It was roughly twenty years ago that Bosnian Serbs, with arms and the direct support of the Serbian military and government, laid siege to Sarajevo for almost three years. It was part of a Serbian nationalistic effort to lay total waste to an entire people through organized rape and murder. I have no vested interest in Balkan politics save for a general concern over the state of humanity and/or flooding disasters, but as an exercise in short-term memory, holding grudges and skewed perception it’s hard to beat. I still can’t help but think about Serbian atrocities whenever I watch Novak Djokovic play tennis.
In WWI, Winston Churchill decided to come through the Dardanelles, hoping to use the British Fleet to demolish Istanbul and force the Ottoman Empire to capitulate. When the first wave of ships was unsuccessful in this venture, suffering only modest losses, the Allies lost their nerve to try and force the straits through naval power alone and the decision was made to land troops in order to eliminate the Ottoman artillery. The next eight months saw massive casualties on both sides with each army firmly entrenched and little movement along the lines. Stymied, the allied command made the decision to evacuate after eight months of hell. This is the battle of Gallipoli. Continue reading →