7 Great African Military Leaders Who Repelled European and Arab Oppression

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Source: http://atlantablackstar.com

hannibal-600x267 African military history is considered one of the oldest in the world. These militaries were led by some of the greatest leaders in time. Here’s a look at seven of the most extraordinary commanders in history: hanibal-barca1 Hannibal Barca Born in 247 B.C., while there is no picture of Hannibal in existence, the coin pictured below is often used to represent Hannibal and his legacy of tamed elephants. Hannibal is said to be one of the greatest military strategists of all time, whose battles helped to build African history. Hannibal began serving in the military at 17 years old, when his father was killed in battle. In 218 BC, Hannibal and his troops fought in the Second Punic War in the Alps. While Hannibal lost many men in the Alps, he went on to lead troops for 15 years, winning several battles, including the Battle of Cannae, where he lost 6,000 troops to Rome’s 70,000. Toussaint-L’Ouverture-600x424 Toussaint L’Ouverture The Haitian Revolution was led by Toussaint L’Overture, born in 1743, in an effort to equalize master and slave. His effort, which began in 1791 in Saint Domingue as an uprising of enslaved Africans, eventually created the independent state of Haiti, bringing the vile institution to the attention of the world. L’Ouverture also worked to improve the economy of Saint Domingue, instated paid labor on plantations, negotiated trade, and built a formidable army. Rather than war, much of L’Overture’s success was a result of carefully strategized political and military tactics to overcome his enemies. shaka-Zulu-600x624 King Shaka Zulu Born in 1787, South African King Shaka Zulu was drafted into the military at 23. He rose through the ranks at a rapid pace, proving to be especially skilled in battle strategy and tactics. He became the chieftain of the Zulu in 1816 when his father passed away. Shaka Zulu developed several methods of battle, to include the use of short-handled spears to create better cover and accuracy in battle; and military formations which proved optimal for success. Shaka Zulu also instilled a discipline in his army that made them legendary throughout the region. These changes and advancements as an army led to a better economy for the Zulu Nation, and had a lasting effect on South African history. Taharqa-600x379 Taharqa A Pharaoh of the 25th Dynasty and King of the Kingdom of Kush in northern Sudan, Taharqa succeeded his father Piye, who was said to be the first of a series of Nubian kings who ruled throughout Egypt for nearly a century. Taharqa led one of the strongest armies, and main international forces of the time, and busts and monuments of him could be seen throughout Egypt. Taharqa’s success in battle led to a period of peace in which the country flourished. Ras-Mengesha-Yohannes1-600x427 Ras Mengesha Yohannes Ras Mengesha Yohannes is the founder of one of the two most senior cadet branches of the Ethiopian Imperial Solomonic Dynasty. Defeating the Egyptians in the Battle of Gundet and Gura in 1876, Yohannes fought for Ethiopian sovereignty. His efforts resulted in the restoration of Ethiopia’s right to import weapons and goods. Although Yohannes died in battle, his efforts and military leadership shaped Ethiopian history and restored their economic power. Moors-in-Spain-600x680 Tariq ibn Ziyad Tariq ibn Ziyad was a Muslim general who led the conquer of Spain. This war is said to be one of the most influential wars of Muslim history. Beginning in 711, and ending in 720 with the majority of the Iberian Peninsula under Muslim rule. This move helped to cease oppression of the inhabitants and establish a form of justice. Hendrik-Witboii Hendrik Witboii Born into a family of leaders in Nambia in 1830, Hendrik Witboii was the Chief of Nama. He led his people into South West Africa in 1885 in an effort to fight the German colonization there. Appearing on most Namibia bank notes, he was inaugurated in the Heroe’s Acre in 2002, of which the founding president stated, “Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi was the first African leader who took up arms against the German imperialists and foreign occupiers in defense of our land and territorial integrity. We, the new generation of the Land of the Brave, are inspired by Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi’s revolutionary action in combat against the German Imperialists who colonized and oppressed our peoples. To his revolutionary spirit and his visionary memory we humbly offer our honor and respect.” Sources: http://www.blackhistoryheroes.com/2012/07/hannibal-barca-of-carthage-north-africa.html http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part3/3h326.html http://www.nytimes.com/1860/02/01/news/toussaint-l-ouverture-lecture-by-mr-wendell-phillips.html http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2008/02/black-pharaohs/robert-draper-text http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/king-shaka-zulu http://www.ethiopiantreasures.co.uk/pages/yohannes.htm http://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/hendrik-witbooi-chief-nama-dies http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/583587/Tariq-ibn-Ziyad http://www.namibian.org/travel/namibia/history/witbooi.html http://www.namibian.com.na/index.php?id=28&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=60629&no_cache=1

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