It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
In 1845, Rev. Joseph Wolff, who had undertaken an expedition to discover the two officers' fate and barely escaped with his life, published an extensive account of his travels in Central Asia, which made Conolly and Stoddart household names in Britain for years to come.
Conolly's portrait by James Atkinson is in the British National Portrait Gallery. His 1840-1842 diaries as well as his letters and reports to Sir J. C. Hobhouse and William Cabell are in the British Library; his 1839 letters to Viscount Ponsonby are in the Durham University library.
Griboyedov Alexander Sergeyevich (1795-1829) was a Russian diplomat, playwright and composer. He was born in Moscow 4(15) January 1795. Like his contemporary Alexander Pushkin, he belonged to the well off upper class and mixed in high circles of society. He is recognized as a homo unius libri, a write of one book, whose fame rests on the brilliant verse comedy Woe from Wit, still one of the most staged plays n Russia.
For the assistance in signing Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828 he was appointed as a Minister Plenipotentiary and sent to Persia. On the way to Persia he came to Georgia and married a 16-year-old daughter of his friend Prince Nino Chavchavadze. Due to a conflict in Persia, Griboyedov was furiously killed at the Russian embassy by Persian mob.
From the onset, the CFOA was intended to go eastward but the building of a line from Istanbul to Mesopotamia raised several problems. First, the financial risk appeared to big for the German banks and the CFOA to undertake alone such a venture. For this reason, a new company with a broader investor base was needed. The Deutsche Bank sought support from the British and French investors in return for a large share of the equity (30% each) in this new company.
But quickly, the project became political as well because the Great Powers were wary of a line that could have a major strategic role. The British in particular feared that this line could provide an overland access to India and put their own monopoly interests into jeopardy. They feared also that the line would reinforce the German influence in Anatolia and Mesopotamia. The German government itself gave this kind of advertisement when the Kaiser visited the Sultan to sponsor the project. Under public opinion pressure, the British government had to veto the participation of British investors in this project.
The French had a different approach: instead of withdrawing, they accepted the offer to enter in capital of the Baghdad Railway in the hope to be able the get some control over this project. They feared that the Baghdad Railway might compete with their own companies SCP and DHP. The French were also the main lenders to the Ottomans and kept a close eye on the state finance. However in order so safeguard public opinion at home, the French Government did not allow trading of the Baghdad Railway shares at the Paris stock exchange, thus very much reducing the liquidity of the trading. If the British had the same approach, one can speculate that a Franco British alliance could have taken control of the project at any point.
In 1890, the intend of the Ottoman Government and the German engineers was to reach Mesopotamia with a "northern route" Ankara Kayseri Sivas Diyarbakır.
Mackinder warned British strategists about preventing Eurasian unification:
“What if the Great Continent, the whole World-Island [Africa and Eurasia] or a large part of it [e.g., Russia, China, Iran, and India] were at some future time to become a single and united base of sea-power? Would not the other insular bases [e.g., Britain, the U.S., and Japan] be outbuilt [sic] as regards [to] ships and outmanned as regards [to] seamen?” 
In the north of Sweden, well above the Arctic Circle near Kirunavaara, one of the world's largest reserves of high-grade magnetite ore had been developed, with an extraordinary 68% average iron content, almost three times as rich per ton as the iron ores of Alsace-Lorraine. Kiruna and the nearby mines at Gaellivare, had supplied German steel mills in the Ruhr with the greatest portion of their iron ore, ever since Germany had been largely stripped of her ore resources in Alsace-Lorraine and Silesia, by the 1919 Versailles Treaty.
The dependence of the German steel industry on the Swedish iron ore was no small affair. By 1938, shortly before Hitler marched into Austria, German steel production had tripled in tonnage from 1913, on the eve of the First World War. Ruhr steel mills depended on imported iron ore for almost three-quarters of their steel-making needs, and Sweden provided more than 11 million tons of that in 1939 alone. After 1939, Sweden had to replace lost French iron ore as well. The economic inter-dependency between Swedish iron ore and German steel was strategic in every sense. Without sufficient steel, no tanks would roll; the Luftwaffe would be without planes; no guns, no artillery, in short, all materiel required to execute a major war would lack.
Because of Kiruna's extreme location, there had been only two routes built to get the Swedish ore to export markets. The one route, by rail to the eastern Swedish port of Luleaa, on the Gulf of Bothnia facing Finland, froze over in winter. The only other export route, the only route in fact for almost half the entire year, was across Norway, to the ice-free port of Narvik on the Atlantic, and from there by ship along Norway's coast to the north German ports.
At the beginning of the war in 1939, the two largest importers of the rich Swedish iron ore had been Britain, which took about 10%, and Germany, which took more than 70% of Sweden's ore export. British military intelligence was, therefore, well aware of the logistics of the iron ore deliveries to Germany, and of its vital importance to Germany for any future full-scale war. As well, they had been passed a copy from French intelligence of a confidential report from Fritz Thyssen to Hitler and Goering, in which the German steel industry leader noted that the determination of victory or defeat for Germany lay in the iron ore fields of northern Sweden.
That was Churchill's intent.
New Delhi has suspended all arms trade with Tel Aviv after blacklisting Israel Military Industries (IMI) over corruption allegations.
The Indian government says the contracts were halted for alleged 'illicit trading and bribery'.
Arms deals with six other companies --from Poland, Singapore as well as India-- were also suspended.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani tribesmen avenging a mosque attack surrounded two militant strongholds and destroyed the homes of some Taliban commanders, an official said Monday as the death toll in the fighting hit 13.
As many as 1,600 tribesmen have joined a citizens' militia in Upper Dir district — an indication of rising anti-Taliban sentiment in Pakistan as the military pursues its offensive against the militant group in the nearby Swat Valley.
The militias, known as lashkars, were focusing on two villages known as Taliban strongholds, said Khaista Rehman, a local police chief. Officials said Sunday the tribesmen had managed to clear three other villages.
119th Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — A 20-year-old Canadian soldier was killed Monday morning on a foot patrol when an explosive device detonated in a hotbed of insurgency south-west of Kandahar City.
Pte. Alexandre Peloquin was evacuated by helicopter to the Multinational Medical Facility at Kandahar Airfield, where he succumbed to his injuries.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our fallen comrade during this very difficult time," said Brig.-Gen. Jonathan Vance, commander of Canadian troops in Kandahar. "While our ultimate goal remains to leave Afghanistan to Afghans, in a country that is better governed, more peaceful, and more secure, let's not consider the tragic death of our soldiers as a failure of our mission as this is precisely what our enemy is counting on.
"Our collective efforts here are making a noticeable difference in helping Afghans reclaim their lives from oppression and deplorable living conditions."
Peloquin, a member of 3rd battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment Battle Group, was serving with the 2nd battalion of the Quebec-based regiment in the volatile Panjwaii District.
Canadian military funerals involve many rituals seen in other parts of the world. The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery use a 25-pounder gun and limber as a funeral vehicle, for example. Volleys are fired over the grave when the body is interred. Muffled drums are played during the procession to the graveside. Medals and insignia are carried into the funeral service on a velvet pillow, along with the deceased's headdress.
Says Richard: "I am French Canadian, born and raised in Quebec, reserve and full-time service from Quebec, and, personally, if I was killed overseas on my mission I would be appalled if I was not given the Canadian flag and buried with the Canadian flag."
Authorities in southern Afghanistan said local and foreign troops have killed as many as 60 Taliban militants in the past week, as part of a stepped up anti-insurgency operation. And about 7,000 additional U.S. troops have begun deploying across volatile southern Afghanistan.
Deployment of additional American troops in Afghan border areas has worried Pakistani officials. They have long maintained the militancy in Pakistan has gained strength from insurgents who have been fleeing the U.S-led offensive in Afghanistan and taking refuge in Pakistani border areas.
"The police were shooting to kill, but that's not all, because they hid the dead," one man told the BBC.
"They took them to the ravine and threw them from the helicopter in plastic bags. There are also dead on the river banks. Up there beyond the hill, there are more, as if it were a common grave."
Brief History of Great Game
The first American to attempt to trek to Lhasa was William Rockhill, a young diplomat in Beijing in 1889. Disguised as a Mongolian, speaking Tibetan and Chinese, he failed because his guides deserted him in a vast uninhabited plateau. Two years later in 1891 he tried again and was repelled only 177 km (110 miles) from Lhasa. However he gathered much information on his travels about Tibetan culture and religion.
Pyotr Kuzmich Kozlov (Russian: Пётр Кузьми́ч Козло́в; October 3, 1863 near Smolensk - September 26, 1935, Peterhof) was a Russian explorer who continued the studies of Nikolai Przhevalsky in Mongolia and Tibet.
Although prepared by his parents for military career, Kozlov chose to join Przhevalsky's expedition. After his mentor's death, Kozlov continued travelling in Asia with his successors, Pevtsov and Roborovsky. In 1895, he took general command of the expedition from ailing Roborovsky. From 1899 to 1901 he explored and later described in a book the upper reaches of Huang He, Yangtze, and Mekong rivers.
During the first decade of the 20th century, when the Great Game reached its peak, Kozlov rivalled Sven Hedin and Aurel Stein as the foremost researcher of Xinjiang
The science of distribution. The science, that is, which traces the arrangement of things in general on the Earth's surface." Mackinder is also credited with introducing two new terms into the dictionary : "manpower" , "heartland".
The manuscripts discovered in Mogao Caves (mostly in Cave No. 17), Dunhuang are of great historical, philological and literary interest. Works thought to be long lost turned up (e.g. the Hua Hu Jing). Ancient editions of the classics were found (e.g. editions of the Analects of Confucius). Unknown ancient Central Asia languages came to light (e.g. the Khotanese language). A copy of the Diamond Sutra of the Tang Dynasty, the earliest surviving printed book in the world, is also among the manuscripts.
A Treaty of friendship and alliance between the Government of Mongolia and Tibet was signed on February 2, 1913, at Urga (now Ulaanbaatar). However, there are been doubts about the authority of the Tibetan signatories to conclude such a treaty, and therefore about whether it constitutes a valid contract.
Occasionally, the mere existence of the treaty has been put into doubt, But its text in Mongolian language has been published by the Mongolian Academy of Sciences in 1982, and in 2007 an original copy in Tibetan language and script surfaced from Mongolian archives.
Lhasa, (pronounced /ˈlɑːsə/ in English, Tibetan: ལྷ་ས་ [IPA: [l̥ʰásə] or l̥ʰɜ́ːsə]; simplified Chinese: 拉萨; traditional Chinese: 拉薩; pinyin: Lāsà) sometimes spelled Lasa, is the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China. Lhasa is located at the foot of Mount Gephel.
Traditionally, the city is the seat of the Dalai Lama and the capital of Tibet, and is one of the highest capitals in the world. It is the location of the Potala and Norbulingka palaces (both are included as World Heritage Sites), and in Tibetan Buddhism is regarded as the holiest centre in Tibet. The city is home to 257,400 people (2004 census estimate).
Stein was born in Budapest in a Jewish family. His parents had him and his brother, Ernst Eduard, baptised as Lutherans, while his parents and sisters remained Jews (a common way at the time to ensure one's sons get easier ahead in society). He later became a British citizen and made his famous expeditions under British sponsorship
Nicholas Roerich, (October 9, 1874 - December 13, 1947) also known as Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerikh (alternative transliteration) (Russian: Николай Константинович Рерих), was a Russian painter, philosopher, scientist, writer, traveler, public figure. He created about 7000 paintings (many of them are exhibited in well-known museums of the world) and about 30 literary works. N.Roerich is an author of idea and initiator of International Pact for protection of artistic and academic institutions and historical sites (Roerich’s Pact) and a founder of international movement for culture defense. Roerich earned several nominations for the Nobel Prize.
The SS-Tibet expedition lead by Schäfer visited Tibet between April 1938 and August 1939. The purpose of the expedition was to acquire flora and fauna specimens, to perform an ethnological survey of the populace, and to gather cultural information on the Tibetans that included everything from their religious practices to the sexual positions used by older monks during homosexual relations with young adepts. There were rumors of secret tasks that included the SS making overtures to the Reting Regent to lay the groundwork for a German invasion of India through Tibet (if such a scheme had been formulated, Stalingrad stopped it cold). Schäfer was also rumored to be tasked with (dis)proving the "missing link" between apes and humans by collecting specimens that would prove his theory that the Abominable Snowman or Yeti was in fact nothing more than a species of bear that roamed between Nepal and Tibet. Schäfer failed to bag his "Yeti" bear, but the expedition did gather over fifty live animals that were sent back to Germany. Another interesting acquisition of the expedition was the 108-volume sacred document of the Tibetans, the Kangschur. Besides espionage and hunting for the Abominable Snowman, the SS-Tibet expedition may have also been involved in "geophysical" research to prove the "World Ice Theory", which may have included the search for fossilized remains of "giants" as part of the cosmology of the theory (more below).
1812 Napoleon invades Russia
1812 Moorcroft and Hearsey explore Western Tibet
Russian Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov signs the Treaty of Bucharest, ending the Russo-Turkish War, 1806-1812 and making Bessarabia a part of Imperial Russia
War of 1812: U.S. President James Madison asks the U.S. Congress to declare war on Great Britain.
The War of 1812 begins between the United States and the British Empire
Why does the Great Game Begin in 1812?
Considering its historical significance to Canada it is surprising that so few stamps have been issued to commemorate the War of 1812. A by-product of the Napoleonic Wars that preoccupied most of Europe at the beginning of the 19th century, the War of 1812, declared by the United States on Great Britain under President James Madison on 18 June 1812, is a source of pride to Canadians as many inhabitants, principally of Upper Canada, fought alongside the Regular British Army and Indian allies to thwart American plans to capture what were then the British colonies on their northern flank.
The war was primarily caused by the British Navy's boarding of American ships to forcibly enlist any sailors of British origin and its attempts to prevent the United States from trading with France. In addition, the Americans, who were encountering strong resistance from Indians in their push westward, believed that Great Britain was encouraging Indian opposition.
The United States planned to take over Upper Canada (the basis of modern-day Ontario) and Lower Canada (the basis of modern-day Québec) in a single mass attack. The invasion was to occur at four strategic locations: across from Detroit, in the Niagara area, at Kingston, and south of Montréal. If they succeeded, they would isolate and then capture the stronghold of Québec City, thereby cutting off any further British troop movement up the St Lawrence River and into the Great Lakes.
There were wins and losses on both sides during the two years that the war lasted, with no clear victory for either of the warring parties (the Treaty of Ghent signed on 24 December 1814 maintained the status quo). The British colonies, however, remained independent of the United States and their inhabitants would continue to forge what would become some fifty years later the new Canadian nation.
Only three Canadian stamps featuring themes related to the War of 1812 have been issued: one commemorating the birth of Sir Isaac Brock, "the Hero of Upper Canada," one commemorating Laura Secord, and one in honour of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles-Michel de Saleberry. Tecumseh, who was an important ally, has never been portrayed on a Canadian stamp. He has, however, been honoured by Guernsey in a 1996 souvenir sheet that was produced for CAPEX 96.
In 1814, during the War of 1812, the White House was set ablaze by British troops during the Burning of Washington, in retaliation for burning Upper Canada's Parliament Buildings in the Battle of York; much of Washington was affected by these fires as well. Only the exterior walls remained, and they had to be torn down and mostly reconstructed due to weakening from the fire and subsequent exposure to the elements, except for portions of the south wall. Of the numerous objects taken from the White House when it was ransacked by British troops, only two have been recovered — a painting of George Washington, rescued by then-first lady Dolley Madison, and a jewelry box returned to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939 by Alan Van Dyke, a Canadian man who said that his grandfather had taken it from Washington. Most of the spoils were lost when a convoy of British ships led by HMS Fantome sank en route to Halifax off Prospect during a storm on the night of November 24, 1814.
Uzbekistan has issued a rare statement of praise for the U.S. government, calling President Barack Obama's recent address to Muslims a start to a new era of relations with the Islamic world.
A statement from Uzbekistan's Foreign Ministry says Mr. Obama's speech was an "appeal to break with a vicious circle of mistrust" with the Muslim world. The ministry said it confirms the "realism and pragmatism" in the Obama administration's foreign policy approach.