Describes the nineteenth-century struggle between Britain and Russia for control of Central Asia
Describes the nineteenth-century struggle between Britain and Russia for control of Central Asia
From the romantic conflicts of the Victorian Great Game to the war-torn history of the region in recent decades, Tournament of Shadows traces the struggle for control of Central Asia and Tibet from the 1830s to the present. The original Great Game, the clandestine struggle between Russia and Britain for mastery of Central Asia, has long been regarded as one of the greatest geopolitical conflicts in history. Many believed that control of the vast Eurasian heartland was the key to world dominion. The original Great Game ended with the Russian Revolution, but the geopolitical struggles in Central Asia continue to the present day. In this updated edition, the authors reflect on Central Asia's history since the end of the Russo-Afghan war, and particularly in the wake of 9/11.
'Let us turn our faces towards Asia', exhorted Lenin when the long-awaited revolution in Europe failed to materialize. 'The East will help us conquer the West.' Peter Hopkirk's book tells for the first time the story of the Bolshevik attempt to set the East ablaze with the heady new gospel of Marxism. Lenin's dream was to liberate the whole of Asia, but his starting point was British India. A shadowy undeclared war followed. Among the players in this new Great Game were British spies, Communist revolutionaries, Muslim visionaries and Chinese warlords - as well as a White Russian baron who roasted his Bolshevik captives alive. Here is an extraordinary tale of intrigue and treachery, barbarism and civil war, whose violent repercussions continue to be felt in Central Asia today.
Uses intelligence reports to reconstruct the war conducted by Germany and Turkey against Britain
This book is for all those who love Kim, that masterpiece of Indian life in which Kipling immortalized the Great Game. Fascinated since childhood by this strange tale of an orphan boy's recruitment into the Indian secret service, Peter Hopkirk here retraces Kim's footsteps across Kipling's India to see how much of it remains. To attempt this with a fictional hero would normally be pointless. But Kim is different. For much of this Great Game classic was inspired by actual people and places, thus blurring the line between the real and the imaginary. Less a travel book than a literary detective story, this is the intriguing story of Peter Hopkirk's quest for Kim and a host of other shadowy figures.
Fitztroy Maclean was one of the real-life inspirations for super-spy James Bond. After adventures in Soviet Russia before the war, Maclean fought with the SAS in North Africa in 1942. There he specialised in hair-raising commando raids behind enemy lines, including the daring and outrageous kidnapping of the German Consul in Axis-controlled Iraq. Maclean's extraordinary adventures in the Western Desert and later fighting alongside Tito's partisans in Yugoslavia are blistering reading and show what it took to be a British hero who broke the mould . . .
Accused by Moscow of being a British master-spy, Colonel F.M. Bailey recounts the 16-month game of cat-and-mouse he played with the Bolshevik secret police. At one point, with a false identity, he joined the ranks of the latter, who unsuspectingly sent him to Bokhara to arrest himself.
Under the banner of a Holy War, masterminded in Berlin and unleashed from Constantinople, the Germans and the Turks set out in 1914 to foment violent revolutionary uprisings against the British in India and the Russians in Central Asia. It was a new and more sinister version of the old Great Game, with world domination as its ultimate aim. German hawks dreamed of driving the British out of India and creating a vast new Teutonic empire in the East, using their Turkish ally as a springboard. At the same time Turkey's leaders aimed to free the Muslim peoples of Central Asia from the Tsarist yoke - and rule them themselves as part of a new Ottoman empire. The shadowy and often bloody struggle which followed was fought out between the intelligence services of King, Kaiser, Sultan and Tsar. It was to spill over into Persia, Afghanistan, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and be felt as far afield as the United States and China. It was around this colossal conspiracy that John Buchan wove his immortal spy story Greenmantle. Here, told in epic detail and for the first time, is the extraordinary story of the Turco-German jihad of the First World War, recounted through the adventures and misadventures of the secret agents and others who took part in it. Pieced together fromthe secret intelligence reports of the day and the long-forgotten memoirs of the participants, Peter Hopkirk's latest narrative is an enthralling sequel to his best-selling The Great Game, and his three earlier works set in Central Asia. It is also highly topical in view of recent events in this volatile region where the Great Game has never really ceased. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism and fears of a resurgent Russia and Germany add greatly to its significance.
No other land has captured man's imagination quite like Tibet. Hidden away behind the highest mountains on earth, and ruled over by a mysterious God-king, it was for centuries a land forbidden to all outsiders. In this remarkable and ultimately tragic narrative, Peter Hopkirk recounts the forcible opening up of this medieval Buddhist kingdom by inquisitive Western travellers during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the race to reach Lhasa, Tibet's sacred capital. This epic, often harrowing tale, which ends with the Chinese invasion of 1950, draws on a colourful cast of gatecrashers from nine different countries. Among them were adventurous young officers on Great Game missions, explorers and mountaineers, mystics and missionaries. All took their lives in their hands, including three intrepid women. Some were never to return.
By relating it to other regional actors, Sergeev creates a more accurate view of the game’s impact on later wars and on the shape of post–World War I Asia.
The Silk Road, which linked imperial Rome and distant China, was once the greatest thoroughfare on earth. Along it travelled precious cargoes of silk, gold and ivory, as well as revolutionary new ideas. Its oasis towns blossomed into thriving centres of Buddhist art and learning. In time it began to decline. The traffic slowed, the merchants left and finally its towns vanished beneath the desert sands to be forgotten for a thousand years. But legends grew up of lost cities filled with treasures and guarded by demons. In the early years of the last century foreign explorers began to investigate these legends, and very soon an international race began for the art treasures of the Silk Road. Huge wall paintings, sculptures and priceless manuscripts were carried away, literally by the ton, and are today scattered through the museums of a dozen countries. Peter Hopkirk tells the story of the intrepid men who, at great personal risk, led these long-range archaeological raids, incurring the undying wrath of the Chinese.
Paul Nazaroff was the ringleader of a desperate plot to overthrow the Bolsheviks in Central Asia in 1918. Declared 'the most dangerous counter-revolutionary at large in the Tashkent region' thus began an extraordinary catalogue of adventures with hair-breadth 'scapes and survival against all odds. Forced to live the life of a hunted animal his escape led him right across Central Asia, over the Himalayas to the plains of Hindustan.
This is a story of adventure in the Hindu Kush Mountains, and of a previously untold Military and Naval Intelligence Mission along about 800 miles of the Durand Line in World War II. The American officers passed through the Tribal Areas and the princely states of the North-West Frontier Province, and into Baluchistan. It also provides an insight into the background and daily life of a Naval Intelligence Officer who was stationed in Karachi, India (now Pakistan), in World War II. He was probably the first American official to travel to all of the Provinces that now comprise the country of Pakistan, and he also traveled in India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
In this sweeping and richly illustrated history, S. Frederick Starr tells the fascinating but largely unknown story of Central Asia's medieval enlightenment through the eventful lives and astonishing accomplishments of its greatest minds--remarkable figures who built a bridge to the modern world. Because nearly all of these figures wrote in Arabic, they were long assumed to have been Arabs. In fact, they were from Central Asia--drawn from the Persianate and Turkic peoples of a region that today extends from Kazakhstan southward through Afghanistan, and from the easternmost province of Iran through Xinjiang, China. Lost Enlightenment recounts how, between the years 800 and 1200, Central Asia led the world in trade and economic development, the size and sophistication of its cities, the refinement of its arts, and, above all, in the advancement of knowledge in many fields. Central Asians achieved signal breakthroughs in astronomy, mathematics, geology, medicine, chemistry, music, social science, philosophy, and theology, among other subjects. They gave algebra its name, calculated the earth's diameter with unprecedented precision, wrote the books that later defined European medicine, and penned some of the world's greatest poetry. One scholar, working in Afghanistan, even predicted the existence of North and South America--five centuries before Columbus. Rarely in history has a more impressive group of polymaths appeared at one place and time. No wonder that their writings influenced European culture from the time of St. Thomas Aquinas down to the scientific revolution, and had a similarly deep impact in India and much of Asia. Lost Enlightenment chronicles this forgotten age of achievement, seeks to explain its rise, and explores the competing theories about the cause of its eventual demise. Informed by the latest scholarship yet written in a lively and accessible style, this is a book that will surprise general readers and specialists alike. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
This easy-to-use reference explores the people and events that shaped Russian military history—and impacted Europe, Asia, and the world—over the past eight centuries. • Helps readers understand the sociopolitical history of Russia and how it continues to exert a major influence in international affairs • Showcases the complex role conflict has played in Russia throughout its history • Includes an introductory essay that discusses how warfare in Russia has progressed over the centuries • Offers entries on wars, battles, organizations, leaders, armies, weapons, and other aspects of war and military life • Provides a ready reference for readers with little or no prior knowledge of Russian history