Revolt Breaks Out in Crete - History

Revolt Breaks Out in Crete - History

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In 1905 a revolt broke out in Crete against the government that was aligned with the Ottomans. The revolutionary’s demanded that Crete become part of Greece. The revolution failed to achieve its ultimate goal but forced the government to make reforms.

The people of Crete, who were overwhelmingly Christian, had initially revolted against the Ottomans in 1897, demanding that they unite with Greece. The great powers had opposed that and instead agreed to a compromise where Crete would be an autonomous state under Ottoman control, however, the Great Powers decided to guarantee the independence of Crete. Many Cretans were not happy with the agreement and continued to push to become a part of Greece.
In February 1905, Eleftherios Venizelos, who was a past Prime Minister, held a meeting in his home town of Therisco with a group of other Cretan leaders. Three hundred armed men joined them. Soon 7,000 sympathizers came to Theriso that officially became the headquarter of what became known as the Theriso Revolt. The rebels opposed what they described as the authoritarian rule of Prince George, who was the ruler. Clashes soon broke out between the rebels and the Cretan police forces. The rebels informed the representatives of the Great Powers of there demands and even created there own provisional government. That government went as far as printing its own postal stamps. Soon an actual civil war had developed. The Great Powers were not sympathetic to the rebels and often intervened militarily on the side of the government. The general population, by and large, supported the goal of the revolt, and when the Cretan Assembly met in September 1905 and passed a series of reforms that were part of the demands of the rebels. Those laws limited the power of Prince as well as granting universal male suffrage.

While the Great Powers were actively intervening in the conflict on behalf of the government, they also recognized the fact that popular opinion was with the rebels. They began negotiating with the rebels. With the arrival of winter, the rebels found their situation deteriorating. Their worsening status convinced the rebels to surrender in return for both amnesty and the ability to go to Greece. In addition, the great powers agreed to several significant reforms that the insurgents demanded, including a Greek led police force.
In November, 1,000 rebels were transported to Greece, and the rebellion was officially called off. The Great Powers followed through on their promises.
Tensions remained in the aftermath of the revolt. Those tensions were not resolved until 1913 when Crete became part of Greece.

Battles of Lexington and Concord

The Battles of Lexington and Concord, fought on April 19, 1775, kicked off the American Revolutionary War (1775-83). Tensions had been building for many years between residents of the 13 American colonies and the British authorities, particularly in Massachusetts. On the night of April 18, 1775, hundreds of British troops marched from Boston to nearby Concord in order to seize an arms cache. Paul Revere and other riders sounded the alarm, and colonial militiamen began mobilizing to intercept the Redcoat column. A confrontation on the Lexington town green started off the fighting, and soon the British were hastily retreating under intense fire. Many more battles followed, and in 1783 the colonists formally won their independence.

4BC-100AD Timeline according to Josephus

4 BC Herod the Great dies. His kingdom is divided among his heirs into Judea, Galilee, and other states.

6 AD Birth of Matthias ben Joseph, descendant of the Hasmonean (Maccaabean) kings and priests. Will be the father of Josephus.

6 AD Archalaeus, Ethnarch of Judea, is deposed. Judea ceases to be governed by Jews and becomes a Roman province under Procurator Coponius. Census and taxes imposed.

6 Resistance movement against Rome begun by Judas the Galilean and Zadok: "No ruler but the Almighty." Their insurgency will eventually lead to the War.

14 Emperor Augustus dies, is succeeded by Tiberias.

26 Pontius Pilate becomes Procurator of Judea.
Religious conflicts cause riots against him that are violently suppressed.

c. 31 Jesus of Nazareth gains following.

c. 33 Jesus executed in Jerusalem.

35 Pilate replaced by Marcellus.

37 Josephus born. His parents, of royal and priestly lines, are prominent in Jerusalem. 37 Tiberias dies. Gaius Caligula becomes Emperor.

41 Caligula assassinated. Claudius becomes emperor with the aid of Agrippa, grandson of Herod. Claudius bestows kingship of Judea and other lands on Agrippa.

c. 42-43 Agrippa I suppresses followers of Jesus, imprisons church leader Peter. Project to build "huge fortifications" around Jerusalem is begun.

44 Agrippa I dies. Judea again comes under the rule of a Roman procurator (Fadus).

50 Some Jewish lands assigned to kingship of Agrippa II.

51 Josephus at 14 is recognized for his understanding of Jewish law.

52 Felix becomes Procurator of Judea.

53 Josephus at 16 goes on spiritual search. Spends time with the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes. Lives in desert with teacher Banus

54 Death of Claudius. Nero becomes Emperor.

56 Josephus returns to Jerusalem at age 19. Decides to align himself with the Pharisees. 54 and after. Jewish revolutionary activity heats up. "Sicarii" terrorists kill High Priest Jonathan. Felix uses force and executions to suppress revolt. Would-be prophets stir up the people the "Egyptian," a Messianic figure, gains followers, many of whom are killed by Felix's army.

57 Paul visits Jerusalem to report to James about his efforts to gain followers among the non-Jews. While visiting the Temple he is accused of defiling the holy place and arrested.

59 Festus becomes Procurator. Paul presents his case to Festus and Agrippa II, then is sent to Rome to appeal to the Emperor.

59-62 Festus continues to battle Sicarii. Clashes between Jews and Greeks in Caesarea. An "impostor" promises salvation to Jews who followed him into the desert he and his followers are killed by Festus' cavalry. High priest Ismael and others are imprisoned in Rome by Nero after a dispute with Agrippa II.

62/63 Josephus, at 26, travels to Rome to free priests imprisoned there. with the help of a Jewish stage actor he gains the favor of Nero's wife Poppaea, who attains their release. 62 Festus dies. While Judea waits for the new Procurator to arrive, the recently appointed High Priest Ananus arrests and executes "James, the brother of Jesus called the Christ." Prominent Jews are angered and denounce Ananus to Agrippa II, who subsequently deposes Ananus after three months as High Priest.

62 Albinus is made Procurator.

62-65 Albinus wages an anti-terrorist campaign. Hostage-taking by the sicarii becomes commonplace.

65 Florus becomes Procurator. HIs abuses of power cause the sedition to gain followers. Violence breaks out in Caesarea and spreads to Jerusalem.

65 Josephus returns to Jerusalem to find revolt beginning and the Antonia fortress captured. He advocates against war. 66, Summer. Jewish War begins. Sacrifices for the Emperor are halted in the Temple. Masada is seized by the Zealots. The Roman garrison at the Antonia Fortress is captured. The High Priest is slain by the rebels.

66, Autumn . Gallus advances on Jerusalem with the Twelfth Roman Legion but withdraws. His forces are pursued into Syria.

66 The revolutionary government appoints Josephus commander of Galilee. He fortifies the major cities.

Spring 67 The Roman forces under Vespasian march into Galilee. The city of Gadara falls. Josephus withdraws to Jotapata.

July 67 Jotapata falls after a six-week siege. Josephus captured. Claims that the Messianic prophecies that began the war actually applied to Vespasian, who therefore was destined to become Emperor. Vespasian, charmed, retains Josephus as hostage and interpreter.

67-68 Vespasian continues operations in Galilee. Prepares for assault on Jerusalem.

68 Nero commits suicide. Galba and Otho, in turn become Emperor and are killed.

July 69 Vespasian's legions proclaim him Emperor after he uprooted the 3 previous Roman Emperors, (Galba, Otho and Vitellius), who lasted briefly under Vespasion's subversive campaign to gain the throne, (see Tacitus' "The Murderous Year of the 4 Emperors" ). Josephus' prophecy having come true, he is freed. He takes Vespasian's family name of Flavius and marries a captive.

70, Winter . Vitellius beheaded. Vespasian travels to Rome. Titus, the son of Vespasian, takes command of the forces in Judea. Josephus divorces his wife, marries another in Alexandria.

70, May 1 . Titus encamps outside Jerusalem, beginning the siege. Josephus attempts to persuade the leaders of the revolt to surrender, but fails.

70, Tenth of Av (August 30). The Temple of Jerusalem is destroyed. Jerusalem is taken by Titus. The War effectively ends.

71 Josephus rewarded with land in Judea, but moves to Rome. Becomes Roman citizen. Is given a commission by Vespasian to write a history of the war.

73 Birth of Josephus' son Hyrcanus.

c. 75 Josephus receives a gift of land in Judea from Vespasian. Divorces his second wife. Marries a Jewish woman of Crete.

76 Birth of Josephus' son Justus.

c. 78 The Jewish War, Josephus' first-hand account, is published.

78 Birth of Josephus' son Simonides Agrippa.

79 Death of Vespasian. Titus becomes Emperor.

81 Death of Titus. Domitian becomes Emperor.

93 Antiquities of the Jews

c. 95-100 Against Apion, a defense of his previous work. 95 Death of Agrippa II.


Discontent had been brewing for years before the Revolt of the Comuneros. The second half of the 15th century saw profound political, economic, and social changes in Spain. Economic growth created new urban industries and offered a route to power and wealth not tied to the aristocracy. Support from these urban elites was critical to Ferdinand and Isabella's centralization of power, and they acted as a counterweight to the landed aristocracy and the clergy. [1]

However, with Isabella I's death and Joanna's accession in 1504, this alliance between the national government and the budding middle class faltered. [1] The Castilian government decayed with each successive administration, becoming rife with corruption. [2] Joanna's husband, Philip I, reigned briefly he was replaced by Archbishop Cisneros as regent for a short time, and then by Isabella's widower Ferdinand who ruled from Aragon. [3] Ferdinand's claim to continue ruling Castile as regent was somewhat tenuous after Isabella's death, but no plausible alternatives existed as the sovereign, their widowed daughter Joanna, was mentally unfit to reign on her own. [3] The landed nobility of Castile took advantage of the weak and corrupt Royal Council to illegally expand their territory and domain with private armies while the government did nothing. [4] In response, the towns signed mutual defense pacts, relying on each other rather than the national government. [5]

The budgets of both Castile and Aragon had been in poor condition for some time. The government had expelled the Jews in 1492 and the Muslims of Granada in 1502, moves that undercut lucrative trades and businesses. [6] Ferdinand and Isabella had been forced to borrow money to pay troops during and after the Reconquista, and Spanish military obligations had only increased since then. [7] A large number of troops were required to maintain stability in recently conquered Granada, threatened by revolt from the maltreated moriscos (former Muslims who had converted to Christianity) and frequent naval raids from Muslim nations along the Mediterranean. [8] Additionally, Ferdinand had invaded and occupied the Iberian part of Navarre in 1512, and forces were required to garrison it against Navarrese revolts and French armies. [9] Very little money was left to pay for the royal army in Castile proper, let alone service foreign debts. The corruption in the government since Isabella's death only made the budget shortfalls worse. [7]

Succession of Charles Edit

In 1516, Ferdinand died. The remaining heir was Ferdinand and Isabella's grandson Charles, who became King Charles I of both Castile and Aragon in coregency with his mother Joanna. Charles was brought up in Flanders, the homeland of his father Philip, and barely knew Castilian. [10] The people greeted him with skepticism, but also hoped he would restore stability. With the arrival of the new king in late 1517, his Flemish court took positions of power in Castile young Charles only trusted people he knew from the Netherlands. Among the most scandalous of these was the appointment of the twenty-year-old William de Croÿ as Archbishop of Toledo. The Archbishopric was an important position it had been held by Archbishop Cisneros, the former regent of the country. [11] [12] Six months into his rule, discontent openly simmered among rich and poor alike. Even some monks began to agitate, denouncing the opulence of the royal court, the Flemish, and the nobility in their sermons. One of the first public protests involved placards posted in churches, which read:

You, land of Castile, very wretched and damned are you to suffer that as noble a kingdom as you are, you will be governed by those who have no love for you. [13]

With the unrest growing, Charles' paternal grandfather Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I died in 1519. A new election had to be held to choose the next emperor. Charles campaigned aggressively for the post, vying with King Francis I of France to bribe the most prince-electors. [14] Charles I won the election, becoming Emperor Charles V and cementing the power of the House of Habsburg. He prepared to head to Germany to take possession of his new domains in the Holy Roman Empire. [14]

New taxes: The Cortes of Santiago and Corunna Edit

Charles had already stressed the treasury to its limit with his extravagant Flemish court, and over 1 million florins were spent in bribes for the election. [12] Taxes [a] had to be raised to cover the debt, but any new taxes had to be approved by the Cortes (Castile's own parliamentary body). Thus, in late March 1520, Charles convened the Cortes in Santiago de Compostela. Charles ensured the Cortes would only have limited power, and further attempted to stack the Cortes with pliable representatives he could bribe. [12] Support for the opposition only increased in response, and the representatives demanded that their grievances be heard first before any new tax was granted. [15]

A group of clerics soon circulated a statement in protest of the king. It argued three points: any new taxes should be rejected Castile should be embraced and the foreign Empire rejected and if the king did not take into account his subjects, the Comunidades themselves should defend the interests of the kingdom. [16] It was the first time where the word comunidades (communities, communes) was used to signify the independent populace, and the name would stick to the councils later formed. [16]

At this point, most of the members of the Cortes in Santiago intended to vote against the king's requested duties and taxes, even with the Cortes stacked with royalists. In response, Charles decided to suspend the Cortes on April 4. [17] He convened them again in Corunna on April 22, this time getting his program passed. [12] On May 20, he embarked for Germany, and left as regent of his Spanish possessions his former tutor, Adrian of Utrecht (better known as the future Pope Adrian VI). [18]

Sasha and Feldhendler Meet

Two days after the wood cutting incident, Leon Feldhendler asked that Sasha and his friend Shlomo Leitman come that evening to the women's barracks to talk. Though both Sasha and Leitman went that night, Feldhendler never arrived. In the women's barracks, Sasha and Leitman were swamped with questions — about life outside the camp. about why the partisans had not attacked the camp and freed them. Sasha explained that the "partisans have their tasks, and no one can do our work for us."

These words motivated the prisoners of Sobibor. Instead of waiting for others to liberate them, they were coming to the conclusion that they would have to liberate themselves.

Feldhendler had now found someone who not only had the military background to plan a mass escape, but also someone who could inspire confidence in the prisoners. Now Feldhendler needed to convince Sasha that a plan of mass escape was needed.

The two men met the following day, on September 29. Some of Sasha's men were already thinking of escape — but for just a few people, not a mass escape. Feldhendler had to convince them that he and others in the camp could help the Soviet prisoners because they knew the camp. He also told the men of the retaliation that would occur against the whole camp if even just a few were to escape.

Soon, they decided to work together and information between the two men passed via a middle man, Shlomo Leitman, so as not to draw attention to the two men. With the information about the routine of the camp, the layout of the camp, and specific characteristics of the guards and SS, Sasha began to plan.


On February 15, 2011, anti-government rallies were held in Benghazi by protesters angered by the arrest of a human rights lawyer, Fethi Tarbel. The protesters called for Qaddafi to step down and for the release of political prisoners. Libyan security forces used water cannons and rubber bullets against the crowds, resulting in a number of injuries. To counter the demonstrations further, a pro-government rally orchestrated by the Libyan authorities was broadcast on state television.

As the protests intensified, with demonstrators taking control of Benghazi and unrest spreading to Tripoli, the Libyan government began using lethal force against demonstrators. Security forces and squads of mercenaries fired live ammunition into crowds of demonstrators. Demonstrators also were attacked with tanks and artillery and from the air with warplanes and helicopter gunships. The regime restricted communications, blocking the Internet and interrupting telephone service throughout the country. On February 21 one of Qaddafi’s sons, Sayf al-Islam, gave a defiant address on state television, blaming outside agitators for the unrest and saying that further demonstrations could lead to civil war in the country. He vowed that the regime would fight “to the last bullet.”

The government’s sudden escalation of violence against protesters and other civilians drew international condemnation from foreign leaders and human rights organizations. It also seemed to damage the coherence of the regime, causing a number of high-level officials—including the minister of justice and a number of senior Libyan diplomats, including the Libyan ambassador to the United Nations—to resign in protest or issue statements condemning the regime. A number of Libyan embassies around the world began to fly Libya’s pre-Qaddafi flag, signaling support for the uprising. Support for Qaddafi also seemed to waver in some segments of the military as the Libyan air force carried out attacks against demonstrators, two Libyan fighter pilots flew their jets to Malta, choosing to defect rather than obey orders to bomb Benghazi.

On February 22 Qaddafi delivered an angry, rambling speech on state television, condemning the protesters as traitors and calling on his supporters to fight them. The speech took place in the Bāb al-ʿAzīziyyah compound, Qaddafi’s primary headquarters in Tripoli, in front of a building that still showed extensive damage from a 1986 air strike by the United States. He resisted calls to step down and vowed to remain in Libya. Although he denied having used force against protesters, he repeatedly vowed to use violence to remain in power.

Clashes continued, and Qaddafi’s hold on power weakened as Libyan military units increasingly sided with the opposition against the regime. As demonstrators acquired weapons from government arms depots and joined forces with defected military units, the anti-Qaddafi movement began to take the form of an armed rebellion. The newly armed rebel forces were able to expel most pro-Qaddafi troops from the eastern portion of Libya, including the city of Benghazi, and many western cities by February 23. The Libyan-Egyptian border was opened, allowing foreign journalists into the country for the first time since the conflict began. Pro-Qaddafi paramilitary units continued to hold the city of Tripoli, where Qaddafi and members of his family and inner circle remained.

As Qaddafi massed his forces in the Tripoli area to hold off the rebels there, his public statements seemed to indicate that he was becoming increasingly isolated and desperate. Speaking by telephone on Libyan state television on February 24, Qaddafi once again lashed out at protesters, saying that the young people at the core of the protest movement were acting under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs and that the demonstrations were being controlled by al-Qaeda.

Foreign leaders continued to condemn the violence. However, international efforts to intervene or pressure the regime to end the bloodshed were complicated by the presence of many foreign nationals in Libya still waiting to be evacuated.

The regime continued its efforts to hold the capital, launching attacks around Tripoli, some of which were repelled by rebel forces. On February 25 pro-Qaddafi gunmen in Tripoli attacked unarmed protesters and others as they emerged from mosques after Friday prayers.

International pressure for Qaddafi to step down increased as violence continued and foreign nationals were evacuated. The UN Security Council unanimously approved a measure that included exacting sanctions against the Qaddafi regime, imposing a travel ban and an arms embargo, and freezing the Qaddafi family’s assets. The measure also referred the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The United States, the European Union (EU), and a number of other countries also imposed sanctions. On February 28 the United States announced that it had frozen at least $30 billion in Libyan assets.

Amid continuing skirmishes as rebel forces strengthened their positions outside Tripoli, Qaddafi invited a number of Western journalists to the city in an attempt to demonstrate that the situation remained under control in the capital. In interviews he continued to blame al-Qaeda and hallucinogenic drugs for the uprising. He claimed that Western leaders who had called for him to step down had done so out of a desire to colonize Libya, and he insisted that he was still well loved by Libyans.

A rebel leadership council, formed by the merger of local rebel groups, appeared in Benghazi in early March. Known as the Transitional National Council (TNC), it declared that its aims would be to act as the rebellion’s military leadership and as the representative of the Libyan opposition, provide services in rebel-held areas, and guide the country’s transition to democratic government.

Conditions in Libya worsened as the armed struggle continued, and thousands of people, mostly migrant workers from Egypt and Tunisia, fled toward the borders. Governments and humanitarian organizations began to organize efforts to address worsening shortages of food, fuel, and medical supplies throughout the country.

After the rebels succeeded in taking control of eastern Libya and a number of cities in the west, the conflict appeared to enter a stalemate. The Qaddafi regime still controlled enough soldiers and weapons to hold Tripoli and to stage fresh assaults, which rebel fighters, although poorly equipped, were largely able to repel. Most fighting took place in the towns around Tripoli and in the central coastal region, where rebels and Qaddafi loyalists battled for control of the oil-export terminals on the Gulf of Sidra.

As the fighting continued, forces loyal to Qaddafi seemed to gain momentum, launching successful assaults to retake control in strategic areas around Tripoli and on the coast of the Gulf of Sidra. Attacking with fighter jets, tanks, and artillery, pro-Qaddafi forces had by March 10 driven rebel forces from Zawiyah, west of Tripoli, and from the oil-export centre of Ras Lanuf. Those gains highlighted the Qaddafi loyalists’ advantages in weaponry, training, and organization.

As Qaddafi appeared to gain the upper hand, the international community continued to debate possible diplomatic and military responses to the rapidly developing conflict. Countries worked to establish contact with the TNC, although only France granted it official recognition, announcing on March 10 that it would treat the council as Libya’s legitimate government. International condemnation of the Qaddafi regime continued to build, and, at an emergency summit on March 11, the EU unanimously called for Qaddafi to step down. However, the international community remained divided over the possibility of military intervention—most likely by imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, a measure long requested by the rebels to prevent Qaddafi loyalists from launching air attacks. Some countries, including France and the United Kingdom, signaled their support for such an operation, while others, including the United States and Germany, expressed their reservations, emphasizing the need for broad international consensus and warning against possible unforeseen consequences of military intervention. The African Union (AU) rejected any military intervention in Libya, asserting that the crisis should be resolved through negotiations, whereas the Arab League passed a resolution on March 13 calling on the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.

On March 15 Qaddafi loyalists launched a heavy assault on the eastern city of Ajdābiyā, the last large rebel-held city on the route to Benghazi. On March 17, as Qaddafi loyalists advanced on the remaining rebel positions in Benghazi and Tobruk in the east and Misurata in the west, the UN Security Council voted 10–0—with abstentions from Russia, China, Germany, India, and Brazil—to authorize military action, including imposition of a no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians. The Qaddafi regime responded by declaring an immediate cease-fire, although there were reports that pro-Qaddafi forces continued to launch attacks after the announcement and that heavy fighting continued in Benghazi.

Beginning March 19, a coalition of U.S. and European forces with warplanes and cruise missiles attacked targets in Libya in an effort to disable Libya’s air force and air defense systems so that the UN-authorized no-fly zone could be imposed. Coalition missiles struck buildings in a compound used by Qaddafi as a command centre, and in eastern Libya warplanes attacked a pro-Qaddafi armoured column positioned outside Benghazi. Emboldened by the air strikes, rebel forces once again launched an offensive to challenge pro-Qaddafi forces’ hold on the oil centres on the coast. Qaddafi denounced the coalition attacks as an act of aggression against Libya and vowed to continue fighting international forces and the rebels.

Coalition spokesmen announced on March 23 that the Libyan air force had been completely disabled by coalition air strikes. However, heavy fighting continued on the ground. Pro-Qaddafi units massed around the rebel-held city of Misurata in the west and the contested city of Ajdābiyā in the east, shelling both heavily and causing significant civilian casualties. Attacks by coalition warplanes soon weakened pro-Qaddafi ground forces in eastern Libya, allowing rebels to advance west again.

On March 27 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) officially took command of military operations previously directed by the United States, France, and the United Kingdom in Libya. The handover came after several days of debate between NATO countries over the limits of international military intervention several countries had argued that the coalition’s aggressive targeting of pro-Qaddafi ground forces had exceeded the mandate set by the UN Security Council to protect civilians.

On March 30 Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa defected, fleeing to the United Kingdom. The defection of Koussa, a former head of Libyan intelligence and a longtime member of Qaddafi’s inner circle, was interpreted as a sign that support for Qaddafi among senior Libyan officials was beginning to wane.

As the fighting progressed, it began to appear that, even with NATO attacks on pro-Qaddafi forces, the Libyan rebels—a poorly armed and disorganized force with little military training—would be unable to oust Qaddafi or achieve decisive successes against Qaddafi’s professional troops. Diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis intensified, with an AU delegation traveling to Tripoli on April 10 to present a cease-fire plan to Qaddafi. AU representatives announced that Qaddafi had accepted the plan, although pro-Qaddafi forces continued to launch attacks on April 11. The plan was rejected by the rebel leaders on the grounds that it did not provide for Qaddafi’s departure from Libya.

As the stalemate continued, the United Kingdom announced on April 19 that it would send a team of military liaison officers to Libya to advise rebel leaders on military strategy, organization, and logistics. The next day France and Italy announced that they would also send advisers. All three countries specified that their officers would not participate in fighting. The Libyan foreign minister condemned the decision to send military advisers, saying that such aid to the rebels would only prolong the conflict.

NATO attacks continued and targeted a number of sites associated with Qaddafi and members of his inner circle, such as the Bāb al-ʿAzīziyyah compound in Tripoli, drawing protests from Libyan officials who charged that NATO had adopted a strategy of trying to kill Qaddafi. His son Sayf al-Arab and three of Qaddafi’s grandchildren were killed in a NATO air strike in April. In June the ICC issued arrest warrants for Qaddafi, his son Sayf al-Islam, and the Libyan intelligence chief, Abdullah Senussi, for ordering attacks against civilians during the uprising. Some observers expressed concern that the ICC’s proceedings against Qaddafi would discourage him from relinquishing power voluntarily. In spite of pressure from NATO attacks, rebel advances in the eastern and western regions of Libya, and the Qaddafi regime’s international isolation, Qaddafi continued to hold power in Tripoli.

After months of stalemate, the balance of power once again shifted in the rebels’ favour. In August 2011 rebel forces advanced to the outskirts of Tripoli, taking control of strategic areas, including the city of Zawiyah, the site of one of Libya’s largest oil refineries. Rebels soon advanced into Tripoli, establishing control over some areas of the capital on August 22. As rebel fighters battled pro-Qaddafi forces for control of Tripoli, Qaddafi’s whereabouts were unknown. The next day rebel forces appeared to gain the upper hand, capturing the Bāb al-ʿAzīziyyah compound, Qaddafi’s headquarters. Rebels raised Libya’s pre-Qaddafi flag over the compound as jubilant crowds destroyed symbols of Qaddafi. Fighting between rebels and loyalists continued in a few areas of Tripoli.

By early September rebel forces had solidified their control of Tripoli, and the TNC began to transfer its operations to the capital. Qaddafi, effectively forced from power, remained in hiding, occasionally issuing defiant audio messages. Rebel forces focused their attention on the few remaining cities under loyalist control, attempting to use negotiations to persuade loyalist commanders to surrender peacefully and avoid a bloody ground assault. When negotiations failed, rebel troops began to push into the cities of Sirte and Banī Walīd, engaging in heavy fighting with loyalists. The TNC achieved new international legitimacy on September 15 when the UN General Assembly voted to recognize it as the representative of the Libyan people in the UN. On October 20 Qaddafi was discovered and killed by rebel fighters in his hometown, Sirte, as they fought to solidify their control of the city.

The TNC struggled to establish a functional government and exert its authority in the months that followed the fall of the Qaddafi regime. Local rebel militias that had fought autonomously during the uprising, especially those in western Libya, were reluctant to submit to an interim government formed in eastern Libya with little input from the rest of the country and were suspicious of some TNC officials’ past ties to the Qaddafi regime. The militias refused to disarm, and skirmishes between rival militias over territory were common.

Revolt Breaks Out in Crete - History

On 27 May 1961, then Malayan Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman announced plans to bring together five territories in Southeast Asia, namely, Singapore, Malaya, Sarawak, North Borneo (Sabah) and Brunei, into a political and economic union known as “Malaysia”. [1] The sultan of Brunei regarded the Malaysia project as “very attractive” and had indicated his interest to join the federation. [2] However, he was met with open opposition from within his country. [3] The armed resistance to challenge Brunei’s entry into Malaysia that followed became a pretext for Indonesia to launch its policy of Konfrontasi (or Confrontation, 1963–1966) with Malaysia. [4]

On 8 December 1962, Brunei was rocked by an armed uprising, which became known as the “Brunei Revolt”. [5] The revolt’s main instigator was A. M. Azahari, leader of the Partai Ra’ayat (People’s Party), which was a radical political party in Brunei at the time. Under the banner of its clandestine military wing, the self-styled Tentara Nasional Kalimantan Utara (North Borneo National Army), the insurgents rapidly seized control of the oil fields in Seria and took Europeans as hostages. They also attacked several police stations and other government buildings in Brunei town. The unrest soon spread to the neighbouring territories of North Borneo and Sarawak. To bolster support for the uprising, the insurgents tried to capture the sultan of Brunei in a bid to make him endorse the uprising. [6] The sultan, however, denounced the revolt and immediately sought help from the British. [7] The British sent troops, including Gurkha guards, from Singapore within 12 hours of the uprising and recaptured Seria on 11 December, causing the armed insurrection to disintegrate. [8]

The outbreak of the revolt implied that there was widespread resistance to the Malaysia plan within Brunei, and this may have contributed to the sultan of Brunei's decision in July 1963 not to join Malaysia. [9] The revolt also revealed the strategic importance of the British troops based in Singapore. [10] The Brunei Revolt and its quick suppression by British troops sparked open opposition from the Philippines and Indonesia to the creation of Malaysia. [11]

1. Mighty “Malaysia”. (1961, May 29). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Malaysia project 'very attractive' Brunei's Sultan tells Council. (1961, December 6). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG Leifer, M. (1978, April). Decolonisation and international status: Brunei. International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944- ), 54(2), 242–243. Retrieved from JSTOR.
3. Mazlan Nordin. (1961, July 7). Self-rule first, says Brunei politician. The Straits Times, p. 1 Borneo people and Tengku's Malaysia plan. (1961, July 18). The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG Leifer, Apr 1978, p. 243.
4. Leifer, Apr 1978, p. 243 Lefier, M. (1996). Dictionary of modern politics of South-East Asia (p. 72). London Routledge, New York. Call no.: RSING 959.053 LEI.
5. Kahin, G. M. (c2003). Southeast Asia: A testament (p. 161). London: RoutledgeCurzon. Call no.: RSEA 959.05 KAH.
6. Leifer, Apr 1978, p. 243 Chin, K. W. (1983). The defence of Malaysia and Singapore: The transformation of a security system, 1957–1971 (pp. 63–65). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Call no.: RSING 355.0330595 CHI.
7. Brunei Revolt: 2 towns captured. (1962, December 9). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG Leifer, 1996, p. 71.
8. Chin, 1983, pp. 63–65.
9. Leifer, Apr 1978, p. 243.
10. Chin, 1983, p. 65.
11. Kahin, c2003, p. 160.

The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

Wat Tyler and the Peasants Revolt

In 1381, some 35 years after the Black Death had swept through Europe decimating over one third of the population, there was a shortage of people left to work the land. Recognising the power of ‘supply and demand’, the remaining peasants began to re-evaluate their worth and subsequently demanded higher wages and better working conditions.

Not surprisingly the government of the day, comprising mainly of the land-owning Bishops and Lords, passed a law to limit any such wage rise. In addition to this, extra revenue was required to support a long and drawn out war with the French, and so a poll tax was introduced.

It was the third time in four years that such a tax had been applied. This crippling tax meant that everyone over the age of 15 had to pay one shilling. Perhaps not a great deal of money to a Lord or a Bishop, but a significant amount to the average farm labourer! And if they could not pay in cash, they could pay in kind, such as seeds, tools etc. All of which could be vital to the survival of a farmer and his family for the coming year.

Things appear to have come to a head when in May 1381 a tax collector arrived in the Essex village of Fobbing to find out why the people there had not paid their poll tax. The villagers appear to have taken exception to his enquiries and promptly threw him out.

The following month, the 15-year-old King Richard II sent in his soldiers to re-establish law and order. But the villagers of Fobbing meted out the same unceremonious treatment to them.

Joined by other villagers from all corners of the southeast of England, the peasants decided to march on London in order to plead their case for a better deal before their young king. Not that the peasants blamed Richard for their problems, their anger was aimed instead at his advisors – Simon Sudbury, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, whom they believed to be corrupt.

In what appears to have been a well organized and coordinated popular uprising, the peasants set off for London on the 2nd June in a sort of pincer movement. The villagers from the north of the Thames, primarily from Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, converged on London via Chelmsford. Those from the south of the Thames, comprising mainly of Kentish folk, first attacked Rochester Castle and then Sudbury’s Canterbury, before setting off for Blackheath on the outskirts of London.

More than 60,000 people are reported to have been involved in the revolt, and not all of them were peasants: soldiers and tradesmen as well as some disillusioned churchmen, including one Peasant leader known as ‘the mad priest of Kent’, John Ball.

As the peasants moved on to London, they destroyed tax records and registers, and removed the heads from several tax officials who objected to them doing so. Buildings which housed government records were burned down. It was during the march one man emerged as their natural leader – Wat Tyler (Walter the Tyler) from Kent.

The rebels entered London (as some of the locals had kindly left the city gates open to them!) and somehow the Savoy Palace of the unpopular John of Gaunt got a little scorched in the process, with much of the palace’s contents being deposited in the nearby Thames.

With all of the temptations of the ‘big city’ on offer however, Wat Tyler seems to have lost control of some of his ‘pleasure seeking’ peasants. With some falling foul to the power of the demon drink, looting and murder are reported to have taken place. In particular however, the peasants targeted their hatred at the lawyers and priests of the city.

In an attempt to prevent further trouble, the king agreed to meet the Wat Tyler at Mile End on 14th June. At this meeting, Richard II gave into all of the peasants demands and asked that they go home in peace. Satisfied with the outcome – a promised end to serfdom and feudalism – many did start the journey home.

Whilst this meeting was taking place however, some of the rebels marched on the Tower of London and murdered Simon Sudbury, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Robert Hales, the Treasurer – their heads were cut off on Tower Hill. With his armies spread throughout France, Scotland and Wales, King Richard II spent the night in hiding, fearing for his life.

The next day Richard met Wat Tyler and his hardcore of Kentish rebels again, this time at Smithfield, just outside of the city’s walls. It is thought that this was the idea of the Lord Mayor of London, Sir William Walworth, who wanted the rebels out of his city, perhaps fearing the damage that they could cause within its cramped medieval streets lined with tinder dry wooden houses.

At this tense and highly charged meeting the Lord Mayor, apparently angered by Wat Tyler’s arrogant attitude to the king and his even more radical demands, drew his dagger and slashed at Tyler. Badly injured with a knife wound in his neck, Tyler was taken to nearby St Bartholomew’s Hospital.

It is not exactly clear how the king talked his way out this little predicament with the massed crowd of rebels surrounding him, but it must have been good. One account records that the king addressed them with the cry, ‘I am your king, I will be your leader. Follow me into the fields’.

Whatever the king said or promised, it must have been sounded very convincing, as it resulted in the revolting peasants dispersing and returning home! But what of the fate of Wat Tyler? Well, he certainly didn’t receive the five-star treatment that he could expect today from St Bart’s! Thanks to Walworth’s orders, the knife wound in Tyler’s neck was extended, which had the effect of removing his head just a few inches above the shoulders!

By end of the summer of 1381, just a few weeks after it had started, the peasants’ revolt was over. Richard did not, or could not due to his limited power in Parliament, keep any of his promises. He also claimed that as these promises were made under threat, they were therefore not valid in law. The remaining rebels were dealt with by force.

The poll tax was withdrawn and the peasants were forced back into their old way of life – under the control of the lord of the manor, bishop or archbishop.

The ruling classes however did not have it all their own way. The Black Death had caused such a shortage of labour that over the next 100 years many peasants’ found that when they asked for more money the lords had to give in. Forced eventually to perhaps recognise the peasants’ power of ‘supply and demand’!

Immediate Cause of Revolt

By 1857, the material for a mass upheaval was ready, only a spark was needed to set it afire.

The new Enfield rifle had been introduced in the army. Its cartridges had a greased paper cover whose end had to be bitten of before the cartridge was loaded into the rifle.

The grease was in some instances composed of beef and pig fat. The sepoys, Hindu as well as Muslim, were enraged, as the use of the greased cartridges would endanger their religion.

Many of the sepoys, believed that the Government was deliberately trying to destroy their religion.

The Kiel mutiny

The Kiel mutiny was an anti-government rebellion that broke among German sailors towards the end of World War I. It quickly transformed into a burgeoning revolution and contributed to the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II.


By September 1918, German generals were resigned to the fact they could not win the war. In October, Wilhelm II named Prince Max von Baden, a minor royal of liberal political views, as his chancellor. This appointment, it was hoped, would facilitate armistice negotiations with the Allies – particularly the Americans, who were seen as being more amenable to a peace deal.

The day after his appointment, von Baden contacted US president Woodrow Wilson with peace overtures. At first, Wilson was prepared to broker a ceasefire – until London and Paris became aware of his actions and objected. On October 23rd, von Baden was told that no armistice would be possible without an unconditional German surrender.

As von Baden was working to negotiate a ceasefire, German U-boats were continuing their aggression against Allied mercantile shipping. Three Allied vessels were attacked in October 1918, another factor in the Allied refusal to accept any terms other than total surrender.

Naval failures

Its U-boat campaign aside, the German admiralty had suffered a string of failures in the war. The Kaiser’s fleet had spent most of the conflict in port at Wilhelmshaven and Kiel, boxed in by Allied ships and mines. The war’s only major European naval engagement, the Battle of Jutland (1916), did nothing to dent the British Royal Navy’s dominance.

With the war drawing to an end, the German admiralty gave orders for one last major North Sea battle. Two German destroyer groups would break from the harbour and bombard the French and British coastline, enticing Allied ships to respond.

Once in the open, these Allied ships would be attacked by German U-boats and the rest of the Kaiser’s fleet. It would be “an honourable battle”, according to Admiral Reinhard Scheer, “even if it became a death struggle”.

The Plan 19 “suicide mission”

Operation Plan 19, as it was called, had little chance of success. The German navy, for all its ingenuity and U-boat strength, was hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned by the Allied fleet, which included British, British Commonwealth, French and American ships.

German officers seemed to accept and even relish this final suicide mission. On receiving their orders, some were seen drinking joyful toasts to the imminent battle and the “death of the Kaiserliche Marine”.

The German navy’s enlisted men, however, responded much differently. Few were interested in sacrificing their lives in the freezing waters of the North Sea, in order that the Admiralty might restore some of its lost prestige.

The revolt breaks out

On October 29th, sailors aboard two major ships at Kiel failed to return from shore leave. Within a few hours, the revolt had spread to several battleships and cruisers.

This growing mutiny forced the Admiralty to abandon Operation Plan 19. Instead, they attempted to disperse the mutineers, relocating the troubled ships to other German ports. This divide-and-conquer strategy failed. Within 48 hours, the mutiny had spread to other ports and naval stations.

On November 3rd, the sailors at Kiel, joined by workers from the nearby city, detained their officers and took control of their ships. They also formed elected councils, not dissimilar to the ‘workers’ soviets’ that had precipitated the Russian Revolution the previous year.

A list of demands

Echoing the 14-point peace plan of US President Woodrow Wilson, the Kiel mutineers drafted their list of demands, the first six points being:

“1. The release of all inmates and political prisoners.
2. Complete freedom of speech and the press.
3. The abolition of mail censorship.
4. Appropriate treatment of crews by superiors.
5. No punishment for comrades returning to ships and barracks.
6. No launching of the fleet under any circumstances.”

As the days passed, the Kiel mutiny spread across Germany. It also adopted a distinctly political tone.

Munity becomes revolution

What had begun as a revolt against suicidal naval orders had quickly transformed into a fully-fledged political revolution. Workers’ councils in Hamburg, Bremen, Lubeck, Munich and other cities demanded political reforms. They included the abdication of the Kaiser and of local princes, the end of aristocratic privilege, the empowerment of the Reichstag and the implementation of socialist policies.

On November 7th, Bavaria’s King Ludwig III fled to Austria in fear of his life he later surrendered his power to a republican government. Ludwig would not be the last nor the most significant German royal to be dethroned. Two days later, the Kaiser himself was forced from power, beginning Germany’s transition to republican government.

A historian’s view:
“Whether the sailors and soldiers identified with any socialist party is difficult to ascertain with any certainty. They raised the usual red flags, but those flags were just as likely to stand for a bourgeois republic and improved living conditions as for the creation of a vaguely conceived socialist order. What is clear is that the Kiel mutiny was the opening volley in a period of intense social unrest in central Europe that was to continue well into 1923, during which the fate of Europe itself seems to hang in the balance.”
Murray Bookchin

1. In late October 1918, German warships, which had played little part in World War I, were given orders to instigate one last major battle in the North Sea.

2. The news of this apparent suicide mission, dubbed Operation Plan 19, gave rise to a burgeoning mutiny amongst enlisted ranks stationed in Kiel.

3. On the day the attack was to commence, thousands of sailors from warships stationed at Kiel refused to return to their ships, sparking a mutiny.

4. The Kiel mutiny quickly grew, drawing in workers, soldiers and other sailors and spreading to military bases and cities at various locations around Germany.

5. The political councils formed as a result of Kiel demanded republican and socialist reform. This led to the abdication of several German royals, including Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Citation information
Title: “The Kiel mutiny”
Authors: Jennifer Llewellyn, Steve Thompson
Publisher: Alpha History
Date published: September 8, 2019
Date accessed: Today’s date
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