 27, 2011).

Dr. Armen M. Ayvazyan’s New Text on Armenian Military History

Dr. Armen M. Ayvazyan (Aivazian) has written an excellent military history text entitled:

The Armenian Military in the Byzantine Empire: Conflict and alliance under Justinian and Maurice  – see also Flyer in pdf (click here…)

ISBN : 978-2-9173-2939-9

128 pages, 15x21cm,

With full colour battlefield map 21x27cm

Price: € 14,50 / $19,95

Language : English

Release date: June 22, 2012

The foreword of the text has been written by Dr. Ilkka Syvanne, Vice Chairman for the Finnish Society of Byzantine Studies. Below are highlights from Dr. Syvanne’s review:

“When I was asked to write a foreword for this book, I was very pleased to comply becuase there is a definite need for the kind of study Dr. Ayvazyan has written…Dr. Armen Ayzazyan’s…dense study of Byzantine, Armenian and Iranian military relations is a pioneering piece of scholarhsip, indeed capable of triggerring a renewed interest by Western military historians inot the too-often ignored Armenian material. Not coincidentally,  this is one of the author’s stated objectives in his Preface, which represents, in effect, a well-developed investigative draft plan for future students of Armenian military history.”

For the entire foreword by Dr. Ilkka Syvanne, kindly click here… 

CLICK TO ENLARGEA photocopy of a miniature which has been used in Dr. Ayvazyan’s book – the image depcits a military scene from a fourteenth-century Armenian manuscript (source: La Storia di Alessandro il Macedone. Codice armeno miniato del XIV secolo (Venezia, San Lazzaro, 424), a cura di Giusto Traina, con la collaborazione di C. Franco, D. Kouymjian, C. Arslan, Padoue, 2003.)

Dr. Ayvazyan is in fact the author of several monographs, book chapters, and many articles in Armenian and international journals.

Dr. Ayvazyan is the Director of the “Ararat” Center for Strategic Research and Senior Researcher in the Matenadaran, the Yerevan Institute of Medieval Manuscripts. He holds doctoral degrees in History (1992) and Political Science (2004).  For more information on Dr. Armen M. Ayvazyan and his accomplishments, kindly consult his official website (click here…)

Dr. Armen Ayvazyan in Lyons, France. He was a recipient of an International Security Studies grant provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, working in affiliation with the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflicts, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University (1995). During the 1997-1998 academic year, he was a Visiting Senior Fulbright Scholar, affiliated with the Center for Russian and East European Studies, Stanford University, USA. He was a Visiting Alexander S. Onassis Foundation Fellow at ELIAMEP, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (2000-2001, Athens).

Dr. Ayvazyan’s recent textbook on Armenian military history has also referred to Kaveh Farrokh’s first text entitled Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-651 –اسواران ساسانی in reference to the importance and honor granted by the Sassanian dynasty’s military to Armenian knights in the prestigious ranks of the Sassanian elite knights or Savaran (or Asvaran).

CLICK TO ENLARGE- The court of Khosrow II in the early 7th century AD. From left to right – Guiw Nobleman, Queen Shireen, Khosrow II “Parveez” and the legendary Sassanian general from Armenia, Smbat Bagratuni. The latter defeated a massive Turco-Hun force from Central Asia in 619 AD – he then drove the remnants of the invaders back into the depths of Central Asia. Bagratuni achieved this success just as General Shahrbaraz was invading Egypt in that same year (619 AD) (for more information consult: pp. 255-257, Farrokh, –سایه‌های صحرا-Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War-Персы: Армия великих царей, 2007;  pp.53-54, Farrokh, Elite Sassanina Cavalry, 2005). Picture source: Farrokh, Plate G, -اسواران ساسانی- Elite Sassanian cavalry, 2005.