History Of Terror

 
Since the dawn of humanity, mankind has shown a propensity for inflicting terror on his fellow man – unequalled in any other species – of such unimaginable depths of cruelty and depravity as to be referred to as ‘inhuman’. Whether used strategically, tactically or simply psychotically, terror, symptomatic of man’s inhumanity to man, is therefore a congenital human condition. From Emperor Nero to the SS to Islamic State, the architects of terror continue to plunder the pages of history, indelibly so.

The series will examine a wide cross-section of some of the most infamous, and lesser-known, architects of terror, be they individuals, organizations or regimes and consider how they have impacted, and continue to impact, the course of history. The first title in the series, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: Shadow of Terror over The Sahel, from 2007, for example, highlights today’s murderous jihadists, while the second title in the series, Bloody Mary: Tudor Terror, 1553–1558, looks at an older form of religious-inspired terror.

The UN defines genocide as ‘acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group’: Armenia, The Holocaust, Ukraine, Cambodia and Rwanda are the most infamous examples. The Oxford English Dictionary defines massacre as ‘the indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of people or (less commonly) animals; carnage, butchery, slaughter in number’: Wounded Knee, Katyn Wood, Sharpeville, My Lai, Sabra and Shatila, Srebrenica, Columbine and Orlando are but a handful of thousands of massacres stretching back to the dawn of time. Be it a pogrom, ethnic cleansing, utilitarian genocide, democide, systematic extermination – whatever categorization or euphemism the international lawmakers might choose – it is simply mass murder, and there has never been a paucity of murderers to conduct the business: the death squads.

The series will examine a wide cross-section of some of the most infamous, and lesser-known, architects of terror, be they individuals, organizations or regimes and consider how they have impacted, and continue to impact, the course of history. The first title in the series, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: Shadow of Terror over The Sahel, from 2007, for example, highlights today’s murderous jihadists, while the second title in the series, Bloody Mary: Tudor Terror, 1553–1558, looks at an older form of religious-inspired terror.

The series will also look at the backgrounds, the motivations, catalysts, and the short- and longer-term effects of history’s genocides and massacres. More specifically the series will study the internal workings, the actual mechanics, of mass slaughter be it by lone-wolf psychopaths or ‘industrialized killing machines’ as highlighted by the first series titles, SS Einsatzgruppen: Nazi Death Squads, 1939–1945 and Vlakplaas: Apartheid Death Squads, 1979–1994

All series titles are available from www.pen-and-sword.co.uk or amazon
AlQAEDA in the Islamic Maghreb
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Armenian Geonocide
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Bloody Mary
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Daesh
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Einsatzgruppen
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Emperors of Rome
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Irgun
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Masada
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Night of the Long Knives
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Russian Civil War
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Vlakplaas
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Zulu Terror
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Northern Ireland
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Sierra Leone
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Shanghai Massacre
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Battle of Manila
Nearly four years of brutal Japanese occupation had dimmed Manila’s lustre. The Philippine capital, surrounding an old Spanish fortress, had been a glittering jewel among America’s overseas possessions. But a vast Allied army led by the indomitable MacArthur was ready to take it back from the Japanese. It was a necessary mission and an urgent one for trapped within the old University of Santo Tomas were thousands of ailing prisoners: men and women, young and old, at risk of torture and death by their captors. But the token Japanese garrison had other ideas as desperate units of the Japanese navy dug in to fight to the death against the advancing Americans. Caught in this cruel vice were thousands of Filipinos still trapped in the metropolis, with no hope of escape. From the closing days of January until early March 1945, Manila endured the most bitter fighting in the Pacific theatre, leaving it a charred wasteland littered with the bodies of the dead, soldier and civilian alike, the latter deliberately targeted by Japanese death squads. Such was the carnage and conquest of Manila. Miguel Miranda, formerly a regional reporter, is an author from the Philippines and writes for several Pen & Sword military history series including ‘Cold War 1945–1991’, ‘Death Squads’ and ‘Architects of Terror’. Writing about the Battle of Manila has been an opportunity for him to confront a very dark period in Philippine history, one that is still misunderstood today. To amass the wealth of research and insight for his latest work he pored over volumes of official histories and archives, assembling a detailed narrative on the topic. Not only did the Battle of Manila liberate the Philippines from cruel foreign domination but it set the stage for total independence in 1946. It bookended the American colonial period (1899–1945) and closed a chapter in a long saga of conflict and struggle that has visited his homeland again and again. As a country whose history is shaped by the designs of various empires, the Battle of Manila showed how vital the Philippines is to the region, the gateway to the Asian landmass and the rampart of grand strategy for a would-be superpower. As it was then, as it is today.