Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Shivaji & Skanderbeg.

This is coolbert: Here are two military men that successfully fought the forces of Islam.

Men who on opposite sides of the world , against overwhelming odds, fought Muslim armies that had invaded their homelands.

Shivaji the great Hindu king.


Skanderbeg the great leader of the Albanians.

Military men that used similar tactics when faced with an opposition that possessed all the advantages in men and material.

Of Shivaji:

"Using guerrilla tactics superbly suited to the rugged mountains and valleys of the region, he annexed a portion of the then dominant Mughal empire. He is considered a great hero in India particularly in the present-day state of Maharashtra, and stories of his exploits have entered into folklore."

Of Skanderbeg:

"Skanderbeg fought a guerrilla war against the opposing armies by using the mountainous terrain to his advantage. Skanderbeg continued his resistance against the Ottoman forces until his death, with a force rarely exceeding 20,000."

Of Skanderbeg in particular it is noted that he became a nominal Muslim military commander and then apostate [changed religion back to Christianity]. Skanderbeg comes from the corruption of the Turkish "Iskander Bey" [Alexander the King].

[the Alexander the Turks had in mind when they gave Skanderbeg his name was Alexander the Great of Macedon.]

Both men became national heroes revered to this day.

Shivaji is a popular figure amongst modern Hindu nationalists and a source of inspiration for same.

Skanderbeg is considered to be the national hero of Albania. Was a figure of repute even during his lifetime.

"Skanderbeg gathered quite a posthumous reputation in Western Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. With virtually all of the Balkans under Ottoman rule and with the Turks at the gates of Vienna in 1683, nothing could have captivated readers in the West more than an action-packed tale of heroic Christian resistance to the 'Moslem hordes."



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