Yearly Archives: 2012

The Story Behind The nice Cover Collections:Airgraph Microfilm Letters


The Nice Letter Collectections, the complete Cd exist but onlty for premium member

Please syubscribed via comment






The Airgraph Microfilm

WW II Postal History


Created By

Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA

Copyright @ 2012

The Microfilming Of Mail During WW II  Collections Exhibition


Frame One:


1.The microfilming of Mail introduced in the France,Prussian war ,and also in another countries like British  & USA, was revived in Worl War II.



2.History of microfiolming mail

Microfilm first saw military use during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. During the Siege of Paris, the only way for the provincial government in Tours to communicate with Paris was by pigeon post. As the pigeons could not carry paper dispatches, the Tours government turned to microfilm. Using a microphotography unit evacuated from Paris before the siege, clerks in Tours photographed paper dispatches and compressed them to microfilm, which were carried by homing pigeons into Paris and projected by magic lantern while clerks copied the dispatches onto paper.[9]

Additionally, the US Victory Mail(V-Mail)

, and the British “Airgraph” system it was based on

, were used for delivering mail between those at home and troops serving overseas during World War II. The systems worked by photographing large amounts of censored mail reduced to thumb-nail size onto reels of microfilm, which weighed much less than the originals would have. The film reels were shipped by priority air freight to and from the home fronts, sent to their prescribed destinations for enlarging at receiving stations near the recipients, and printed out on lightweight photo paper. These facsimiles of the letter-sheets were reproduced about one-quarter the original size and the miniature mails were then delivered to the addressee. Use of these microfilm systems saved significant volumes of cargo capacity needed for vital war supplies. An additional benefit was that the small, light weight reels of microfilm were almost always transported by air, and as such were much quicker than any surface mail services.

, it was sent from England during WWII, I  included the letter reflecting a note that the address must not be typewritten, odd!

No stamp required either, wonder why?

I have not seen any others like this on this or similar sites, are they uncommon, I have quite a few.





3. The Photostat made from the microfilm

and the spesific window enveloped(Airgraph) envelope in which the message was formarded to the adress ,it was sent from IBOD government or military field  headquater to the field commander,soldier or to their family.

4. Type of Microfilming Mail

Microfilm Models: Precursors of V-Mail

V-Mail microfilm technology was a product of years of discovery and experimentation. Soon after the advent of photography in the mid 1830s, John Benjamin (J.B.) Dancer pioneered the first microphotographs by mounting images on microscope slides. The process, refined through the years with the advancement of technology and microphotography, was capable of shrinking regular documents down to a smaller size which allowed for easy transportation and cataloging. Tiny microfilmed messages were lightweight, and were processed quickly. Because of these characteristics, microphotography became a good candidate for a partnership with wartime mail as early as the 1870s.

The French Pigeon Post

In July 1870 the longtime border disputes between France and its rival Prussia erupted into the Franco-Prussian War. In September of 1871 the conflict escalated and the Prussian army’s siege of the capital effectively cut off the mail between Paris and its surrounding cities. Under these strained conditions, members of the pigeon fanciers’ society L’Esperance (“Hope”) volunteered carrier pigeons to deliver the mail. Initially, government and postal officials were skeptical of the small birds. Nevertheless, as the siege dragged on, it was apparent that a way to get the mail through the blockade was through the air.

The tiny avian messengers did not fly into Paris directly but rather were carried to the city limits by hot air balloon. Balloons seen over Paris were vulnerable to Prussian gunfire and it was safer to launch the balloons with their winged passengers outside of the city boundaries.

Several stations were set up throughout the surrounding French countryside to house the birds and their handlers. These sites also served as relay stations to help the balloons maintain communication with each other. Once a balloon was within safe range of the city, the handler would release the pigeon and the balloon would fly back to safety.

The birds had the difficult task of maneuvering around the perils of the war-torn city. The winged messengers carried the microphotographed letters inside small, quill containers. The successfully delivered microfilm was enlarged for transcription and reading.

The British Airgraph Service

In January 1941 Great Britain partnered with the Eastman Kodak Company to launch the Airgraph service. The Airgraph was created to provide a faster mail service to British forces in the Middle East and Africa. Before the Airgraph was inaugurated, ordinary letters had to be transported by ship. For a letter to travel from Cairo, Egypt to the United Kingdom took an estimated time of 24 to 30 days. The Airgraph reduced that traveling time in half because the microfilmed letters could travel by air instead of by sea. Approximately 4,500 negatives of microfilmed letters weighed just one pound, which left more room for shipping ammunition, blood plasma, and clothing.


Although V-Mail was modeled after Airgraph service with U.S. adaptations to the British format. The size of the Airgraph letter sheet stationery was expanded from 8 x 11 inches to 8 1/2” x 11” and the photographic-print facsimile was also enlarged from 4” x 5” to 4 1/2” x 5 1/2”. Even though these changes were seemingly small, these few extra inches gave the writer more space and helped make the tiny letters easier to read. See the 3rd and 4th images for examples of an Airgraph and a V-mail blank, respectively.

V-Mail forms also had a different address section which made for a speedier delivery. Airgraphs provided a panel for the recipient’s address and the sender was instructed to include his contact information just above the body of his letter. V-Mail stationery had two distinct boxes that separated the sender’s information from the receiver’s. This change not only cut back on misaddressed mail but also made letters easier to trace back to the original sender

5.If the collectors had the same collections please show us to made this exhibition more complete,thanks very much for show us your unusual aeroragraph microfilm of mail collections.

5. During WWII ,in 1943 starting difficult to sent airmails, and the airmail sent by ship with postmark NO AIRMAILS and we could look some pictures of the war situation in 1943 ,many areas were under Germany Hitler occupations, all mail were sencored with Nazi censored stamped, please look some of my collections from this time ,from Germany Occupations Franch area, British Prisoner of War in Germany Camp,and also other POW camps letters. and at least only microfilming mails exist until 1944 when the Allied Armed Forces starting to liberating Euro Area from Germany Hitler Occupations,

6.J have just found new informations that airgraph microfilm letter also issued for civilian in India,New Zealand ,South Afric and other counties.


7May be some one can told us how to sent the microfiolming mails, I have heard from  senior collectors that the microfilm sent by pigeon bird(burung merpati),please comment from senior collectors .

Jakarta September 2012

the blog founder

Dr Iwan Suwandy

Frame Two:

No Airmail During WW II in 1943 (Dr Iwan Private Collections)

 Frame Three:

The Microfilming Of Mail (AIRGRAPH)During WWII In 1943(Dr Iwan Private Collections)

Frame Four: The Airgraph Microfilm from several Countries(new Info)

Back in 1999,

the Late Keith Griffiths published the “New Zealand Airgraph service 1942-1945”.

In it he lists the airgraph rates and I have taken from that the following that I have on one of my exhibit pages

New Zealand. [ Important dates]
October. New Zealand personnel Canada to New Zealand, via USA
Mid-November N.Z. service personnel in MEF To NZ via UK to USA

The above were despatched on 27 November and 12 December 1942, limited to 2 Airgraphs per service member. 1ts films arrived from Melbourne on 7 January 1943.

January NZ forces and Civilians NZ to UK and Canada – 5d
April NZ forces and Civilians Civilian – 10d; Forces 5d
May NZ forces and Civilians Civilian – 8d; Forces 5d
June NZ forces and Civilians Civilian – 10d; Forces 5d
May 1st Issue – 1½d Centennial Stamp surcharged tenpence for use on Airgraphs [see below]
August Civilian Rate reduced to 5d – all Airgraphs

It appears that a proper 8d. [civilian] rate from May 1943 would be a very rare usage, due to its short duration





Registered cover from New Zealand in 1944 to USA

The abundant 1940 1 1/2d was overprinted with 10d in 1944 to meet the rate for airgraphs

(microfilmed letters, originally to servicemen)


they were an interesting little sideline of WW2.

Clause 4 of the India rules above outline the deal.

During World War II, the Airgraph was developed to enable soldiers in the field to communicate more quickly and reliably with their family and friends at home.

The sender would write their message on the message side of the form and submit it for processing. The form would be processed and a microfilm image created. A film strip with up to 10,000 airgraphs would then be sent via air to its destination.

In the event the strip were lost, another would be copied from the original. Once received, reduced size (about half-size) prints would be made and these sent to their destination in cover envelopes.

Sometimes the service would be unavailable and the original forms would be sent to the addressee. Such mailed forms are thus a form of aerogramme or airletter.

I sometimes receive the photo airgraphs in Estates as Mum’s always kept these kind of things



3 out of 4 is not bad, but the South Africa is wrong and you missed the easy one…..

Really .. this South African one below must be unique then.

(You can see the words Greetings From South Africa on the reverse side of it if you peer long enough!)

I had a feeling NZ … and Canada also did them, along with the free troop aerograms


The 5th one I had in mind was the 3d UK ones.

As far as I know Canada did not

The other side of the pre-paid 3d South Africa is below:


There was at least another Indian KGVI overprinted one, out of interest:

there were 4 India types [to my knowledge – I need to add]
The 8 annas
The 4 on 8 annas [ glen’s scan ]
The 3 annas plus 1 anna
The 3 anna alone




The Ceylon one was printed in one operation and has the value in same ink as the writing.




New Zealand airgraphs do have a story all of there own.

Because of the shortage of paper, they were concerned with the number of stamps being used on airgraphs, the civilian rate being 10d, as there was no single 10d value the PO was using either 2 x 5d or 1x 2d + 1x 8d.
They examined there stock od stamps and realised they had heeps of 1 1/2d centennial stamps, thus they overprinted them and issued 1st May 1944.




why the 10d NZ overprint stamp was issued!

The Ceylon seems to have suffered from rapid inflation too by the look of this one — FIVE stamp impressions!

Yours is 20c concession for Military .. this is 50c for civilians.




This one is pretty exotic

The KUT ones are even different again. These ones had a meter mark applied by PO prior to sale. They are known in 25c, 30c and 40c.



finish the set of 6 countries that had this postal stationery is an example of the UK one




Just a bit more info to fill in the story.

The airgraphs with postage already applied are generally harder to obtain because the form had to be purchased for sending. They were not saved as much as the free forms. Especially the UK ones.

My personnal opinion is that once airletters became available in mid 1944, the use of airgraphs declined and some of the purchased forms were not used as an airletter allowed for privacy.

As Glen has indicated the forms were photographed, the film sent by air, [Melbourne was the photograph centre in Australia] and averaged 10 -12 days to say get to London. In London it was processed. If all was ok then a message was sent back to Melbourne for the forms to be destroyed. This was much to do with re-cycling paper as any other reason.

there were 313,746,227 airgraphs photos and delivered under the Empire contract between 1941 and 1945.
That is a lot of recycled paper……………..

Melbourne printed 5,786,955 inwards airgraphs, of which 4,577,259 came from the London office. The smallest number was 23,888 from Colombo, Ceylon


The various Airgraphs look similar in function to our “V-mails” used during the war. This image shows the blank form (in red) on the right; the sides are already folded in, like an aerogramme. On the left is the photostat of a message (on photographic paper) and the small envelope it was sent in, from the US to foreign countries.

The photostat was made from whatever the sender wrote on the blank form. You could buy boxes of blank forms very cheaply, I think 25 for 50 cents.

To my knowledge, none of the various V-mails ever had imprinted postage; it was always added with stamps.







A British Air Ministry Photo which on the back reads,


Smiling happily at the news from home, this airman reads his airgraph letter, one of the first to arrive in the middle east, 3/10/1941






Ladies sorting the airgraph forms into destinations






Processing the film on paper rolls








Seeing its getting near to Xmas time, this one below I beleive was mailed rather than get processed

it might be an idea to re-name this thread World War 2 Air graphs – be handy for folks searching on the web down the track

Happy for it to be renamed.

I might add if anyone has any airgraphs, especially forms etc, drop me an email.
Since the items seem to be spelled both ways, Airgraph and Air Graph, recommend that the thread title contain both forms, for easy searching down the line

There is only one way to spell it. Airgraph.
I have yet to see one form or official printed document issued by any post office that has the word split.


Undoubtedly you are right, but entering “air graph” into SB search gives 155 hits. I didn’t look at them for context.
a further Ceylon sample. This forces one I picked up at a European Auction is ble rather than my Grey example shown earlier.


 sorry the illustrations not upload,!!!!!!!!!

please look at the complete CD-ROM.please subscribed as the premium member via comment

(Dr Iwan Note)

the KGVI embossing gives us a time line.

The quarto size means either a large form like a newspaper wrapper .. or possibly a pre-paid form for telegram transmission.

Or war time ‘air-graph’ transmission or the like?


, India was one of only 5 countries [colonies] to actually issue

 Airgraph Postal Stationery.

All the rest inclulding Australia issued forms but the sender had to apply the postage.

Can anyone name the other 4 countries [colonies] that issued the actual forms as postal stationery ?

Some others that come to mind via random guess are Palestine, Ceylon, Kenya/East Africa, and South Africa

they were an interesting little sideline of WW2.  Clause 4 of the India rules above outline the deal. During World War II, the Airgraph was developed to enable soldiers in the field to communicate more quickly and reliably with their family and friends at home.
The sender would write their message on the message side of the form and submit it for processing. The form would be processed and a microfilm image created. A film strip with up to 10,000 airgraphs would then be sent via air to its destination.
In the event the strip were lost, another would be copied from the original. Once received, reduced size (about half-size) prints would be made and these sent to their destination in cover envelopes.

Sometimes the service would be unavailable and the original forms would be sent to the addressee. Such mailed forms are thus a form of aerogramme or airletter.

I sometimes receive the photo airgraphs in Estates as Mum’s always kept these kind of things.


3 out of 4 is not bad, but the South Africa is wrong and you missed the easy one…..

Really .. this South African one below must be unique then.

(You can see the words Greetings From South Africa on the reverse side of it if you peer long enough!)

I had a feeling NZ … and Canada also did them, along with the free troop aerograms.

The 5th one I had in mind was the 3d UK ones.

As far as I know Canada did not

Frame Five:The microform (Microfilming Mail) Historic collections

Digital scanning of microfilm (see Digital conversion below).

Microforms are any form, either films or paper, containing microreproductions[1] of documents for transmission, storage, reading, and printing. Microform images are commonly reduced about 25 times from the original document size. For special purposes, greater optical reductions may be used.

All microform images may be provided as positives or negatives, more often the latter.

Three formats are common: microfilm (reels), aperture cards and microfiche (flat sheets). Microcards, a format no longer produced, were similar to microfiche, but printed on cardboard rather than photographic film.




Using the daguerreotype process, John Benjamin Dancer was one of the first to produce micro-photographs, in 1839. He achieved a reduction ratio of 160:1. Dancer perfected his reduction procedures with Frederick Scott Archer’s wet collodion process, developed in 1850–51, but he dismissed his decades-long work on micro-photographs as a personal hobby, and did not document his procedures. The idea that microphotography could be no more than a novelty was an opinion shared by the 1858 Dictionary of Photography, which called the process “somewhat trifling and childish.”[2]

Microphotography was first suggested as a document preservation method in 1851 by James Glaisher, an astronomer, and in 1853 by John Herschel. Both men attended the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, where the exhibit on photography greatly influenced Glaisher. He called it “the most remarkable discovery of modern times,” and argued in his official report for using microphotography to preserve documents.[3]

The developments in microphotography continued through the next decades, but it was not until the turn of the century that its potential for practical usage was seized by a wider audience. In 1896, Canadian engineer Reginald A. Fessenden suggested microforms were a compact solution to engineers’ unwieldy but frequently consulted materials. He proposed that up to 150,000,000 words could be made to fit in a square inch, and that a one foot cube could contain 1.5 million volumes.[4]

In 1906, Paul Otlet and Robert Goldschmidt proposed the livre microphotographique as a way to alleviate the cost and space limitations imposed by the codex format.[5] Otlet’s overarching goal was to create a World Center Library of Juridical, Social and Cultural Documentation, and he saw microfiche as way to offer a stable and durable format that was inexpensive, easy to use, easy to reproduce, and extremely compact. In 1925, the team spoke of a massive library where each volume existed as master negatives and positives, and where items were printed on demand for interested patrons.[6]

In the decade of the 1920s microfilm began to be used in a commercial setting. New York City banker George McCarthy was issued a patent in 1925 for his “Checkograph” machine, designed to make micrographic copies of cancelled checks for permanent storage by financial institutions. In 1928, the Eastman Kodak Company bought McCarthy’s invention and began marketing check microfilming devices under its “Recordak” division.[7]

Between 1927 and 1935, the Library of Congress microfilmed more than three million pages of books and manuscripts in the British Library;[8] in 1929 the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies joined to create a Joint Committee on Materials Research, which looked closely at microform’s potential to serve small print runs of academic or technical materials; in 1933, Charles C. Peters developed a method to microformat dissertations; in 1934 the United States National Agriculture Library implemented the first microform print-on-demand service, which was quickly followed by a similar commercial concern, Science Service.[4]

In 1935, Kodak’s Recordak division began filming and publishing The New York Times on reels of 35 millimeter microfilm, ushering in the era of newspaper preservation on film.[7] This method of information storage received the sanction of the American Library Association at it annual meeting in 1936, when it officially endorsed microforms.

Harvard University Library was the first major institution to realize the potential of microfilm to preserved broadsheets printed on high-acid newsprint and it launched its “Foreign Newspaper Project” to preserve such ephemeral publications in 1938.[7] Roll microfilm proved far more satisfactory as a storage medium than earlier methods of film information storage, such as the Photoscope, the Film-O-Graph, the Fiske-O-Scope, and filmslides.

The year 1938 also saw another major event in the history of microfilm when University Microfilms International (UMI) was established by Eugene Power.[7] For the next half century, UMI would dominate the field, filming and distributing microfilm editions of current and past publications and academic dissertations. After another short-lived name change, UMI was made a part of ProQuest Information and Learning in 2001.


Systems that mount microfilm images in punched cards have been widely used for archival storage of engineering information.

For example, when airlines demand archival engineering drawings to support purchased equipment (in case the vendor goes out of business, for example), they normally specified punch-card-mounted microfilm with an industry-standard indexing system punched into the card. This permits automated reproduction, as well as permitting mechanical card-sorting equipment to sort and select microfilm drawings.

Aperture card mounted microfilm is roughly 3% of the size and space of conventional paper or vellum engineering drawings. Some military contracts around 1980 began to specify digital storage of engineering and maintenance data because the expenses were even lower than microfilm, but these programs are now finding it difficult to purchase new readers for the old formats.

Microfilm first saw military use during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. During the Siege of Paris, the only way for the provincial government in Tours to communicate with Paris was by pigeon post. As the pigeons could not carry paper dispatches, the Tours government turned to microfilm. Using a microphotography unit evacuated from Paris before the siege, clerks in Tours photographed paper dispatches and compressed them to microfilm, which were carried by homing pigeons into Paris and projected by magic lantern while clerks copied the dispatches onto paper.[9]

Additionally, the US Victory Mail, and the British “Airgraph” system it was based on, were used for delivering mail between those at home and troops serving overseas during World War II. The systems worked by photographing large amounts of censored mail reduced to thumb-nail size onto reels of microfilm, which weighed much less than the originals would have. The film reels were shipped by priority air freight to and from the home fronts, sent to their prescribed destinations for enlarging at receiving stations near the recipients, and printed out on lightweight photo paper. These facsimiles of the letter-sheets were reproduced about one-quarter the original size and the miniature mails were then delivered to the addressee. Use of these microfilm systems saved significant volumes of cargo capacity needed for vital war supplies. An additional benefit was that the small, light weight reels of microfilm were almost always transported by air, and as such were much quicker than any surface mail services.Please look the collections I have found uring google explorations below:

World War II – Prisoners of War – Stalag Luft I 

A collection of stories, photos, art and information on Stalag Luft I





V-MailOctober 24, 1944Dearest Son,        As no mail seems to be coming through to us from you (your last letter we received two weeks ago), I’m sure you must be having some trouble so I’m going to try V-Mail.  Martha hasn’t heard from Emory in over ten days but today a V-Mail letter to Lola came in – as slow as this type letter is, it must be better than airmail, until this condition gets better what ever the condition, I don’t know.        Daddy has written you every day for 4 straight weeks now.  I write once a week, as I told you in my last letter, I can’t think of a thing to write because he writes it all.  Every thing I hear I tell him so he can have something to say.  He is proud of his record of letters to you.  Be sure to brag on him, etc.        Lewis Mitchell is here and looks great in his uniform.  I heard some one go in the other door and whistle your whistle – boy my heart did flip-flops.  I rushed over and there stood “Brer”.  No one’s here for him to play around with so it’s going to be pretty lonesome.        Jeannie and Mr. White haven’t heard from Hugh in over a month.  I feel so sorry for them.  They have asked the Red Cross to get in touch with him and find out what’s the matter.        Sister and Ben may come home to live.  Will write more later.                                         Love,                                                MotherP.S.  Am praying for your safe return each night.Here’s Brer Mitchell:Hello Dick,Hold everything down until my gang and I get over there.  Best of luck too.   Brer
Scan of the V-mail letter 

What is V- Mail?
During the latter years of World War II,  V-Mail became a popular way to correspond with a loved one serving overseas. V-mail consisted of miniaturized messages reproduced by microphotography from 16mm film. The system of microfilming letters was based on the use of special V-mail letter-sheets, which were a combination of letter and envelope. The letter-sheets were constructed and gummed so as to fold into a uniform and distinctively marked envelope.  The user wrote the message in the limited space provided, added the name and address of the recipient, folded the form, affixed postage, if necessary, and mailed the letter. The V-mail correspondence was then reduced to thumb-nail size on microfilm.  The rolls of film were flown across the world and then developed at destinations closest to the recipient’s position.  Finally, individual facsimiles of the V-mail letter-sheets, which were about one-quarter the original size, were then mailed and delivered to the addressee.The development of the V-Mail system reduced the time it took a soldier to receive a letter by a month – from six weeks by boat to twelve days or less by air.  However, the main advantage of V-Mail was its compact nature. Reduction in the size and weight of the letters translated into more space for crucial military supplies on cargo planes.  One roll of film weighing about 7 ounces could hold over 1,500 letters.  Putting that another way, two pounds of microfilm replaced 100 pounds of letters!  Over a billion letters (556,513,795 pieces of V-mail were sent from the U.S. to military post offices and over 510 million pieces were received from military personnel abroad) were sent via V-mail between 1942 and 1945.  Think of it as the earliest form of e-mail. Americans on the home-front were encouraged by the government and private businesses to use V-Mail. Letters from home were compared to “a five minute furlough,” and advertisements that instructed how, when, and what to write in a V-Mail reached a peak in 1944. Letters were to be cheerful, short, and frequent. V-Mail made it possible for servicemen halfway across the world to hear news from home on a weekly basis.

A package of V-Mail letters
Outside of the letter

Inside of the letter
Instructions for sending V-Mail

Example of V-mail letter on sending side

Example of V-mail letter on receiving side

Libraries began using microfilm in the mid-20th century as a preservation strategy for deteriorating newspaper collections. Books and newspapers that were deemed in danger of decay could be preserved on film and thus access and use could be increased. Microfilming was also a space-saving measure. In his 1945 book, “The Scholar and the Future of the Research Library,” Fremont Rider calculated that research libraries were doubling in space every sixteen years. His suggested solution was microfilming, specifically with his invention, the microcard. Once items were put onto film, they could be removed from circulation and additional shelf space would be made available for rapidly expanding collections. The microcard was superseded by microfiche. By the 1960s, microfilming had become standard policy.

Visa and National City use microfilm to store bank statements, and produce microfilm, from digital records, that is placed into storage.


The medium has numerous advantages:

  • It enables libraries to greatly expand access to collections without putting rare, fragile, or valuable items at risk of theft or damage.
  • It is compact, with far smaller storage costs than paper documents. Normally 98 document size pages fit on one fiche, reducing to about 0.25% original material. When compared to filing paper, microforms can reduce space storage requirements by up to 95%.[10]
  • It is cheaper to distribute than paper copy. Most microfiche services get a bulk discount on reproduction rights, and have lower reproduction and carriage costs than a comparable amount of printed paper.
  • It is a stable archival form when properly processed and stored. Preservation standard microfilms use the silver halide process, creating silver images in hard gelatin emulsion on a polyester base. With appropriate storage conditions, this film has a life expectancy of 500 years.[11] Unfortunately, in tropical climates with high humidity, fungus eats the gelatin used to bind the silver halide. Thus, diazo-based systems with lower archival lives (20 years) which have polyester or epoxysurfaces are used.
  • Since it is analog (an actual image of the original data), it is easy to view. Unlike digitalmedia, the format requires no software to decode the data stored thereon. It is instantly comprehensible to persons literate in the language; the only equipment that is needed is a simple magnifying glass. This eliminates the problem of software obsolescence.
  • It is virtually impossible to mutilate. Users cannot tear pages from or deface microforms.
  • It has low intrinsic value and does not attract thieves. Few heavily-used microform collections suffer any losses due to theft.
  • Prints from microfilm are accepted in legal proceedings as substitutes for original documents.


  • The principal disadvantage of microforms is that the image is (usually) too small to read with the naked eye. Libraries must use either special readers that project full-size images on a ground-glass or frosted acrylic screen or a modern Viewer/Scanner which converts the image from analog to digital -see section below on Digital Conversion.
  • Reader machines used to view microfilm are often difficult to use, requiring users to carefully wind and rewind until they have arrived at the point where the data they are looking for is stored.
  • Photographic illustrations reproduce poorly in microform format, with loss of clarity and halftones. However the latest electronic digital viewer/scanners have the ability to scan in gray shade which greatly increases the quality of photographs, but they still can not duplicate the nuances of true gray shade photographs -due to the inherent bi-tonal nature of microfilm.
  • Reader-printers are not always available, limiting the user’s ability to make copies for their own purposes. Conventional photocopy machines cannot be used.[12]
  • Color microform is extremely expensive, thus discouraging most libraries supplying color films. Color photographic dyes also tend to degrade over the long term. This results in the loss of information, as color materials are usually photographed using black and white film.[12]
  • When stored in the highest-density drawers, it is easy to misfile a fiche, which is thereafter unavailable. As a result, some libraries store microfiche in a restricted area and retrieve it on demand. Some fiche services use lower-density drawers with labeled pockets for each card.
  • Like all analog media formats, microfiche is lacking in features enjoyed by users of digital media. Analog copies degrade with each generation, while digital copies have much higher copying fidelity. Digital data can also be indexed and searched easily.
  • Reading microfilms on a machine for some time may cause headache and/or eyestrain.

 Readers and printers

Desktop readers are boxes with a translucent screen at the front on to which is projected an image from a microform. They have suitable fittings for whatever microform is in use. They may offer a choice of magnifications. They usually have motors to advance and rewind film. When coding blips are recorded on the film a reader is used that can read the blips to find any required image.

Portable readers are plastic devices that fold for carrying; when open they project an image from microfiche on to a reflective screen. For example, with M. de Saint Rat, Atherton Seidell developed a simple, inexpensive ($2.00 in 1950), monocular microfilm viewing device, known as the “Seidell viewer,” that was sold during the 1940s and 1950s.[13]

A microfilm printer contains a xerographic copying process, like a photocopier. The image to be printed is projected with synchronised movement on to the drum. These devices offer either small image preview for the operator or full size image preview, when it is called a reader printer. Microform printers can accept positive or negative films and positive or negative images on paper. New machines allow the user to scan a microform image and save it as a digital file -see the section below on Digital conversion.


Microfilm roll

Aperture card with hollerith info

A duped jacket fiche

Flat film 
105 x 148 mm flat film is used for micro images of very large engineering drawings. These may carry a title photographed or written along one edge. Typical reduction is about 20, representing a drawing that is 2.00 x 2.80 metres, that is 79 x 110 in. These films are stored as microfiche.
16 mm or 35 mm film to motion picture standard is used, usually unperforated. Roll microfilm is stored on open reels or put into cassettes. The standard lengths for using roll film is 30.48 m (100 ft)for 35mm rolls, and 100 ft, 130 ft and 215 feet for 16mm rolls. One roll of 35 mm film may carry 600 images of large engineering drawings or 800 images of broadsheet newspaper pages. 16 mm film may carry 2,400 images of letter sized images as a single stream of micro images along the film set so that lines of text are parallel to the sides of the film or 10,000 small documents, perhaps cheques or betting slips, with both sides of the originals set side by side on the film.
Aperture cards 
Aperture cards are Hollerith cards into which a hole has been cut. A 35 mm microfilm chip is mounted in the hole inside of a clear plastic sleeve, or secured over the aperture by an adhesive tape. They are used for engineering drawings, for all engineering disciplines. There are libraries of these containing over 3 million cards. Aperture cards may be stored in drawers or in freestanding rotary units.
A microfiche is a flat film 105 x 148 mm in size, that is ISO A6. It carries a matrix of micro images. All microfiche are read with text parallel to the long side of the fiche. Frames may be landscape or portrait. Along the top of the fiche a title may be recorded for visual identification. The most commonly used format is a portrait image of about 10 x 14 mm. Office size papers or magazine pages require a reduction of 24 or 25. Microfiche are stored in open top envelopes which are put in drawers or boxes as file cards, or fitted into pockets in purpose made books.
(also ‘ultramicrofiche’) is an exceptionally compact version of a microfiche or microfilm, storing analog data at much higher densities. Ultrafiche can be created directly from computers using appropriate peripherals. They are typically used for storing data gathered from extremely data-intensive operations such as remote sensing.

 Image creation

To create microform media, a planetary camera is mounted with the vertical axis above a copy that is stationary during exposure. High volume output is possible with a rotary camera which moves the copy smoothly through the camera to expose film which moves with the reduced image. Alternatively, it may be produced by computers, i.e. COM (computer output microfilm).


Normally microfilming uses high resolution panchromatic monochrome stock. Positive color film giving good reproduction and high resolution can also be used. Roll film is provided 16, 35 and 105 mm wide in lengths of 30 metres (100 ft) and longer, and is usually unperforated. Roll film is developed, fixed and washed by continuous processors.

Sheet film is supplied in ISO A6 size. This is either processed by hand or using a dental X-ray processor. Camera film is supplied ready mounted in aperture cards. Aperture cards are developed, fixed and washed immediately after exposure by equipment fitted to the camera.

Early cut sheet microforms and microfilms (to the 1930s) were printed on nitrate film, which poses high risks to their holding institutions, as nitrate film is explosive and flammable. From the late 1930s to the 1980s, microfilms were usually printed on a cellulose acetate base, which is prone to tears, vinegar syndrome, and redox blemishes. Vinegar syndrome is the result of chemical decay and produces “buckling and shrinking, embrittlement, and bubbling”.[14] Redox blemishes are yellow, orange or red spots 15–150 micrometres in diameter created by oxidative attacks on the film, and are largely due to poor storage conditions.[15]


Flat film

The simplest microfilm camera that is still in use is a rail mounted structure at the top of which is a bellows camera for 105 x 148 mm film. A frame or copy board holds the original drawing vertical. The camera has a horizontal axis which passes through the centre of the copy. The structure may be moved horizontally on rails.

In a darkroom a single film may be inserted into a dark slide or the camera may be fitted with a roll film holder which after an exposure advances the film into a box and cuts the frame off the roll for processing as a single film.

Roll film

For engineering drawings a freestanding open steel structure is often provided. A camera may be moved vertically on a track. Drawings are placed on a large table for filming, with centres under the lens. Fixed lights illuminate the copy. These cameras are often over 3 metres (10 feet) high. These cameras accept roll film stock of 35 or 16 mm.

For office documents a similar design may be used but bench standing. This is a smaller version of the camera described above. These are provided either with the choice of 16 or 35 mm film or accepting 16 mm film only. Non adjustable versions of the office camera are provided. These have a rigid frame or an enveloping box that holds a camera at a fixed position over a copy board. If this is to work at more than one reduction ratio there are a choice of lenses.

Some cameras expose a pattern of light, referred to as blips, to digitally identify each adjacent frame. This pattern is copied whenever the film is copied for searching.

Flow roll film cameras

A camera is built into a box. In some versions this is for bench top use, other versions are portable. The operator maintains a stack of material to be filmed in a tray, the camera automatically takes one document after another for advancement through the machine. The camera lens sees the documents as they pass a slot. Film behind the lens advances exactly with the image.

Special purpose flow cameras film both sides of documents, putting both images side by side on 16 mm film. These cameras are used to record cheques and betting slips.

Microfiche camera

All microfiche cameras are planetary with a step and repeat mechanism to advance the film after each exposure. The simpler versions use a dark slide loaded by the operator in a dark room; after exposure the film is individually processed, which may be by hand or using a dental X-ray processor. Cameras for high output are loaded with a roll of 105 mm film. The exposed film is developed as a roll; this is sometimes cut to individual fiche after processing or kept in roll form for duplication.

Computer Output Microfilm
Computer Output Microfilm card

Equipment is available that accepts a data stream from a mainframe computer. This exposes film to produce images as if the stream had been sent to a line printer and the listing had been microfilmed. Because of the source one run may represent many thousands of pages.

Within the equipment character images are made by a light source; this is the negative of text on paper. COM is sometimes processed normally. Other applications require that image appears as a conventional negative; the film is then reversal processed. This outputs either 16 mm film or fiche pages on a 105 mm roll.

Because listing characters are a simple design, a reduction ratio of 50 gives good quality and puts about 300 pages on a microfiche. A microfilm plotter, sometimes called an aperture card plotter, accepts a stream that might be sent to a computer pen plotter. It produces corresponding frames of microfilm. These produce microfilm as 35 or 16 mm film or aperture cards.


All regular microfilm copying involves contact exposure under pressure. Then the film is processed to provide a permanent image. Hand copying of a single fiche or aperture card involves exposure over a light box and then individually processing the film. Roll films are contact exposed via motor, either round a glass cylinder or through a vacuum, under a controlled light source. Processing may be in the same machine or separately.

Silver halide film is a slow version of camera film with a robust top coat. It is suitable for prints or for use as an intermediate from which further prints may be produced. The result is a negative copy. Preservation standards require a master negative, a duplicate negative, and a service copy (positive). Master negatives are kept in deep storage, and duplicate negatives are used to create service copies, which are the copies available to researchers. This multi-generational structure ensures the preservation of the master negative.

Diazo-sensitised film for dye coupling in ammonia gives blue or black dye positive copies. The black image film can be used for further copying.

Vesicular film is sensitised with a diazo dye, which after exposure is developed by heat. Where light has come to the film remains clear, in the areas under the dark image the diazo compound is destroyed quickly, releasing millions of minute bubbles of nitrogen into the film. This produces an image that diffuses light. It produces a good black appearance in a reader, but it cannot be used for further copying.

Modern microfilming standards require that a master set of films be produced and set aside for safe storage, used only to make service copies. When service copies get lost or damaged, another set can be produced from the masters, thus reducing the image degradation that results from making copies of copies.

 Format conversion

These conversions may be applied to camera output or to release copies. Single microfiche are cut from rolls of 105 mm film. A bench top device is available that enables an operator to cut exposed frames of roll film and fit these into ready made aperture cards.

Transparent jackets are made A5 size each with 6 pockets into which strips of 16 mm film may be inserted (or fewer pockets for 35 mm strips), so creating microfiche jackets or jacketed microfiche. Equipment allows an operator to insert strips from a roll of film. This is particularly useful as frames may be added to a fiche at any time. The pockets are made using a thin film so that duplicates may be made from the assembled fiche.

 Digital conversion

Another type of conversion is microform to digital. This is done using an optical scanner that projects the film onto a CCD array and captures it in a raw digital format. Until recently, since the different types of microform are dissimilar in shape and size, the scanners were usually able to handle only one type of microform at a time. There are some scanners that have the possibility of swapping modules for the different microform types and the latest viewer/scanner can accept any microform (roll, fiche, opaque cards, fiche,and/or aperture cards). Software (normally on the scanner itself, but more recently in an attached PC) is then used to convert the raw capture into a standard image format for archival.

The physical condition of microfilm greatly impacts the quality of the digitized copy. Microfilm with a cellulose acetate base (popular through the 1970s) is frequently subject to vinegar syndrome, redox blemishes, and tears, and even preservation standard silver halide film on a polyester base can be subject to silvering and degradation of the emulsion—all issues which affect the quality of the scanned image.

Digitizing microfilm can be inexpensive when automated scanners are employed. The Utah Digital Newspapers Program has found that, with automated equipment, scanning can be performed at $0.15 per page.[16] Recent additions to the digital scanner field have brought the cost of scanning down substantially so that when large projects are scanned (millions of pages) the price per scan can be pennies.

Modern microform scanners utilize 8 bit gray shade scanning arrays and are thus able to provide quite high quality scans in a wealth of different digital formats (CCITT Group IV which is compressed black & white -bitonal, JPG or JPEG which is gray or color compression, bitmaps which are not compressed, or a number of other (some proprietary) formats such as PDF, LZW, GIF, etc.). These modern scanners are also able to scan at “Archival” resolution up to 600 dpi.

For the resulting files to be useful, they must be organized in some way. This can be accomplished in a variety of different ways, dependent on the source media and the desired usage. In this regard, aperture cards with Hollerith information are probably the easiest since image data can be extracted from the card itself if the scanner supports it. Some types of microfilm will contain a counter next to the images, these can be referenced to an already existing database. Other microfilm reels will have a ‘blip’ system: small marks next to the images of varying lengths used to indicate document hierarchy (longest: root, long: branch, short: leaf). If the scanner is able to capture and process these then the image files can be arranged in the same manner. Optical character recognition (OCR) is also frequently employed to provide automated full-text searchable files. Common issues that affect the accuracy of OCR applied to scanned images of microfilm include unusual fonts, faded printing, shaded backgrounds, fragmented letters, skewed text, curved lines and bleed through on the originals.[16] For film types with no distinguishing marks, or when OCR is impossible (handwriting, layout issues, degraded text), the data must be entered in manually; a very time consuming process.

the end @ copyright dr iwan suwandy 2010

Like this:

Be the first to like this.

This entry was posted in world War II Collections. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Microfilming Of Mail During World War II Exhibition

  1. I do agree with all of the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They’re very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for novices. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.


The Story behind the nice Postal history Cover ,British refuse southern Nigeria independence


The Nice Postal History Collections

The complete CD exist but only for premium member

Please subscribed via comment

GJ50’s Nigeria/London cover which is full of postage dues



Britain refused to grant Southern Rhodesia independence so would not recognise the Rhodesia stamp.
The recipient in London had to pay 3s6d in dues to have the letter

Read More info

Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence

 1 dollar note


This article is about the 1965 Rhodesian document. For unilateral independence declarations generally, see Unilateral declaration of independence.

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of

Portal icon Politics portal

The Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) of Rhodesia from the United Kingdom was signed on November 11, 1965, by the administration of

Ian Smith,

whose Rhodesian Front party opposed an immediate transfer to black majority rule in the self-governing British colony.[1] Although it declared independence from the United Kingdom it maintained allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II. The British government, the Commonwealth, and the United Nations condemned the move as illegal. Rhodesia reverted to British control as “the British Dependency of Southern Rhodesia” for a brief period in 1979 to 1980, before regaining its independence as Zimbabwe in 1980.



[edit] History

This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2010)

Following a referendum the previous year in which voters had overwhelmingly backed independence, in late 1965, with negotiations between the United Kingdom and Rhodesia at an impasse, Smith (according to his autobiography Bitter Harvest) had authorized a committee under Cabinet Secretary Gerald B. Clarke to look at historical independence declarations to come up with a suitable version for Rhodesia in the event of a UDI having to be declared. The committee decided to use the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence as its reference. Once the text was agreed upon, the Government Printer in Salisbury created the actual document (during the first week of November).[citation needed]

Clarke placed the document in storage in the Rhodesian Parliament building until the morning of November 11, when Smith and his cabinet colleagues — after a last-minute appeal by the British Government failed to convince them not to follow this course of action — voted unanimously to declare their independence. Clarke was then directed by Smith to prepare the signing ceremony. The document was placed in an adjoining conference room to where the cabinet had convened to take their vote. With a photographer to record the historic moment, Smith, Deputy Prime Minister Clifford Dupont, and the other cabinet members signed the declaration. Later that day, Smith read it out on national radio, along with a speech giving justification for the action.[2]

The timing of Smith’s telegram to the British Prime Minister (Harold Wilson) announcing the UDI was symbolic. The message was sent at precisely 1 pm local time (11 am in London) at the exact moment that the United Kingdom started its Remembrance Day observance (two minutes of silence to mark the end of World War I and honour its war dead). The not-so-hidden message in this timing was to recall the fact that Rhodesia had helped the UK in its time of need in both World Wars and that the British should not forget that.[citation needed]

[edit] Text of Declaration

Wikisourcehas original text related to this article:


Whereas in the course of human affairs history has shown that it may become necessary for a people to resolve the political affiliations which have connected them with another people and to assume amongst other nations the separate and equal status to which they are entitled.

And Whereas in such event a respect for the opinions of mankind requires them to declare to other nations the causes which impel them to assume full responsibility for their own affairs.

Now Therefore, We, The Government of Rhodesia, Do Hereby Declare:

That it is an indisputable and accepted historic fact that since 1923 the Government of Rhodesia have exercised the powers of self-government and have been responsible for the progress, development and welfare of their people;

That the people of Rhodesia having demonstrated their loyalty to the crown and to their kith and kin in the United Kingdom and elsewhere through two world wars, and having been prepared to shed their blood and give of their substance in what they believed to be the mutual interests of freedom-loving people, now see all that they have cherished about to be shattered on the rocks of expediency.

That the people of Rhodesia have witnessed a process which is destructive of those very precepts upon which civilization in a primitive country has been built; they have seen the principles of Western democracy, responsible government and moral standards crumble elsewhere; nevertheless they have remained steadfast;

That the people of Rhodesia fully support the requests of their Government for sovereign independence but have witnessed the consistent refusal of the Government of the United Kingdom to accede to their entreaties;

That the Government of the United Kingdom have thus demonstrated that they are not prepared to grant sovereign independence to Rhodesia on terms acceptable to the people of Rhodesia, thereby persisting in maintaining an unwarrantable jurisdiction over Rhodesia, obstructing laws and treaties with other states and the conduct of affairs with other nations and refusing assent to laws necessary for the public good; all this to the detriment to the future peace, prosperity and good government of Rhodesia;

That the Government of Rhodesia have for a long period patiently and in good faith negotiated with the Government of the United Kingdom for the removal of the remaining limitations placed upon them and for the grant of sovereign independence;

That in the belief that procrastination and delay strike at and injure the very life of the nation, the Government of Rhodesia consider it essential that Rhodesia should attain, without delay, sovereign independence, the justice of which is beyond question;

Now Therefore, We The Government of Rhodesia, in humble submission to Almighty God who controls the destinies of nations, conscious that the people of Rhodesia have always shown unswerving loyalty and devotion to Her Majesty the Queen and earnestly praying that we and the people of Rhodesia will not be hindered in our determination to continue exercising our undoubted right to demonstrate the same loyalty and devotion, and seeking to promote the common good so that the dignity and freedom of all men may be assured, Do, By This Proclamation, adopt, enact and give to the people of Rhodesia the Constitution annexed hereto;

God Save The Queen

Given under Our Hand at Salisbury, this Eleventh day of November in the Year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and sixty-five.

[edit] Signatories

The Unilateral Declaration of Independence

Twelve members of the Cabinet signed the Proclamation:

  1. Ian Smith (Prime Minister)
  2. Clifford Dupont (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs)
  3. John Wrathall (Minister of Finance and Posts)
  4. Desmond Lardner-Burke (Minister of Justice and Law and Order)
  5. Jack Howman (Minister of Tourism and Information)
  6. James Graham, 7th Duke of Montrose (Minister of Agriculture)
  7. George Rudland (Minister of Trade, Industry and Development).
  8. William Harper (Minister of Internal Affairs and Public Service)
  9. A. P. Smith (Minister of Education)
  10. Ian McLean (Minister of Health, Labour, and Social Welfare)
  11. Jack Mussett (Minister of Housing and Local Government)
  12. Phillip van Heerden (Minister of Mines, Lands, and Water Development).

The following junior members of the Cabinet were present, but did not sign:

  1. Ian Dillon (Chief Government Whip)
  2. Lance Smith (Minister without portfolio)
  3. Andrew Dunlop (Minister without portfolio)
  4. P. K. van der Byl (Deputy Minister of Information)

All but one of the Cabinet members present at the signing of the Declaration were awarded the Independence Decoration in 1970 in honour of the event.

There were fourteen copies of the Proclamation document made which were signed again by original signatories who each received a copy. The two additional copies were made for Mr.Leo Ross (Director of Information) and Mr. David Williams (Deputy Director of Information) who were primarily responsible for the original drafting of the document. This was acknowledged by P.K. van der Byl during the eulogy for Leo Ross in August 1975. Notably William Harper refused to sign the copies for Ross and Williams. Ross was awarded the Independence Decoration and Williams the Independence Commemorative Decoration. The copy owned by James Graham was destroyed by a fire in 1981.

[edit] Reaction

The Rhodesia Herald, 12 November 1965: the front page announced the previous day’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence, as well as the introduction of state censorship. Note the blank sections of the page.

The day after the UDI the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 216 condemning it as a declaration of independence “made by a racist minority.” The United Kingdom moved to impose economic and diplomatic sanctions on what they now regarded as a rebel colony. In addition, the British High Commissioner in Salisbury — John Baines Johnston — was withdrawn and the Rhodesian High Commissioner — Brigadier Andrew Skeen — was declared persona non grata and ordered to leave Britain. Rhodesia House (Rhodesia’s High Commission in the UK) lost its diplomatic status and simply became an information office for Smith’s administration.

Under instructions from the British Government, the Governor of Southern Rhodesia, Sir Humphrey Gibbs, formally dismissed Smith and his cabinet for what was deemed “an act of treason against the United Kingdom”. This action, not the UDI, was the only internationally recognised action by an official in Rhodesia at the time. Smith’s government however ignored the dismissal, stating that as Rhodesia was no longer a colony and governed under a new constitution that made Gibbs’ office obsolete, the dismissal no longer had (in their view) any legality. Gibbs remained ensconced in Government House for the next four years, resigning his office only after the republic referendum passed in late 1969.

In September 1968, the Appellate Division of the Rhodesian High Court ruled that Ian Smith’s administration had become the “de jure” government of the country, not just the “de facto” one.[3] To support that decision, the Rhodesian Chief Justice, Sir Hugh Beadle, quoted the 17th Century Dutch Jurist, Hugo Grotius (who is sometimes described as the “Grandfather of International Law”). Grotius maintained that there was no way in which a State could rightly claim to be governing a particular territory – if it was waging a war against that territory. Thus, Beadle argued that because of Britain’s economic war against Rhodesia, Britain could not at the same time be described as governing Rhodesia.

Even after the United Nations followed Britain’s lead in imposing sanctions, the apartheid regime in South Africa continued to give economic support to Rhodesia, but did not extend official recognition to the new state, sending only an ‘Accredited Diplomatic Representative’ to Salisbury. Portugal, then the colonial power in neighbouring Mozambique, gave economic support, including access to Mozambique’s sea ports. Following the Carnation Revolution in 1974 and toppling of the Portuguese government in Lisbon, the communist Frelimo movement seized power in Mozambique as independence was granted. This was a severe blow to the Rhodesian government and Prime Minister Smith, militarily as well as economically, as Frelimo had a staunchly anti-colonial platform and its leader, Samora Machel was an ally of Robert Mugabe and allowed ZANU a base there to mount incursions into Rhodesia.

[edit] Declaration of a Republic

Smith had sought to make Rhodesia a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, with the title of Queen of Rhodesia, but Sir Humphrey Gibbs, still internationally recognised as the only legal authority in Rhodesia, refused to recognise Smith’s authority. Smith responded by ignoring Sir Humphrey and appointing Deputy Prime Minister Dupont as the Officer Administering the Government (best described as an interim governor).

Eventually, the Smith government abandoned attempts to remain loyal to the Crown and, in 1969, a majority of whites voted in referendum to declare Rhodesia a republic, which was declared in 1970, with Dupont as president. Sir Humphrey resigned at that point and left Government House.

As a result of the change, the ‘Royal’ prefix was dropped from the title of the Rhodesian Air Force and the Crown was removed from the badges of army regiments and the British South Africa Police as well as rank insignia. It was replaced by the lion holding the elephant tusk that was the badge of the British South Africa Company.

The government hoped that severing constitutional links with the United Kingdom would end any ambiguity about Rhodesia’s status, gain diplomatic recognition, and bring an end to economic sanctions. However, the issues of white minority control remained and hindered this effort, and like UDI before it, the republic was unrecognised internationally.

[edit] Government of Rhodesia

Under the first post-UDI constitution, political power remained with the Legislative Assembly, of which the majority of members were white. Unlike South Africa, Rhodesia’s black African majority had representation in the Assembly, but the separate franchise (the ‘B’ roll) was restricted to those who owned property, and also tribal chiefs, many of whom were derided as puppets of the white regime. The Governor was effectively replaced by the Officer Administering the Government.

The 1969 republican constitution created a bicameral parliament, with a Senate and a House of Assembly, both of which had white majorities. The President was a ceremonial head of state, with executive power remaining with the Prime Minister as head of government.

[edit] Trappings of sovereignty

[edit] Currency

New banknotes were produced to replace British-made banknotes, which were no longer forthcoming after the UDI. Originally a German firm was commissioned to print the currency, but their newly printed batches of banknotes were destroyed after Britain successfully lobbied the German Government to halt the order. Rhodesia then decided to make their currency locally. Their locally made replacement Rhodesian pound compared well with the British-made predecessor (still retaining the Queen’s portrait), then in 1970, the Rhodesian dollar came into use. The banknotes proved to be very well made, and the currency performed well on the international market, being stronger than the pound sterling and the South African rand.[4] However, the Rhodesian dollar was never a fully convertible currency and its exchange rate was therefore no recognition of underlying economics.

read more

Rhodesian dollar


Rhodesian dollar
1 dollar note
1 dollar note
Central bank Reserve Bank of Rhodesia
User(s)  Rhodesia
1/100 cent
Symbol $
Coins ½, 1, 2½, 5, 10, 20, 25 cents
Banknotes 1, 2, 5, 10 dollars

The dollar (R$) was the currency of Rhodesia between 1970 and 1980. It was subdivided into 100 cents.



[edit] History

The dollar was introduced on 17 February 1970, less than a month before the declaration of a republic on 2 March 1970. It replaced the pound at a rate of 2 dollars to 1 pound. The dollar proved to be a strong currency, at parity with the pound sterling right up to the very end of Rhodesia in 1980, when it was replaced by the Zimbabwean dollar at par. However, the Rhodesian dollar was never a fully convertible currency and its exchange rate was therefore not an indication of the underlying economics.

[edit] Half pounds

In adopting the Rhodesian dollar, Rhodesia followed the pattern of South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand in that when it adopted the decimal system, it decided to use the half pound unit as opposed to the pound unit of account. The choice of the name dollar was motivated by the fact that the reduced value of the new unit corresponded more closely to the value of the US dollar than it did to the pound sterling.

[edit] Coins

On 17 February 1970 the Rhodesian dollar was introduced and was par to the Pound; the currency was factured as follows – bronze ½ and 1 cent and cupro-nickel 2½ cent coins were introduced, which circulated alongside the earlier coins of the Rhodesian pound for 5, 10, 20 and 25 cents, which were also denominated in shillings and pence. New 5 cent coins were introduced in 1973, followed by 10, 20 and 25 cents in 1975. Coins were issued until 1977.

[edit] Banknotes

On 17 February 1970, the Reserve bank of Rhodesia introduced notes in denominations of 1, 2 and 10 dollars.[1] 5 dollar notes were added in 1972.

Obverse Reverse Denomination
Rhodesia1.jpg Rhodesia1a.jpg 1 dollar
Rhodesia2.jpg Rhodesia2a.jpg 2 dollars
Rhodesia5.jpg Rhodesia5a.jpg 5 dollars
Rhodesia10.jpg Rhodesia10a.jpg 10 dollars


[edit] Foreign relations

Although South Africa (and until 1975, Portugal) gave economic and tacit military support to Rhodesia, no country ever extended full diplomatic recognition to it, and most countries closed their consulates in Salisbury following the UDI, one exception being the United States, which maintained a Consul-General, though redesignated as ‘U.S. Contacts Office’ to show the USA’s official attitude of non-recognition of the post-UDI government. South Africa and Portugal each maintained an Accredited Diplomatic Representative office in Salisbury (which were embassies in all but name), while Rhodesia did likewise in Pretoria, Lisbon, and Lourenço Marques. The argument the Rhodesian government used to exchange diplomatic missions with countries that did not recognize Rhodesia as a sovereign state was that, as a British colony, Rhodesia had been granted the right to appoint diplomatic agents as long as they kept the British government informed.[5]

After the UDI, Rhodesia House in London (the Rhodesian High Commission) simply became a representative office with no official diplomatic status. However, the most important Rhodesian representative offices were in Pretoria and Lisbon, although the latter closed in 1975, along with the office in Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) in Mozambique. The other unofficial representative offices, in Washington DC, Bonn, and Tokyo, closed in 1979.

[edit] Air Rhodesia

Central African Airways was a British colonial airline which served several territories in the region. Following independence of Zambia and Malawi, who began their own airlines, the remaining airline operation at the base in Salisbury (always the CAA centre of operations) was renamed Air Rhodesia. After UDI it continued operation, with its fleet of Vickers Viscount propeller aircraft, operating domestically and to South Africa. Spare parts and similar for the aircraft were obtained through various supply routes. The Viscounts continued operating from colonial times, throughout the UDI period, and for several years into Zimbabwe independence.

In April 1973, three Boeing 720 jet aircraft were idle at Basle airport, Switzerland, following the bankruptcy of the German airline Calair, and were being offered for sale by an aircraft dealer there. A front organisation based in Paraguay was created, which bought the aircraft from the dealer for cash in US dollars. Boeing-qualified freelance crews arrived, and flew them together to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands where they made a refuelling stop, paid for the fuel in cash, and filed flight plans for the three aircraft across the South Atlantic to Paraguay, departing in the evening. Fictitious position reports were sent by HF radio as if the aircraft were mid-ocean following the stated route. The three aircraft did not arrive in Paraguay, but arrived the next morning in Salisbury, where they formed the jet aircraft fleet of Air Rhodesia for the remaining years of UDI, and again through for several years as Air Zimbabwe.[citation needed]

Rhodesian Bush War


Rhodesian Bush War
Second Chimurenga
Zimbabwe War of Liberation
The geopolitical situation of the war after the independence of Angola and Mozambique in 1975. Rhodesia itself is shown in green, South Africa and its dependency South-West Africa (now Namibia) are coloured blue and other nations, friendly to the nationalist guerrillas, are shown in camel.
1 = Malawi, 2 = Swaziland, 3 = Lesotho
Date 4 July 1964 – 12 December 1979[n 1]
(15 years, 5 months, 1 week and 1 day)
Location Rhodesia[n 2]
Result Lancaster House Agreement, internationally-recognised independence for the Republic of Zimbabwe
(until 1 June 1979)
 Zimbabwe Rhodesia
(from 1 June 1979)
(from March 1978)
Supported by:
 South Africa
(until 1974)
Flag of ZANU-PF.svg ZANLA (ZANU)
Mozambique FRELIMO[13]
Supported by:
Zimbabwe African People's Union flag.png ZIPRA (ZAPU)[1]
African National Congress Flag.svg MK (ANC)[1]
Supported by:
 Soviet Union[2]
 East Germany[2]
Commanders and leaders
Rhodesia Ian Smith
Rhodesia P. K. van der Byl
Rhodesia Peter Walls
Zimbabwe Rhodesia Abel Muzorewa
Ndabaningi Sithole
(from March 1978)[14]
James Chikerema
(from March 1978)[14][15]
Flag of ZANU-PF.svg Robert Mugabe
Mozambique Samora Machel
Flag of ZANU-PF.svg Ndabaningi Sithole
(until 1975)
Flag of ZANU-PF.svg Herbert Chitepo
Flag of ZANU-PF.svg Josiah Tongogara
Flag of ZANU-PF.svg Edgar Tekere
Flag of ZANU-PF.svg Solomon Mujuru
Zimbabwe African People's Union flag.png Joshua Nkomo
Zimbabwe African People's Union flag.png Lookout Masuku
Zimbabwe African People's Union flag.png James Chikerema
(until October 1971)[15]
African National Congress Flag.svg Joe Slovo
Zimbabwe Rhodesia 1979:[16]
10,800 regulars
15,000 reservists
8,000 police
19,000 police reservists
Flag of ZANU-PF.svg 1979:[17]
25,500 guerrillas
Zimbabwe African People's Union flag.png 1979:[16]
20,000 guerrillas

The Rhodesian Bush War – also known as the Second Chimurenga or the Zimbabwe War of Liberation – was a civil war which took place between July 1964 and December 1979[n 1] in the unrecognised country of Rhodesia (latterly Zimbabwe Rhodesia).[n 2][18]

The conflict pitted three forces against one another: the Rhodesian government, under Ian Smith (later the Zimbabwe Rhodesian government of Abel Muzorewa); the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, the military wing of Robert Mugabe‘s Zimbabwe African National Union; and the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army of Joshua Nkomo‘s Zimbabwe African People’s Union.

The war and its subsequent Internal Settlement, signed in 1978 by Smith and Muzorewa, led to the implementation in June 1979 of universal suffrage and end of white minority rule in Rhodesia, which was renamed Zimbabwe Rhodesia under a black majority government. However, this new order failed to win international recognition and the war continued.

Negotiations between the government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, the British government and Mugabe and Nkomo’s united “Patriotic Front” took place at Lancaster House, London in December 1979, and the Lancaster House Agreement was signed. The country returned temporarily to British control and new elections were held under British and Commonwealth supervision in March 1980. ZANU won the election and Mugabe became the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 18 April 1980, when the country achieved internationally-recognised independence.



[edit] Background

The origins of the war in Rhodesia can be traced to the colonization of the region by white settlers in the late 19th century, and the dissent of black African nationalist leaders who opposed white minority rule.[19] Rhodesia was settled by British and South African pioneers beginning in the 1890s and while it was never accorded full dominion status, Rhodesia effectively governed itself after 1923. In his famous “Wind of Change” speech addressed to the parliament of South Africa in 1960, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan stated Britain’s intention to grant independence to British territories in Africa.[20]

As a consequence many Rhodesians, white and black, were concerned at the possibility that decolonisation and native rule would bring chaos, as had resulted when the Congo became independent.[20] Britain’s unwillingness to compromise on the policy of “No independence before majority rule” led to Rhodesia unilaterally declaring independence on 11 November 1965. Though Rhodesia had the unofficial support of neighbouring South Africa and Portugal, which governed Mozambique, it never gained formal recognition from any country.[21][22]

Most white Rhodesians viewed the war as one of survival with atrocities committed in the former Belgian Congo, the Mau Mau Uprising campaign in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa fresh in their minds. Many whites (and a sizable minority of black Rhodesians) viewed their lifestyle as being under attack, which both had considered safer and with a higher standard of living than many other African countries. Although the vote in Rhodesia was open to all, regardless of race, property ownership requirements effectively denied the franchise to most of Rhodesia’s blacks.[23] The 1969 constitution provided for “Non-Europeans” (principally blacks) to elect representatives for 8 of the seats in the 66 seat parliament. A further 8 of these seats were reserved for tribal chiefs.

Amidst this backdrop, black nationalists advocated armed struggle to bring about independence in Rhodesia. Resistance also stemmed from the wide disparities in wealth possession between blacks and whites. In Rhodesia, Europeans owned most of the fertile land whilst Africans were crowded on barren land,[24] following forced evictions or clearances by the colonial authorities.[25]

Two rival nationalist organizations soon emerged: the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), following a split in the former in August 1963, following disagreements over tactics as well as tribalism and personality clashes.[26] ZANU and its military wing ZANLA were headed initially by the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole, and later Robert Mugabe, consisted mainly of the Shona speaking tribes. ZAPU and its military wing ZIPRA consisted mainly of Ndebele ethnic groups under Joshua Nkomo.[19]

Cold War politics played into the conflict also, with the Soviet Union supporting ZIPRA and Communist China providing support to ZANLA. Each group subsequently fought a separate war against the Rhodesian security forces, and the two groups sometimes fought against each other as well.[27] In June 1979, the governments of Cuba and Mozambique offered direct military assistance to the Patriotic Front, but Mugabe and Nkomo declined.[28] Other foreign nations also contributed to the conflict, for instance North Korean military officials taught Zimbabwean militants how to use explosives and arms in a camp near Pyongyang.[29] By April 1979 12,000 ZANLA guerrillas were training in Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Libya while 9,500 of its 13,500 extant cadres were operating in Rhodesia.[17] On the other side of the conflict South Africa clandestinely provided both material and military support to the Rhodesian government.[21]

Inevitably the Bush War occurred within the context of regional Cold War in Africa, and became embroiled with a number of conflicts in several neighbouring countries as well. Such conflicts included the Angolan War of Independence (1961–1975) and Angolan Civil War (1975–2002), the Mozambican War of Independence (1964–1974) and Mozambican Civil War (1977–1992), and the Shaba I (1977) and Shaba II (1978) conflicts.[30]

[edit] Perceptions

The conflict was seen by the nationalist groups and the British government of the time as a war of national and racial liberation. The Rhodesian government saw the conflict as a fight between one part of the country’s population (the whites) on behalf of the whole population (including the black majority) against several externally financed parties made up of predominantly black radicals and communists. The Nationalists saw their country as having been occupied and dominated by a foreign power, namely Britain, since 1890.[31]

The British government, in the person of the Governor, had indirectly ruled the country from 1923, when it took over from the British South Africa Company and granted self-governing status to a locally-elected government, made up predominantly of whites. Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front party was elected to power in 1962 and unilaterally declared independence on 11 November 1965 to preserve what it saw as the self-government it had possessed since 1923.[31]

The minority Rhodesian government believed they were defending Western values, Christianity, the rule of law and democracy by fighting Communists; however, they were unwilling to compromise on most political, economic and social inequalities. The Smith administration held that the traditional chiefs were the legitimate voice of the black Shona and Ndebele population, not the ZANU and ZAPU nationalists, who it regarded as dangerous, violent usurpers.[32]

In 1978–1979 the Smith administration attempted to blunt the power of the nationalist cause by acceding to an “Internal Settlement” which ended minority rule, changed the name of the country to Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, and installed the country’s first black head of government, Abel Muzorewa. However, unsatisfied with this and spurred on by Britain’s refusal to recognise the new order, the nationalist forces persisted.

Ultimately the war ended when the white-dominated government of Rhodesia returned power to the British government with the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement. The Rhodesian government did so at the behest of both South Africa (its major backer) and the United States. Britain recognised this new government, headed by Robert Mugabe, and the newly independent and internationally recognised country was renamed Zimbabwe.

[edit] Belligerents

[edit] Rhodesian Security Forces

Two soldiers of the Rhodesian African Rifles aboard a patrol boat on Lake Kariba, December 1976. Black Rhodesians made up most of the government’s Security Forces, but some units were all-white.[33]

Despite the impact of economic and diplomatic sanctions, Rhodesia was able to develop and maintain a potent and professional military capability.[34] In June 1977, Time magazine reported that “man for man, the Rhodesian army ranks among the world’s finest fighting units.”[35]

The army was always a relatively small force, consisting of just 3,400 regular troops in 1970. [36] However, by 1978–79 it had grown to some 10,800 regulars nominally supported by about 40,000 reservists – though by the last year of the war, perhaps as few as 15,000 were available for active service. While the regular army consisted of a professional core drawn from the white population (and some units, such as the Rhodesian SAS and the Rhodesian Light Infantry, were all-white), by 1978–79 the majority of its complement was actually composed of black soldiers.[33]

The army reserves, in contrast, were largely white and, toward the end of the war, were increasingly being called up to deal with the growing insurgency. The regular army was supported by the para-military British South Africa Police with a strength of about 8,000 to 11,000 men (the majority of whom were black) and supported by between 19,000 to 35,000 police reservists (which, like their army counterparts, were largely white). The police reserves acted as type of home guard.[33]

The war saw the extensive operation of Rhodesian regulars as well as elite units such as the Selous Scouts and the Rhodesian SAS. The Rhodesian Army fought bitterly against the black nationalist guerrillas. The Rhodesian Army also comprised mostly black regiments such as the Rhodesian African Rifles. As the war went on, the frequent callup of reservists was increasingly utilized to supplement the professional soldiers and the many volunteers from overseas.[37][38]

By 1978 all white males up to the age of 60 were subject to periodic call-up into the army; younger men up to 35 might expect to spend alternating blocks of six weeks in the army and at home. Many of the overseas volunteers came from Britain, Ireland, South Africa, Portugal, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America with the latter three being held in high regard for their recent Vietnam War experience.[37][38]

The Rhodesian Army was, considering the arms embargo, well-equipped. The standard infantry weapon was the Belgian FN FAL Rifle as produced in South Africa under license as the R1 Rifle and supplemented by the H&K G3 rifle that came from Portuguese forces. However other weapons such as the British L1A1 variant of the FAL and the older British Lee-Enfield bolt action rifle were used by reservists and the British South Africa Police. Other weapons included the Bren LMG, Sten SMG, Uzi, Browning Hi-Power pistol, Colt M16 rifle (very late in the war), FN MAG general-purpose machine-gun, 81 mm mortar, and Claymore mines. After UDI Rhodesia was heavily reliant on South African and domestically-produced weapons and equipment, as well as international smuggling operations, commonly referred to as “sanction-busting”.[22]

The Rhodesian Air Force (RhAF) operated a variety of equipment and carried out numerous roles, with air power providing the Rhodesians with a significant advantage over their enemy.[34] When the arms embargo was introduced, the RhAF was suddenly lacking spare parts from external suppliers and was forced to find alternative means of keeping their aircraft flying. The RhAF was also relatively well equipped and used a large proportion of equipment which was obsolete, such as the World War II vintage Douglas Dakota transport aircraft and the early British jet-fighter the de Havilland Vampire. It also used more modern types of aircraft like the Hawker Hunter and Canberra bombers, the Cessna Skymaster as well as Aérospatiale Alouette III helicopters until they were supplemented by the Augusta Bell 205.[34] Very late in the war, the Rhodesian forces were able to obtain and use a very few smuggled in Augusta Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopters.[39]

At the beginning of the war much of Rhodesia’s military hardware was of British and Commonwealth origin but during the course of the conflict new equipment such as armoured cars were procured from the South Africans. Several Polish-made T-55 tanks destined for Idi Amin’s regime in Uganda were diverted to Rhodesia by the South Africans, though only in the last year of the war.[40] The Rhodesians also produced a wide range of wheeled mine-proofed armoured vehicles, often using Mercedes Unimog, Land Rover and Bedford truck components, including unlicensed copies of the Mercedes-Benz UR-416.[41]

The means with which the Rhodesians procured weaponry meant that the arms embargoes had little effect on the Rhodesian war effort. During the course of the war most white citizens carried personal weapons, and it was not unusual to see white housewives carrying submachine guns. A siege mentality set in and all civilian transport had to be escorted in convoys for safety against ambushes. Farms and villages in rural areas were frequently attacked.

The Rhodesian government divided the nation into eight geographical operational areas: North West Border (Operation Ranger), Eastern Border (Operation Thrasher), North East Border (Operation Hurricane), South East Border (Operation Repulse), Midlands (Operation Grapple), Kariba (Operation Splinter), Matabeleland (Operation Tangent), Salisbury and District (“SALOPS”).


[edit] Nationalist guerrilla forces

The two major armed groups campaigning against Ian Smith‘s government were the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA), the armed wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), and the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA), the armed wing of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU). The fighting was largely rural, with the two rival movements attempting to secure peasant support and to recruit fighters while harassing the administration and the white civilians. To ensure local domination they ZANLA and ZIPRA sometimes fought against each other as well as against the security forces.[27] Unlike the town-dwellers, rural whites faced danger and many were killed but in 1979 there were still 6,000 white farmers. They were vulnerable every time they left the homestead.

[edit] ZANLA

ZANLA was the armed wing of ZANU.[31] The organization also had strong links with Mozambique‘s independence movement, FRELIMO. ZANLA, in the end, was present on a more or less permanent basis in over half the country, as evidenced by the location of the demobilisation bases at the end of the war, which were in every province except Matabeleland North.[42] In addition, they were fighting a civil war against ZIPRA, despite the formation of a joint front by their political parties after 1978.[27] It was ZANLA’s intention to occupy the ground, supplant the administration in rural areas, and then mount the final conventional campaign. ZANLA concentrated on the politicisation of the rural areas using force, persuasion, ties of kinship and collaboration with spirit mediums.[43]

ZANLA tried to paralyze the Rhodesian effort and economy by planting Soviet anti-tank land mines on the roads. From 1972 to 1980 there were 2,504 vehicle detonations of land mines (mainly Soviet TM46s), killing 632 people and injuring 4,410. The mining of roads increased as the war intensified; indeed the increase from 1978 (894 mines or 2.44 mines were detonated or recovered a day) to 1979 (2,089 mines or 5.72 mines a day) was 233.7%.[44]

In response, the Rhodesians co-operated with the South Africans to develop a range of mine protected vehicles. They began by replacing air in tyres with water which absorbed some of the blast and reduced the heat of the explosion. Initially, they protected the bodies with steel deflector plates, sandbags and mine conveyor belting. Later, purpose built vehicles with V shaped blast hulls dispersed the blast and deaths in such vehicles became unusual events.[n 3][45]

[edit] ZIPRA

ZIPRA was the anti-government force based around the Ndebele ethnicity, led by Joshua Nkomo, and the ZAPU political organization. In contrast to ZANLA’s Mozambique links, Nkomo’s ZIPRA was more oriented towards Zambia for local bases. However, this was not always with full Zambian government support: by 1979, the combined forces based in Zambia of ZIPRA, Umkhonto we Sizwe (the armed wing of the African National Congress of South Africa) and South-West African SWAPO fighters were a major threat to Zambia’s internal security. Because ZAPU‘s political strategy relied more heavily on negotiations than armed force, ZIPRA did not grow as quickly or elaborately as ZANLA, but by 1979 it had an estimated 20,000 combatants, almost all based in camps around Lusaka, Zambia.

ZIPRA was responsible for two attacks on civilian Air Rhodesia Viscount aeroplanes, on 3 September 1978 and 12 February 1979. Using SAM-7 surface-to-air missiles, the guerrillas shot down each plane during its ascent as it took off from Kariba Airport.[46][47] ZIPRA took advice from its Soviet instructors in formulating its version of popular revolution and its strategy for taking over the country. There were about 1,400 Soviets, 700 East German and 500 Cuban instructors deployed to the area.[2]

On the advice of the Soviets, ZIPRA built up its conventional forces, and motorised with Soviet armored vehicles and a number of small airplanes,[48] in Zambia. ZIPRA’s (i.e. ZAPU’s) intention was to allow ZANLA to bring the Rhodesian forces to the point of defeat, and then to take the victory from the much lighter forces of ZANLA and the essentially defeated Rhodesians. ZIPRA kept a light presence within Rhodesia, reconnoitering, keeping contact with the peasants and sometimes skirmishing with ZANLA.[49]

ZIPRA’s conventional threat actually distracted the Rhodesians from fighting ZANLA to an extent. By the late 1970s, ZIPRA had developed a strategy known as Storming the Heavens to launch a conventional invasion from Zambia, supported by a limited number of armoured vehicles and light aircraft. An operation by the Rhodesian armed forces to destroy a ZIPRA base near Livingstone in Zambia was never launched.[50]

The ZAPU/ZIPRA strategy for taking over Zimbabwe proved unsuccessful. In any event, the transfer of power to black nationalists took place not by the military take-over expected by ZAPU/ZIPRA, but by a peaceful and internationally supervised election. Rhodesia reverted briefly to real British rule, and a general election took place in early 1980. This election was supervised both by the UK and international forces.

Robert Mugabe (of ZANLA/ZANU) won this election, being the only major competitor for the vote of the majority ethnicity, the Shona. Once in power, Mugabe was internationally recognised as Zimbabwe’s leader and was installed as head of government, as well as having the backing of the overwhelming majority ethnic group. He was therefore able to quickly and irreversibly consolidate his power in Zimbabwe, forcing ZAPU, and therefore ZIPRA which was ZAPU’s army, to give up hope of taking over the country in the place of ZANU/ZANLA.

[edit] Pre-war events

[edit] Civil disobedience (1957–1964)

A map. See description

In 1962, Rhodesia was split about equally between black (pink) and white (white) areas. The ruling United Federal Party proposed the removal of racially-defined boundaries, except for reserved Tribal Trust Lands (blue), which made up about 45% of the country.[51]

In September 1956, bus fares in Salisbury were raised to the point at which workers were spending between 18% and 30% of their earnings on transportation.[52] The City Youth League responded by boycotting the United Transport Company’s buses and succeeded in preventing the price change. On 12 September 1957 members of the Youth League and the defunct ANC formed the Southern Rhodesia African National Congress, led by Joshua Nkomo. The Whitehead administration banned the SRANC in 1959 and arrested 307 leaders, excluding Nkomo who was out of the country, on 29 February in Operation Sunrise.[18][52][53]

Nkomo, Mugabe, Herbert Chitepo, and Ndabaningi Sithole established the National Democratic Party in January 1960. Nkomo became its leader in October. An NDP delegation headed by Nkomo attended the constitutional conference in January 1961. While Nkomo initially supported the constitution, he reversed his position after other NDP leaders disagreed. The government banned the NDP in December 1961 and arrested NDP leaders, excluding Nkomo who, again, was out of the country. Nkomo formed the Zimbabwe African People’s Union which the Whitehead administration banned in September 1962.[18][52][53]

The United Federal Party (UFP) had been in power since 1934, earning it the nickname of “the establishment”, and roughly represented Southern Rhodesian commercial and major agricultural interests.[54] The UFP contested the 1962 general election on a ticket of racial “partnership”, whereby blacks and whites would work together.[51][55] All ethnically discriminatory legislation would be immediately repealed, including the Land Apportionment Act, which defined certain areas of the land as eligible for purchase only by blacks, others as exclusively for whites, and others as open for all races.[51]

About 45% of the country was split in this way; another 45% comprised reserved Tribal Trust Lands, which housed tribesmen, and gave local chiefs and headmen a degree of self-government in a similar manner to American Indian reservations. The remainder was national land. The country had originally been split up in this way during the early days of white immigration to prevent the new arrivals from using their superior finances to buy all of the land in the country.[51]

The UFP proposed to do away with the black and white purchase areas, but to keep the Tribal Trust and national lands.[51] It also committed itself to general black advancement. These proposals proved largely repugnant to the mostly white electorate, which feared that premature black ascendancy would threaten Rhodesia’s economic prosperity and security, as well as their own personal affairs.[51][55]

Most turned away from the ruling party, causing a surprise result in the 1962 election: the UFP was routed by the more conservative Rhodesian Front (RF), a new party opposed to any immediate shift to black rule.[51] The RF duly formed a new government, with Winston Field and Ian Smith as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister respectively.[55] Nkomo, legally barred from forming a new political party, moved ZAPU’s headquarters soon after, to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.[53]

In July 1963, Nkomo suspended Ndabaningi Sithole, Robert Mugabe, Leopold Takawira, and Washington Malianga for their opposition to his continued leadership of ZAPU.[56] On 8 August they announced the establishment of the Zimbabwe African National Union. ZANU members formed a militant wing, the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, and sent ZANLA members to the People’s Republic of China for training.[53]

[edit] Course of the war

The geopolitical situation at the time of UDI on 11 November 1965. Rhodesia is coloured green and countries friendly to the government (South Africa and Portugal) are shown in blue. Bechuanaland became Botswana in 1966.

[edit] First phase (1964–1972)

On 4 July 1964 ZANU insurgents ambushed and murdered a white foreman from Silverstreams Wattle Company, Pieter Johan Andries (Andrew) Oberholzer. The killing had a lasting effect on the small, close-knit white community, even though it was an isolated incident.[3][4][57] The Smith administration subsequently moved to detain the ZANU and ZAPU political leadership in August 1964. The major political leaders imprisoned were Ndabaningi Sithole, Leopold Takawira, Edgar Tekere, Enos Nkala and Maurice Nyagumbo. The remaining military leaders of ZANLA were Dare ReChimurenga, Josiah Tongogara and the barrister Herbert Chitepo. Operating from bases in Zambia and later from Mozambique, militants subsequently began launching attacks against Rhodesia.[58]

The conflict intensified after the Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain on 11 November 1965.[57] Sanctions were implemented by the British government after UDI, and member states of the United Nations endorsed the British embargo. The embargo meant the Rhodesians were hampered by a lack of modern equipment but used other means to receive vital war supplies such as receiving oil, munitions, and arms via the government of apartheid-era South Africa. War material was also obtained through elaborate international smuggling schemes, domestic production, and equipment captured from infiltrating enemy combatants.[22]

Five months later on 28 April 1966, the Rhodesian Security Forces engaged militants in Sinoia, during the first major engagement of the war.[18] Seven ZANLA men were killed during the fighting and in retaliation the survivors killed two civilians at their farm near Hartley three weeks later.[57]

Prior to the collapse of Portuguese rule in Mozambique in 1974–75, the Rhodesians were able to defend their frontier with Zambia with relative ease and prevent many guerrilla incursions. The Rhodesians were able to set up a strong defensive line along the Zambezi River running from Lake Kariba to the Mozambique border. Here 30-man camps were established at 8 kilometer intervals supported by mobile rapid reaction units. Between 1966 and 1970 these defences accounted for 175 insurgents killed for the loss of 14 defenders.[59] The conflict continued at a low level until 21 December 1972 when ZANLA attacked Altena Farm in north-east Rhodesia. In response the Rhodesians moved to hit their enemy in their foreign camps and staging areas before they could infiltrate into Rhodesia.[60]

Secret cross-border operations by the Special Air Service began in the mid-1960s, with Rhodesian Security Forces already engaging in hot-pursuits into Mozambique. However three weeks after the attack on Altena Farm, ZANLA killed two civilians and abducted another who was subsequently taken into Mozambique and then Tanzania. In response SAS troops were inserted into Mozambique with the approval of the Portuguese administration, in the first officially sanctioned external operation. The Rhodesian government began authorizing an increasing number of external operations.[60]

In the first phase of the conflict (up until the end of 1972), Rhodesia’s political and military position appeared to be a strong one. Nationalist guerrillas had been unable to make serious military inroads against Rhodesia. In the early 1970s the two main nationalist groups faced serious internal divisions, aid from the Organization of African Unity was temporarily suspended in 1971 and 129 nationalists were expelled from Zambia after they were alleged to have plotted against President Kenneth Kaunda.[61]

Britain’s efforts to isolate Rhodesia economically had not forced major compromises from the Smith Government. Indeed, late in 1971 the British and Rhodesian Governments had negotiated a compromise political settlement which would have bowed to the Smith Government’s agenda of postponing majority rule into the indefinite future. Nevertheless, when it was found that such a delayed approach to majority rule was unacceptable to most of Rhodesia’s African population, the deal fell apart.[62] It would take the collapse of Portuguese rule in Mozambique to create new military and political pressures on the Rhodesian Government to accept the principle of immediate majority rule.

[edit] Second phase (1972–1979)

For Rhodesian Army counter-insurgency tactics, see Fireforce.

White civilians; A woman and two young children killed at Elim Mission by terrorists during the Bush War.

The black nationalists continued to operate from secluded bases in neighbouring Zambia and from FRELIMO-controlled areas in the Portuguese colony of Mozambique, making periodic raids into Rhodesia. By 1973 guerrilla activity was increasing in the aftermath of the Altena Farm raid, particularly in the northeast part of the country where portions of the African population were evacuated from border areas, and compulsory military service for whites was extended to one year. [63]

In April 1974, a left wing coup in Portugal heralded the coming end of colonial rule in Mozambique. FRELIMO formed a transitional government within months, and officially took over the country in June 1975. Such events proved beneficial to ZANLA but disastrous for the Rhodesians, adding an additional 800 miles of hostile border.[64] Indeed with the demise of the Portuguese empire Ian Smith realised Rhodesia was surrounded on three sides by hostile nations and declared a formal state of emergency. Soon Mozambique closed its border, however Rhodesian forces continued to cross the border in “hot pursuit” raids, attacking the nationalists and their training camps.[65]

By 1975–76 it was clear that an indefinite postponment of majority rule, which had been the cornerstone of the Smith Government’s strategy since UDI, was no longer viable. Even overt South African support for Rhodesia was waning as, in March 1975, the South Africans withdrew a border police unit that had been assisting to protect Rhodesia’s border with Zambia. [66]

Late in 1976, Ian Smith accepted the basic elements of the compromise proposals made by US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to introduce majority rule within two years.[67] The Smith Government then sought to negotiate an acceptable settlement with moderate black leaders, while retaining strong white influence in key areas. The Rhodesian military, in turn, had the job of eroding the rising military strength of the ZANLA and ZIPRA to the greatest extent possible in order “buy time” for an acceptable political settlement to be reached.

[edit] Nyadzonya raid

The Rhodesian Security Forces called up part-time soldiers in preparation for a major counter-offensive on 2 May 1976.[68] On 9 August 1976, Rhodesian Selous Scouts attacked a ZANLA camp at Nyadzonya in Mozambique containing over 5,000 guerrillas and several hundred refugees. The Selous Scouts, who numbered 72, dressed in FRELIMO uniforms and disguised their vehicles, attaching FRELIMO licence plates and painting them in FRELIMO colours. White soldiers wore black ski masks. They crossed the unmanned border crossing into Mozambique at 0005 hours on 9 August and drove through the early morning to the camp, passing several FRELIMO sentries who saluted them as they went by.[69]

When they reached the ZANLA camp at 0825 hours the six ZANLA soldiers on duty allowed them to enter, and the Rhodesian vehicles moved in and took up prearranged positions around the edge of the parade ground, on which stood about 4,000 guerrillas. When all was ready a Rhodesian soldier took his vehicle loudspeaker and announced, in Shona, “Zimbabwe tatona” – translated into English, “We have taken Zimbabwe”. The cadres began cheering and ran towards the vehicles, packing around them as more ran onto the parade ground from other areas of the camp.[69]

The Rhodesians then opened fire and continued shooting until there was no movement on the parade ground, at which time they returned to Rhodesia. More than 1,000 ZANLA insurgents were reported killed by the Rhodesians, with four Selous Scouts lightly wounded. This figure is corroborated by ZANLA’s official report on the matter,[n 4] though publicly both ZANLA and ZIPRA claimed that Nyadzonya had been a refugee camp.[69]

Later, on October 7, 1976, militants bombed a railroad bridge over Matetsi River when a train carrying ore passed over.[70]

Rhodesian soldiers on patrol with FN FAL rifles during the 1970s.

As the conflict intensified, the United States and Britain attempted to negotiate a peaceful settlement. However this was rejected by the Rhodesian government insofar as it involved any potential surrender of power to the ZANLA or ZIPRA.

[edit] Escalation of the war (1977)

By 1977 the war had spread throughout Rhodesia. The ZANLA continued to operate from Mozambique and remained dominant among the Mashona peoples in eastern and central Rhodesia. Meanwhile ZIPRA remained active in the north and west, using bases in Zambia and Botswana, and were mainly supported by the Ndebele tribes.[64] With this escalation came increasing sophistication and organisation. No longer were the guerrillas the disorganised force they had been in the 1960s. Indeed now they were well-equipped with modern weapons, and although many were still untrained, an increasing number had received training in Communist bloc and other sympathetic countries.[71]

Weapons fielded included AK47 and SKS assault rifles, RPD and RPK light machine guns, as well as RPG-2 and RPG-7 rocket propelled grenade launchers. The Rhodesians only discovered how well equipped the nationalists had become when raids on guerrilla base areas towards the end of the war revealed mortars, 12.7mm and 14.5mm heavy machine guns and even heavier calibre weapons such as 122mm multiple rocket launchers.[72]

On 3 April 1977, General Peter Walls announced the government would launch a campaign to win the “hearts and minds” of Rhodesia’s black citizens.[73] In May Walls received reports of ZANLA forces massing in the city of Mapai in Gaza Province, Mozambique. Prime Minister Smith gave Walls permission to destroy the base. Walls told the media the Rhodesian forces were changing tactics from contain and hold to search and destroy, “adopting hot pursuit when necessary.”

On 30 May 1977, 500 troops passed the border and travelled 60 miles to Mapai, engaging the ZANLA forces with air cover from the Rhodesian Air Force and paratroopers in C-47 Dakotas. The Rhodesian government said the military killed 32 ZANLA fighters and lost one Rhodesian pilot. The Mozambican government disputed the number of casualties, saying it shot down three Rhodesian planes and a helicopter and took several troops prisoner, all of which Minister of Combined Operations Roger Hawkins denied.[74][75][76]

The United Nations Security Council subsequently denounced the incursion of the “illegal racist minority regime in Southern Rhodesia” into Mozambique in Resolution 411, on 30 June 1977.[77] Walls announced a day later that the Rhodesian military would occupy Mapai until they had eliminated ZANLA’s presence. Kurt Waldheim, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, condemned the incident on 1 June, and Rhodesian forces withdrew. The American, British, and Soviet governments also condemned the raid.[74]

Militants bombed Woolworth’s department store in Salisbury on 6 August 1977, killing 11 and injuring 70.[78] They killed sixteen black civilians in eastern Rhodesia on 21 August, burning their homes on a white-owned farm.[79] In November 1977, in response to the buildup of ZANLA guerrillas in Mozambique, Rhodesian forces launched Operation Dingo, a pre-emptive combined arms surprise attack on guerrilla camps at Chimoio and Tembue in Mozambique. The attack was carried out over three days, from November 23 to 25, 1977. While these operations reportedly inflicted thousands of casualties on Robert Mugabe’s ZANLA cadres, probably blunting guerrilla incursions in the months that followed, a steady intensification of the insurgency nevertheless continued through 1978.

In order to disrupt FRELIMO’s hold on Mozambique, the Rhodesian Central Intelligence Organization helped to create and support its own insurgency movement within Mozambique. This guerrilla group, known as RENAMO battled with FRELIMO even as Rhodesian forces fought the ZANLA within Mozambique.

Map showing the operational areas of the Rhodesian Security Forces during the conflict.

In May 1978, 50 civilians were killed in crossfire exchanged between Marxist militants and the Rhodesian military, the highest number of civilians to be killed in an engagement up to that point.[80] In July Patriotic Front members killed 39 black civilians and the Rhodesian government killed 106 militants.[81] On 4 November 1978 Walls said 2,000 Patriotic Front militants had been persuaded to defect and fight for the Rhodesian Security Forces. In reality only 50 militants defected.[73]

A Leopard APC, mine-protected vehicle, designed and built in Rhodesia during the late 1970s and based on a Volkswagen engine. This example is displayed in the Imperial War Museum North, Manchester, UK

In 1978 450 ZANLA militants crossed the Mozambique border and attacked the town of Umtali. At the time ZANU said the militants were women, an unusual characteristic, but in 1996 Joyce Mujuru said the vast majority involved were men and ZANU concocted the story to make Western organizations believe women were involved in the fighting.[82] In retaliation for these acts the Rhodesian Air Force bombed guerrilla camps 125 miles inside Mozambique, using ‘fatigued’ Canberra B2 aircraft and Hawker Hunters — actively, but clandestinely, supported by several of the more capable Canberra B(I)12 aircraft of the South African Air Force. A number of joint-force bomber raids on guerrilla encampments and assembly areas in Mozambique and Zambia were mounted in 1978, and extensive air reconnaissance and surveillance of guerrilla encampments and logistical build-up was carried out by the South African Air Force on behalf of the RhAF.

[edit] Airliners shot down

Rhodesian external operation extended into Zambia after Nkomo’s ZIPRA nationalists shot down two unarmed Vickers Viscount civilian airliners with Soviet supplied SAM-7 heat-seeking missiles. Encamped beneath the path of ascent towards Salisbury from Kariba Airport, the ZIPRA cadres downed Air Rhodesia Flight 825 on 3 September 1978 and Air Rhodesia Flight 827 on 12 February 1979. In the first incident, eighteen civilians on board survived, and five of these went away to find water. Half an hour later nine ZIPRA fighters arrived, promising help; three of the thirteen survivors hid when they saw them. In the words of Time magazine, the ZIPRA cadres “herded together the ten people at the wreckage, robbed them of their valuables, and finally cut them down with automatic weapons fire”. Nkomo claimed responsibility for the attack and spoke of it to the BBC in a way Rhodesians considered gloating.[46] In the second attack all 59 people on board were killed in the crash.[47]

In retaliation for the shooting down of Flight 825 in September 1978, Rhodesian Air Force Canberra bombers, Hunter fighter-bombers and helicopter gunships attacked the ZIPRA guerrilla base at Westlands farm near Lusaka in October 1978, warning Zambian forces by radio not to interfere.[83]

The increased effectiveness of the bombing and follow-up ‘air mobile’ strikes using Dakota-dropped parachutists and helicopter ‘air cav’ techniques had a significant effect on the development of the conflict. As late as September 1979, despite the increased sophistication of guerrilla forces in Mozambique, a raid by Selous Scouts, with artillery and air support, on “New Chimoio” still reportedly resulted in heavy ZANLA casualties.[n 5] However, a successful raid on the Rhodesian strategic fuel reserves in Salisbury also underscored the importance of concluding a negotiated settlement and achieving international recognition before the war expanded further.

[edit] Military pressure

The larger problem was that by 1979, combined ZIRPA and ZANLA strength inside Rhodesia totalled at least 12,500 guerrillas and it was evident that insurgents were entering the country at a faster rate than the Rhodesian forces could kill or capture them. In addition, 22,000 ZIPRA and 16,000 ZANLA fighters remained uncommitted outside the country.[84] Joshua Nkomo’s ZIPRA forces were preparing their forces in Zambia with the intent of confronting the Rhodesians through a conventional invasion. Whether such an invasion could have been successful in the short term against the well trained Rhodesian army and air force is questionable. However, what was clear was that the insurgency was growing in strength daily and the ability of the security forces to continue to control the entire country was coming under serious challenge.[69]

By putting the civilian population at risk, ZIPRA and the ZANLA had been particularly effective in creating conditions that accelerated white emigration. This not only seriously undermined the morale of the white population, it was also gradually reducing the availability of trained reserves for the army and the police. For a discussion see:

Main article: Rhodesia Regiment

The economy was also suffering badly as a result of the war with the Rhodesian GDP in consistent decline in the late 1970s.[84]

Politically, the Rhodesians were therefore pinning all their hopes on the “internal” political settlement that had been negotiated with moderate black nationalist leaders in 1978 and its ability to achieve external recognition and support. This internal settlement led to the creation of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia under a new constitution in 1979.

[edit] Resolution

Under the agreement of March 1978, the country was to be known as Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, and in the general election of 24 April 1979, Bishop Abel Muzorewa became the country’s first black prime minister. The factions led by Nkomo and Mugabe denounced the new government as a puppet of white Rhodesians and fighting continued. The hoped for recognition of the internal settlement, and of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, by the newly elected Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher did not materialize after the latter’s election in May 1979. Likewise, despite the fact that the US Senate voted to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, the Carter administration also refused to recognize the internal settlement.

While Prime Minister Thatcher clearly sympathized with the internal settlement and thought of the ZANLA and ZIPRA leaders as “terrorists”, she was prepared to support a push for further compromise if it could end the fighting.[85] Britain was also reluctant to recognize the internal settlement for fear of fracturing the unity of the Commonwealth. Thus later in 1979, the Thatcher government called a peace conference in London to which all nationalist leaders were invited.[86]

The outcome of this conference would become known as the Lancaster House Agreement. During the conference, the Zimbabwe-Rhodesian Government accepted a watering down of the 1978 internal settlement while Mugabe and Nkomo agreed to end the war in exchange for new elections in which they could participate. The economic sanctions imposed on the country were lifted in late 1979, and British rule resumed under a transitional arrangement leading to full independence. On 21 December 1979 a cease-fire was subsequently announced.[87]

The elections of 1980 resulted in a victory for Robert Mugabe, who assumed the post of prime minister after ZANU-PF received 63% of the vote. Accusations of voter intimidation by Mugabe’s guerrilla cadres, sections of which were accused of not having assembled in the designated guerrilla assembly points as required under the Lancaster House Agreement, may have led the Rhodesian military to give serious consideration to a coup d’état in March 1980.[40]

This alleged coup was to have included the assassination of Mugabe and coordinated assaults on ZANLA guerrilla assembly points within the country. However, even in the context of alleged voter intimidation by ZANLA elements, widespread support for Mugabe from large sections of the black population (in particular from his own Shona tribal group which made up the overwhelming majority of the country’s population) could not be seriously disputed. Moreover, the clear absence of any external support for such a coup, and the inevitable conflagration that would have engulfed the country thereafter, scuttled the plan.[40]

The result was that on 18 April 1980 the country gained independence and international recognition. On the second anniversary of this event the government changed the name of the country’s capital from Salisbury to Harare.

[edit] Aftermath

Main articles: Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe

Following independence, Robert Mugabe acted incrementally to consolidate his power.

Fighting between ZANLA and ZIPRA units broke out in 1981 and led to what has become known as Gukurahundi, a Shona term which translates roughly to mean “the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains”.[88] The Gukurahundi campaigns, which are also called the Matabeleland Massacres, ran from 1982 to 1985. Mugabe used his North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade to crush any resistance in Matabeleland. German journalist Shari Eppel estimates the number of Matabele murdered in these first years after the war to be about 20,000.[89]

Beyond Zimbabwe’s borders, as a result of Rhodesian aid and support for RENAMO, the Bush War also helped influence the outbreak of the Mozambique Civil War, which lasted from 1977 until 1992. That conflict claimed over a million lives, and also led to some 5 million people being made homeles


[edit] End of Rhodesia

In 1978 an Internal Settlement was signed between Smith’s government and two more moderate African nationalist parties, the United African National Council (UANC), led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, and ZANU (Ndonga), led by Ndabaningi Sithole. However, this did not involve the two main communist parties in exile — the remainder of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) led by Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), led by Joshua Nkomo — which respectively fielded both major armies in the Rhodesian Bush War. Consequently, it was rejected by the international community.

In April 1979 the first multiracial elections were held in Rhodesia, which saw Abel Muzorewa become the first black Prime Minister of what was now called Zimbabwe Rhodesia. However, under the Internal Settlement, whites retained control of the country’s judiciary, civil service, police and armed forces, and had a quarter of the seats in parliament reserved for them.

In December 1979 following multi-party talks at Lancaster House in London, Britain resumed control of Rhodesia, and with the help of observers from other Commonwealth countries, saw the first full participatory elections. During the four month period that the country was restored to the status of a British colony it was known officially as “the British Dependency of Southern Rhodesia”. The Republic of Zimbabwe came into being on April 18, 1980.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Peter N. Stearns and William Leonard Langer. The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Chronologically Arranged, 2001. Page 1069.
  2. ^ Smith, Ian (1997). The Great Betrayal. London: Blake Publishing. pp. 104–108. 
  3. ^ Rhodesia Herald, Salisbury, 13 to 20 September 1968
  4. ^ “Rhodesian Currency”. Retrieved 2008-01-25.

The Story behind The nice Postal history in 1834

THIS THE SAMPLE OF Dr iwan E-book In CD-ROM Limited edition




urat  dikirim ke


Lord Clifford di Palazzo Odescalchi

(itu masih ada) par estafette (pengiriman ekspres oleh pelatih) pada tahun 1834.

stempel  merah menunjukkan malam Maret 10.

Ditandai Corrispa Estera

da Genova.

Organisasi Angleterre (merah)  melalui Pont Beauvoisin.

Karena BIaya Pos  33 Bajocchi sekitar 0,35 sen dolar AS

Membuat saya tidak bisa  keluarkan cukup  biaya ongkos kirim. Sepertinya 92/8 yang akan menjadi jumlah yang fenomenal.

Satu dolar AS pada waktu itu sama dengan mata uang British  4/2 shilling.

Sebaliknya menunjukkan organisasi Wetherby mengaris bawahi dengan jarak tempuh.

Cap stempel  pos Malam 1.834

Sebuah segel merah dengan apa yang tampaknya menjadi sebuah lambang keluarga dari dua hewan (griffin dan unicorn?) Kedua sisi perisai atasnya oleh sebuah mahkota.

 Cap  stempel warna hitam yang saya tidak bisa baca. Sepertinya Firenze, sesuatu (Pamanzo?), 1834

english version

Folded letter sent to Lord Clifford at Palazzo (palace)Odescalchi(rome)

The arms of the Italian Princes Odescalchi.

The keys and the ombrellino above the shield indicate that a member of the family had been Pope

(it’s still there) par estafette (express delivery by coach) in 1834.

The red tombstone indicates the evening of March 10th.

Marked Corrispa Estera da


Angleterre (in red) origination via Pont Beauvoisin.

Postage due 33 Bajocchi approximately 0.35 US cents

I can’t quite make out the cost of postage. It looks like 92/8 which would have been a phenomenal sum.

A US dollar at the time was equal to 4/2 British currency.


Reverse shows Wetherby origination underlined with mileage.

An evening 1834 stamp.

A red seal with what appears to be a family crest of two animals (a griffin and a unicorn?) either side of a shield topped by a crown.

Black stamp which I cannot read. Looks like Firenze, something (Pamanzo?), 1834


The letter discusses the then current political situation in Italy.

The Clifford family arrived in England with

William the CoWilliam "the Conqueror"nquerer.









A Clifford has several lines in Shakespeare’s

Henry VI.

Another in Wordsworth’s White Doe of Rylestone.

The Cliffords were related to a number of the leading Catholic families in England. Lucy Clifford, the daughter of the 3rd Baron, married Thomas Weld who, after her death, entered the Catholic Church and became a Cardinal in 1830.

Their daughter, Mary Weld, married Hugh Clifford (1790-1858), the 7th Baron and probably the one to whom the letter is addressed.

William Clifford (1823-1893), the brother of the 8th Baron, was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Clifton.

Sir Hugh Clifford (1866-1941), the nephew of the 8th Baron, held a number of posts in the Colonial Service, including Governor of Ceylon, Governor of Nigeria and Governor of the Straits Settlements.

Sir Bede Clifford (1890-1969),


a son of the 10th Baron, was Private Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia in 1918-20 and later held a number of vice-regal appointments.

machinal translate

Surat tersebut membahas situasi politik saat itu di Italia.

Keluarga Clifford tiba di Inggris dengan William Conquerer tersebut.

Sebuah Clifford memiliki beberapa baris di Shakespeare Henry VI.

Lain dalam Wordsworth White Doe of Rylestone.

Para Cliffords tersebut terkait dengan sejumlah keluarga Katolik terkemuka di Inggris. Lucy Clifford, putri dari Baron 3rd, menikah dengan Thomas Weld yang, setelah kematiannya, memasuki Gereja Katolik dan menjadi Kardinal pada tahun 1830.

Putri mereka, Mary Weld, menikah dengan Hugh Clifford (1790-1858), Baron VII dan mungkin orang kepada siapa surat tersebut ditujukan.

William Clifford (1823-1893), adik dari Baron VIII , adalah Uskup  Katolik Roma  Clifton.

Sir Hugh Clifford (1866-1941), keponakan dari Baron VIII, mengadakan sejumlah posting di Layanan kolonial, termasuk Gubernur Ceylon, Gubernur Nigeria dan Gubernur Straits Settlements.

Sir Clifford Bede (1890-1969), seorang putra dari Baron X, adalah Sekretaris Pribadi Gubernur-Jenderal Australia di 1918-1920 dan kemudian mengadakan sejumlah peranjanjian  dengan  agung wakil Agung

 read more about
William "the Conqueror"But how about the time of William “The Conqueror”
(lived 1027-1087, my children’s 30th GGP)? Would you believe that we each have 4,294,967,296  30th GGP’s? That is more than 4 billion of that generation only! The reason for that great number at a time when there were only 2.5 million inhabitants in England is of course that most of these ancestors come up again and again. In a family with 10 children, most of the children will be our ancestors. So their parents will come up 10 times.
CharlemagneWilliam descends in one line from Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne and his queen Matilda has seven such lines. Since we all have Charlemagne on the “average” as our 40th GGP, you have 4.398 trillion GGP’s around the time period so that each of us descends multitudinous times from Charlemagne and his queen Hildegarde. Even though there were only about 29 million inhabitants in all of Europe in 800 AD.

You must be wondering by now how many GGP’s (theoretical and actual) you had in A.D. 1 or 1 B.C., at the time of Christ’s birth. Well, you would have 590 quintillion, 295 quadrillion, 804 trillion, 989 billion, 996 million, 531 thousand, 712  67th GGP’s. However, the estimated population of the whole earth was 200 million at the time. So if you descended from each one equally, you would descend from each person 2.36 trillion times on a pedigree chart. 

However, unless you in your family can find any nobility or royalty with their proven historical lines you will never be able to show the actual pedigree to ancient people since our church books in Europe didn’t start until c.1700. It is also true – as I have noticed among the 10.400 ancestors in my children’s pedigree – that nobles and royals rarely married outside their own class. But they did have enough illegitimate offspring to make all of them our forefathers around the time of the Holy Roman or Byzantine empire and at the time of Jesus our world family thus branches out to even the furthest corners of the world, including our common ancestors in China and India. Unless, again, you are an Eskimo, American Indian or Australian Aborigine.

read more about Shaekspiere ‘s henry VI

Henry VI, Part 1


Facsimile of the first page of The first Part of Henry the Sixt from the First Folio, published in 1623

Henry VI, Part 1 or The First Part of Henry the Sixt (often written as 1 Henry VI) is a history play by William Shakespeare, and possibly Thomas Nashe, believed to have been written in 1591, and set during the lifetime of King Henry VI of England. Whereas 2 Henry VI deals with the King’s inability to quell the bickering of his nobles, and the inevitability of armed conflict, and 3 Henry VI deals with the horrors of that conflict, 1 Henry VI deals with the loss of England’s French territories and the political machinations leading up to the Wars of the Roses, as the English political system is torn apart by personal squabbles and petty jealousy.

Although the Henry VI trilogy may not have been written in chronological order, the three plays are often grouped together with Richard III to form a tetralogy covering the entire Wars of the Roses saga, from the death of Henry V in 1422 to the rise to power of Henry VII in 1485. It was the success of this sequence of plays which firmly established Shakespeare’s reputation as a playwright.

Henry VI, Part 1 is regarded by some as the weakest play in Shakespeare’s oeuvre[1] and, along with Titus Andronicus, is one of the strongest candidates for evidence of Shakespeare collaborating with other dramatists early in his career.



[edit] Characters

The English

  • Lawyer
  • Papal Legate
  • Gaoler
  • Messengers, captain, soldiers, heralds, etc.

The French

[edit] Synopsis

Frederick and Alfred Heath engraving of Scene in the Temple Garden by John Pettie (1871)

The play begins with the funeral of Henry V, who has died unexpectedly in his prime. As his brothers, the Dukes of Bedford and Gloucester, and his uncle, the Duke of Exeter, lament his passing and express doubt as to whether his son (the as yet uncrowned heir apparent Henry VI) is capable of running the country in such tumultuous times, word arrives of military setbacks in France. A rebellion, led by the Dauphin Charles, is gaining momentum, and several major towns have already been lost. Additionally, Lord Talbot, Constable of France, has been captured. Realising a critical time is at hand, Bedford immediately prepares himself to head to France and take command of the army, Gloucester remains in charge in England, and Exeter sets out to prepare young Henry for his forthcoming coronation.

Meanwhile, in Orléans, the English army are laying siege to Charles’ forces. Inside the city, the Bastard of Orléans approaches Charles and tells him of a young woman who claims to have seen visions and knows how to defeat the English. Charles summons the woman, Joan la Pucelle, (i.e. Joan of Arc). To test her resolve, he challenges her to single combat. Upon her victory, he immediately places her in command of the army. Outside the city, the newly arrived Bedford negotiates the release of Talbot, but immediately, Joan launches an attack. The French forces win, forcing the English back, but Talbot and Bedford engineer a sneak attack on the city, and gain a foothold within the walls, causing the French leaders to flee.

Back in England, a petty quarrel between Richard Plantagenet and the Duke of Somerset has expanded to involve the whole court. Richard and Somerset ask their fellow nobles to pledge allegiance to one of them, and as such the lords select either red or white roses to indicate which side they are on. Richard then goes to see his uncle, Edmund Mortimer, imprisoned in the Tower of London. Mortimer tells Richard the history of their family’s conflict with the king’s family—how they helped Henry Bolingbroke seize power from Richard II, but were then shoved into the background; and how Henry V had Richard’s father (Richard of Conisburgh) executed and his family stripped of all its lands and monies. Mortimer also tells Richard that he himself is the rightful heir to the throne, and that when he dies, Richard will be the true heir, not Henry. Amazed at these revelations, Richard determines to attain his birthright, and vows to have his family’s dukedom restored. After Mortimer dies, Richard presents his petition to the recently crowned Henry, who agrees to reinstate the Plantagenet’s title, making Richard 3rd Duke of York. Henry then leaves for France, accompanied by Gloucester, Exeter, Winchester, Richard and Somerset.

H.C. Selous‘ illustration of Joan’s fiends abandoning her in Act 5, Scene 3; from The Plays of William Shakespeare: The Historical Plays, edited by Charles Cowden Clarke and Mary Cowden Clarke (1830)

In France, within a matter of hours, the French retake and then lose the city of Rouen. After the battle, Bedford dies, and Talbot assumes direct command of the army. The Dauphin is horrified at the loss of Rouen, but Joan tells him not to worry. She then persuades the powerful Duke of Burgundy, who had been fighting for the English, to switch sides, and join the French. Meanwhile, Henry arrives in Paris and upon learning of Burgundy’s betrayal, he sends Talbot to speak with him. Henry then pleads for Richard and Somerset to put aside their conflict, and, unaware of the implications of his actions, he chooses a red rose, symbolically aligning himself with Somerset and alienating Richard. Prior to returning to England, in an effort to secure peace between Somerset and Richard, Henry places Richard in command of the infantry and Somerset in command of the cavalry. Meanwhile, Talbot approaches Bordeaux, but the French army swing around and trap him. Talbot sends word for reinforcements, but the conflict between Richard and Somerset leads them to second guess one another, and neither of them send any, both blaming the other for the mix-up. The English army are subsequently destroyed, and both Talbot and his son are killed.

After the battle, Joan’s visions desert her, and she is captured by Richard, and burned at the stake. At the same time, urged on by Pope Eugenius IV and the Holy Roman Emperor, Sigismund, Henry sues for peace. The French listen to the English terms, under which Charles is to be a viceroy to Henry, reluctantly agreeing, but only with the intention of breaking their oath at a later date and expelling the English from France. Meanwhile, the Earl of Suffolk has captured a young French princess, Margaret of Anjou, who he intends to marry to Henry and dominate the king through her. Travelling back to England, he attempts to persuade Henry to marry Margaret. Gloucester advises Henry against the marriage, as Margaret’s family are not rich, and the marriage is not advantageous to his position as king, but Henry is taken in by Suffolk’s description of Margaret’s beauty, and he agrees to the proposal. Suffolk then heads back to France to bring Margaret to England as Gloucester worryingly ponders what the future may hold.

[edit] Sources

Shakespeare’s primary source for 1 Henry VI was Edward Hall‘s The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York (1548). Also, as with most of Shakespeare’s chronicle histories, Raphael Holinshed‘s Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (1577; 2nd edition 1587) was also consulted. Holinshed based much of his Wars of the Roses information in the Chronicles on Hall’s information in Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families, even to the point of reproducing large portions of it verbatim. However, there are enough differences between Hall and Holinshed to establish that Shakespeare must have consulted both of them.

For example, Shakespeare must have used Hall for the scene where Gloucester is attempting to gain access to the Tower, and Woodville tells him that the order not to admit anyone came from Winchester. Dismayed, Gloucester refers to Winchester as “that haughty prelate,/Whom Henry, our late sovereign, ne’re could brook” (1.3.23–24). Only in Hall is there any indication that Henry V had a problem with Winchester. In Holinshed, there is nothing to suggest any disagreement or conflict between them. Another example of Shakespeare’s use of Hall is found when Sir Thomas Gargrave is injured by the artillery strike at Orléans (1.5). In the play, he dies immediately, and the rest of the scene focuses on the death of the more senior soldier Salisbury. Likewise, in Hall, Gargrave dies immediately after the attack. In Holinshed, however, Gargrave takes two days to die (as he did in reality). The semi-comic scene where the French leaders are forced to flee Orléans half-dressed (dramatised in 2.1) also seems based on an incident reported only in Hall. When discussing the English retaking of Le Mans in 1428, Hall writes, “The French, suddenly taken, were so amazed in so much that some of them, being not out of their beds, got up in their shirts.”[3] Another incident involving Gloucester and Winchester is also unique to Hall. During their debate in Act 3, Scene 1, Gloucester accuses Winchester of attempting to have him assassinated on London Bridge. Hall mentions this assassination attempt, explaining that it was supposed to have taken place at the Southwark end of the bridge in an effort to prevent Gloucester from joining Henry V in Eltham Palace.[4] In Holinshed however, there is no reference to any such incident. Another incident possibly taken from Hall is found in Act 3, Scene 2, where Joan and the French soldiers disguise themselves as peasants and sneak into Rouen. This is not an historical event, and it is not recorded in either Hall or Holinshed. However, a very similar such incident is recorded in Hall, where he reports of the capture of Cornhill Castle in Cornhill-on-Tweed by the English in 1441.

On the other hand, some aspects of the play are unique to Holinshed. For example, in the opening scene, as word arrives in England of the rebellion in France, Exeter says to his fellow peers, “Remember, Lords, your oaths to Henry sworn:/Either to quell the Dauphin utterly,/Or bring him in obedience to your yoke” (1.1.162–164). Only in Holinshed is it reported that on his deathbed, Henry V elicited vows from Bedford, Gloucester and Exeter that they would never willingly surrender France, and would never allow the Dauphin to become king. Another piece of information unique to Holinshed is seen when Charles compares Joan to the Old Testament prophetess Deborah (1.2.105). According to Judges 4 and 5, Deborah masterminded Barak‘s surprise victory against the Canaanite army led by Sisera, which had suppressed the Israelites for over twenty years. No such comparison is found in Hall. Another piece of information unique to Holinshed occurs when the Master Gunner mentions that the English have taken control of some of the suburbs of Orléans (1.4.2). Holinshed reports that the English captured several of the suburbs on the other side of the Loire, something not found in Hall.

[edit] Date and text

[edit] Date

The most important evidence for dating 1 Henry VI is the Diary of Philip Henslowe, which records a performance of a play by Lord Strange’s Men called Harey Vj (i.e. Henry VI) on 3 March 1592 at the Rose Theatre in Southwark. Henslowe refers to the play as “ne” (which most critics take to mean “new”, although it could be an abbreviation for the Newington Butts theatre, which Henslow may have owned[5]) and mentions that it had fifteen performances and earned £3.16s.8d, meaning it was extremely successful.[6] Harey Vj is usually accepted as being 1 Henry VI for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is unlikely to have been either 2 Henry VI or 3 Henry VI, as they were published in 1594 and 1595 respectively with the titles under which they would have originally been performed, so as to ensure higher sales. As neither of them appear under the title Harey Vj, the play seen by Henslowe is unlikely to be either of them. Additionally, as Gary Taylor points out, Henslowe tended to identify sequels, but not first parts, to which he referred by the general title. As such, “Harey Vj could not be a Part Two or Part Three, but could easily be a Part One.”[7] The only other option is that Harey Vj is a now lost play.

That Harey Vj is not a lost play however seems to be confirmed by a reference in Thomas Nashe’s Piers Penniless his Supplication to the Devil (entered into the Stationers’ Register on 8 August 1592), which supports the theory that Harey Vj is 1 Henry VI. Nashe praises a play that features Lord Talbot: “How would it have joyed brave Talbot (the terror of the French), to think that after he had lain two hundred years in his tomb, he should triumph again on the stage, and have his bones new embalmed with the tears of ten thousand spectators (at least), who in the tragedian that represents his person imagine they behold him fresh bleeding.” It is thought that Nashe is here referring to Harey Vj, i.e. 1 Henry VI, as there is no other candidate for a play featuring Talbot from this time period (although again, there is the slight possibility that both Henslowe and Nashe are referring to a now lost play).

If Nashe’s comment is accepted as evidence that the play seen by Henslowe was 1 Henry VI, to have been on stage as a new play in March 1592 it must have been written in 1591.

There is a separate question concerning the date of composition however. Due to the publication in March 1594 of a quarto version of 2 Henry VI (under the title The First part of the Contention betwixt the two famous Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, with the death of the good Duke Humphrey: And the banishment and death of the Duke of Suffolke, and the Tragicall end of the proud Cardinal of Winchester, with the notable Rebellion of Jack Cade: and the Duke of Yorke’s first claim unto the crowne)[8] and an octavo version of 3 Henry VI in 1595 (under the title The The True Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, and the death of good King Henrie the Sixt, with the Whole Contention betweene the two Houses, Lancaster and Yorke),[9] neither of which make any reference to 1 Henry VI, some critics have argued that 2 Henry VI and 3 Henry VI were written prior to 1 Henry VI. This theory was first suggested by E.K. Chambers in 1923, and revised by John Dover Wilson in 1952. The theory is that The Contention and True Tragedy were originally conceived as a two-part play, but due to their success, a prequel was created. Obviously the title of The Contention, where it is referred to as The First Part is a large part of this theory, but various critics have offered further pieces of evidence to suggest 1 Henry VI was not the first play written in the trilogy. R.B. McKerrow, for example, argues that “if 2 Henry VI was originally written to continue the first part, it seems utterly incomprehensible that it should contain no allusion to the prowess of Talbot.”[10] McKerrow also comments on the lack of reference to the symbolic use of roses in 2 Henry VI, whereas in 1 Henry VI and 3 Henry VI they are mentioned numerous times. McKerrow concludes that this suggests 1 Henry VI was written closer to 3 Henry VI, and as we know 3 Henry VI was definitely a sequel, it means that 1 Henry VI must have been written last, i.e., Shakespeare only conceived of the use of the roses while writing 3 Henry VI, and then incorporated the idea into his prequel. Eliot Slater comes to the same conclusion in his statistical examination of the vocabulary of all three Henry VI plays, where he argues that 1 Henry VI was written either immediately before or immediately after 3 Henry VI, hence it must have been written last.[11] Likewise, Gary Taylor, in his analysis of the authorship of 1 Henry VI, argues that the many discrepancies between 1 Henry VI and 2 Henry VI (such as the lack of reference to Talbot) coupled with similarities in the vocabulary, phraseology and tropes of 1 Henry VI and 3 Henry VI suggest 1 Henry VI was probably written last.[12]

One argument against this theory is that 1 Henry VI is the weakest of the trilogy and therefore, logic would suggest it was written first. This argument suggests that Shakespeare could only have created such a weak play if it was his first attempt to turn his chronicle sources into drama. In essence, he was unsure of his way, and as such, 1 Henry VI was a trial-run of sorts, making way for the more accomplished 2 Henry VI and 3 Henry VI. Emrys Jones is one notable critic who supports this view.[13] The standard rebuke to this theory, and the one used by Dover Wilson in 1952, is that 1 Henry VI is significantly weaker than the other two plays not because it was written first but because it was co-authored, and may have been Shakespeare’s first attempt to collaborate with other writers. As such, all of the play’s problems can be attributed to its co-authors rather than Shakespeare himself, who may have had a relatively limited hand its composition. In this sense, the fact that 1 Henry VI is the weakest of the trilogy has nothing to do with when it may have been written, but instead concerns only how it was written.[14]

As this implies, there is no critical consensus on this issue. Samuel Johnson, writing in his 1765 edition of The Plays of William Shakespeare, pre-empted the debate and argued that the plays were written in sequence: “It is apparent that [2 Henry VI] begins where the former ends, and continues the series of transactions, of which it presupposes the first part already written. This is a sufficient proof that the second and third parts were not written without dependence on the first.”[15] Numerous more recent scholars continue to uphold Johnson’s argument. E.M.W. Tillyard, for example, writing in 1944, believes the plays were written in order, as does Andrew S. Cairncross in his editions of all three plays for the 2nd series of the Arden Shakespeare (1957, 1962 and 1964). E.A.J. Honigmann also agrees, in his ‘early start’ theory of 1982 (which argues that Shakespeare’s first play was Titus Andronicus, which Honigmann posits was written in 1586). Likewise, Michael Hattaway, in both his 1990 New Cambridge Shakespeare edition of 1 Henry VI and his 1991 edition of 2 Henry VI argues that the evidence suggests 1 Henry VI was written first. In his 2001 introduction to Henry VI: Critical Essays, Thomas A. Pendleton makes a similar argument, as does Roger Warren in his 2003 edition of 2 Henry VI for the Oxford Shakespeare.

On the other hand, Edward Burns, in his 2000 Arden Shakespeare 3rd series edition of 1 Henry VI and Ronald Knowles, in his 1999 Arden Shakespeare 3rd series edition of 2 Henry VI make the case that 2 Henry VI probably preceded 1 Henry VI. Similarly, Randall Martin, in his 2001 Oxford Shakespeare edition of 3 Henry VI argues that 1 Henry VI was almost certainly written last. In his 2003 Oxford edition of 1 Henry VI, Michael Taylor agrees with Martin. Additionally, it is worth noting that in the Oxford Shakespeare: Complete Works of 1986 and the 2nd edition of 2005, and in the Norton Shakespeare of 1997 and again in 2008, both 2 Henry VI and 3 Henry VI precede 1 Henry VI.

Ultimately, the question of the order of composition remains unanswered, and the only thing that critics can agree on is that all three plays (in whatever order) were written by early 1592 at the latest.

[edit] Text

The text of the play was not published until the 1623 First Folio, under the title The first part of Henry the Sixt.

When it came to be called Part 1 is unclear, although most critics tend to assume it was the invention of the First Folio editors, John Heminges and Henry Condell, as there are no references to the play under the title Part 1, or any derivative thereof, prior to 1623.[16]

[edit] Analysis and criticism

[edit] Critical history

Some critics argue that the Henry VI trilogy were the first plays based on recent English history, and as such, they deserve an elevated position in the canon, and a more central role in Shakespearean criticism. According to F.P. Wilson for example, “There is no certain evidence that any dramatist before the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 dared to put upon the public stage a play based upon English history […] so far as we know, Shakespeare was the first.”[17] However, not all critics agree with Wilson here. For example, Michael Taylor argues that there were at least thirty-nine history plays prior to 1592, including the two-part Christopher Marlowe play Tamburlaine (1587), Thomas Lodge‘s The Wounds of Civil War (1588), the anonymous The Troublesome Reign of King John (1588), Edmund Ironside (1590 – also anonymous), Robert Green‘s Selimus (1591) and another anonymous play, The True Tragedy of Richard III (1591). Paola Pugliatti however argues that the case may be somewhere between Wilson and Taylor’s argument: “Shakespeare may not have been the first to bring English history before the audience of a public playhouse, but he was certainly the first to treat it in the manner of a mature historian rather than in the manner of a worshipper of historical, political and religious myth.”[18]

Another issue often discussed amongst critics is the quality of the play. Along with 3 Henry VI, 1 Henry VI has traditionally been seen as one of Shakespeare’s weakest works, with critics often citing the amount of violence as indicative of Shakespeare’s artistic immaturity and inability to handle his chronicle sources, especially when compared to the more nuanced and far less violent second historical tetralogy (Richard II, 1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV and Henry V). For example, critics such as E.M.W. Tillyard,[19] Irving Ribner[20] and A.P. Rossiter[21] have all claimed that the play violates neoclassical precepts of drama, which dictate that violence and battle should never be shown mimetically on stage, but should always be reported digetically in dialogue. This view was based on traditional notions of the distinction between high and low art, a distinction based partly upon Philip Sidney‘s An Apology for Poetry (1579). Based on the work of Horace, Sidney criticised Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville‘s Gorboduc (1561) for showing too many battles and being too violent when it would have been more artistic to verbally represent such scenes. The belief was that any play that showed violence was crude, appealing only to the ignorant masses, and was therefore low art. On the other hand, any play that elevated itself above such direct representation of violence and instead relied on the writer’s ability to verbalise and his skill for diegesis, was considered artistically superior and therefore, high art. Writing in 1605, Ben Jonson commented in The Masque of Blackness that showing battles on stage was only “for the vulgar, who are better delighted with that which pleaseth the eye, than contenteth the ear.”[22] Based upon these theories, 1 Henry VI, with its numerous on-stage skirmishes and multiple scenes of violence and murder, was considered a coarse play with little to recommend it to the intelligentsia.

On the other hand however, writers like Thomas Heywood and Thomas Nashe praised battle scenes in general as oftentimes being intrinsic to the play and not simply vulgar distractions for the illiterate. In Piers Penniless (1592), Nashe praised the didactic element of drama that depicted battle and martial action, arguing that such plays were a good way of teaching both history and military tactics to the masses; in such plays “our forefather’s valiant acts (that have lain long buried in rusty brass and worm-eaten books) are revived.” Nashe also argued that plays that depict glorious national causes from the past rekindle a patriotic fervour that has been lost in “the puerility of an insipid present,” and that such plays “provide a rare exercise of virtue in reproof to these degenerate effeminate days of ours.”[23] Similarly, in An Apology for Actors (1612), Heywood writes, “So bewitching a thing is lively and well-spirited action, that it hath power to new mould the hearts of the spectators, and fashion them to the shape of any noble and notable attempt.”[24] More recently, Michael Goldman has argued that battle scenes are vital to the overall movement and purpose of the play; “the sweep of athletic bodies across the stage is used not only to provide an exciting spectacle but to focus and clarify, to render dramatic, the entire unwieldy chronicle.”[25]

Questions of originality and quality, however, are not the only critical disagreement 1 Henry VI has provoked. There are numerous other issues upon which critics are divided, not the least of which concerns the authorship of the play.

[edit] Attribution Studies

A number of Shakespeare’s early plays have been examined for signs of co-authorship (The Taming of the Shrew, The Contention (i.e. 2 Henry VI), and True Tragedy (i.e. 3 Henry VI) for example), but along with Titus Andronicus, 1 Henry VI stands as the most likely to have been a collaboration between Shakespeare and at least one, but possibly more, other dramatists whose identities remain unknown, although Thomas Nashe, Robert Greene, George Peele, Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Kyd are common proposals.[26]

The theory that Shakespeare may have written very little of 1 Henry VI was first suggested by Edmond Malone in his 1790 edition of Shakespeare’s plays, which included A Dissertation on the Three Parts of King Henry VI, in which he argued that the large number of classical allusions in the play was much more characteristic of Nash, Peele, or Greene than of early Shakespeare. Malone also argued that the language itself indicated someone other than Shakespeare. This view remained the predominate one until 1929, when it was challenged by Peter Alexander.[27] From that time forward, scholars have remained divided on the issue. In 1944, for example, E.M.W Tillyard argued that Shakespeare most likely wrote the entire play, whereas in 1952, John Dover Wilson passionately argued that Shakespeare wrote hardly any of it.

In perhaps the most exhaustive analysis of the debate, the 1995 article, “Shakespeare and Others: The Authorship of Henry the Sixth, Part One”, Gary Taylor suggests that approximately 18.7% of the play (3,846 out of 20,515 words) was written by Shakespeare. Taylor argues that Nashe almost certainly wrote all of Act 1, but he attributes to Shakespeare 2.4, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4., 4.5, 4.6, and 4.7 through line 32. Taylor also suggests that the Temple Garden scene (2.4), in which the rival factions identify themselves through the selection of red and white roses, may have been a later addition. Scenes 4.5 to 4.7 include a series of rhyming couplets between Talbot and his son (4.5.15-4.7.50), which, while unusual to our ears, apparently had “an electric effect upon early audiences.”[28] Traditionally, these lines have often been pinpointed as one of the most obviously non-Shakespearian sections of the play. Roger Warren, for instance, argues that these scenes are written in a language “so banal they must be non-Shakespearean.”[29]

Other than Taylor, however, several other critics also disagree with Warren’s assessment of the quality of the language, arguing that the passages are more complex and accomplished than has hitherto been allowed for. Michael Taylor, for example, argues that “the rhyming dialogue between the Talbots – often stichomythic – shapes a kind of noble flyting match, a competition as to who can out-oblige the other.”[30] Similarly, Alexander Leggatt argues that the passages are a perfect blend of form and content: “The relentless click-click of the rhymes reinforces the point that for John Talbot, all arguments are arguments for death; as every other line ending is countered by a rhyme, so every argument Talbot gives John to flee becomes an argument for staying.”[31] Taylor and Leggatt are here arguing that the passages are more accomplished than most critics tend to give them credit for, thus offering a counter-argument to the theory that they are so poorly written, they couldn’t possibly be by Shakespeare. In this sense then, his failure to use couplets elsewhere in his tragedies or histories can thus be attributed to an aesthetic choice on his part, rather than offered as evidence of co-authorship.

Other scenes in the play have also been identifying as offering possible evidence of co-authorship. For example, the opening lines of Act 1, Scene 2 have been argued to show clear evidence of Nashe’s hand. The scene begins with Charles proclaiming, “Mars his true moving – even as in the heavens/So in the earth – to this day is not known” (I.ii.1–2). Some critics believe that this statement is paraphrased in Nashe’s later pamphlet Have with You to Saffron-Walden (1596), which contains the line, “You are as ignorant as the astronomers are in the true movings of Mars, which to this day, they never could attain to.”[32] The problem with this theory however, as Michael Hattaway has pointed out, is that there is no reason as to why Nashe couldn’t simply be paraphrasing a play with which he had no involvement, a common practice in Elizabethan literature (for example, Shakespeare and Marlowe often paraphrased one another’s plays).

Nasheeb Sheehan offers more evidence, again suggestive of Nashe, when Alençon compares the English to “Samsons and Goliases” (I.ii.33). The word ‘Golias’, Sheehan argues is unusual insofar as all bibles in Shakespeare’s day spelt the name ‘Goliath’, it was only in much older editions of the bible that it was spelt ‘Golias’. Sheehan concludes that the use of the arcane spelling is more indicative of Nashe, who was prone to using older spellings of certain words, than Shakespeare, who was less likely to do so.[33]

However, evidence of Shakespeare’s authorship has also been found within the play. For example, Samuel Johnson argued that the play was more competently written than King John, Richard II, 1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV and Henry V, and therefore, not attributing it to Shakespeare based on quality made little sense. A similar point is made by Lawrence V. Ryan, who suggests that the play fits so well into Shakespeare’s overall style, with an intricate integration of form and content, that it was most likely written by him alone.[34]

Another aspect of the debate is the actual likelihood of Shakespeare collaborating at all. Some critics, such as Hattaway and Cairncross, argue that it is unlikely that a young, up-and-coming dramatist trying to make a name for himself would have collaborated with other authors so early in his career. On the other hand, Michael Taylor suggests “it is not difficult to construct an imaginary scenario that has a harassed author calling on friends and colleagues to help him construct an unexpectedly commissioned piece in a hurry.”[35] (obviously, this suggestion is based on the theory that The Contention and True Tragedy formed a two-part sequence that was extended into a trilogy due to its popularity).

Another argument that challenges the co-authorship idea is that the basic theory of co-authorship itself was originally hypothesised in the 18th and 19th century due to a distaste for the treatment of Joan. Critics were uncomfortable attributing such a harsh depiction to Shakespeare, so they embraced the co-authorship theory to ‘clear his name’—suggesting that he couldn’t have been responsible for the merciless characterisation of Joan, and as such, someone else must have written her scenes.[36]

As with the question of the order in which the trilogy was written, twentieth century editors and scholars remain staunchly divided on the question of authorship. Edward Burns, for example, in his 2000 edition of the play for the Arden Shakespeare 3rd series, suggests that it is highly unlikely that Shakespeare wrote alone, and throughout his introduction and commentary, he refers to the writer not as Shakespeare but as ‘the dramatists’. He also suggests that the play should be more properly called Harry VI, by Shakespeare, Nashe and others.[37] Burns’ predecessor however, Andrew S. Cairncross, editor of the play for the Arden Shakespeare 2nd series in 1962, ascribes the entire play to Shakespeare, as does Lawrence V. Ryan in his 1967 Signet Classic Shakespeare edition, and Michael Hattaway in his New Cambridge Shakespeare edition of 1990. In his 1952 edition of the play, Dover Wilson on the other hand, argued that the play was almost entirely written by others, and that Shakespeare actually had little to do with its composition. Speaking during a 1952 radio presentation of The Contention and True Tragedy, which he produced, Dover Wilson argued that he had not included 1 Henry VI because it is a “patchwork in which Shakespeare collaborated with inferior dramatists.”[38]

On the other hand, Michael Taylor believes that Shakespeare almost certainly wrote the entire play, as does J.J.M Tobin, who, in his essay in Henry VI: Critical Essays (2001), argues the similarities to Nashe do not reveal the hand of Nashe at work in the composition of the play, but instead reveal Shakespeare imitating Nashe. More recently, in 2005, Paul J. Vincent has re-examined the question in light of recent research into the Elizabethan theatre, concluding that 1 Henry VI is Shakespeare’s partial revision of a play by Nashe (Act 1) and an unknown playwright (Acts 2–5) and that it was the original, non-Shakespearean, play that was first performed on 3 March 1592. Shakespeare’s work in the play, which was most likely composed in 1594, can be found in Act 2 (scene 4) and Act 4 (scenes 2–5 and the first 32 lines of scene 7).[39] In 2007, Vincent’s authorship findings, especially with regard to Nashe’s authorship of Act 1, were supported overall by Brian Vickers, who agrees with the theory of co-authorship and differs only slightly over the extent of Shakespeare’s contribution to the play.[40]

As such, similarly to the question of the order of composition, critics remain staunchly divided on the issue of authorship.

[edit] Language

The very functioning of Language itself is literally a theme in the play, with particular emphasis placed on its ability to represent by means of signs (semiosis), the power of language to sway, the aggressive potential of language, the failure of language to adequately describe reality and the manipulation of language so as to hide the truth.

The persuasive power of language is first alluded to by Charles, who tells Joan after she has assured him she can end the siege of Orléans, “Thou hast astonished me with thy high terms” (1.2.93). This sense is repeated when the Countess of Auvergne is wondering about Talbot and says to her servant, “Great is the rumour of this dreadful knight,/And his achievements of no less account./Fain would mine eyes be witness with mine ears,/To give their censure of these rare reports” (2.3.7–10). Like Charles, Auvergne has been astonished with the ‘high terms’ bestowed on Talbot, and now she wishes to see if the report and the reality conflate. Later in the play, the persuasive power of language becomes important for Joan, as she uses it as a subterfuge to sneak into Rouen, telling her men, “Be wary how you place your words;/Talk like the vulgar sort of market men/That come to gather money for their corn” ( Later, she uses language to persuade Burgundy to join with the Dauphin against the English. As Burgundy realises he is succumbing to her rhetoric, he muses to himself, “Either she hath bewitched me with her words,/Or nature makes me suddenly relent” (3.3.58–59). Here, language is shown to be so powerful as to act on Burgundy the same way Nature itself would act, to the point where he is unsure if he has been persuaded by a natural occurrence or by Joan’s words. Language is thus presented as capable of transforming ideology. As Joan finishes her speech, Burgundy again attests to the power of her language, “I am vanquish’d. These haughty words of hers/Have battered me like roaring canon-shot,/And made me almost yield upon my knees” (3.3.78–80). Later, something similar happens with Henry, who agrees to marry Margaret merely because of Suffolk’s description of her. In a line that echoes Burgundy’s, Henry queries what it is that has prompted him to agree to Suffolk’s suggestion: “Whether it be through force of your report,/My noble lord of Suffolk, or for that/My tender youth was never yet attaint/With any passion of inflaming love, I cannot tell” (5.6.79–83). Here, again, the power of language is shown to be so strong as to be confused with a natural phenomenon.

Charles William Sharpe engraving of Talbot and the Countess of Auvergne by William Quiller Orchardson (1867)

Language can also be employed aggressively. For example, after the death of Salisbury, when Talbot first hears about Joan, he contemptuously refers to her and Charles as “Puzel or pussel, dolphin or dogfish” (1.5.85). In French, ‘puzel’ means slut, and ‘pussel’ is a variation of ‘pucelle’ (meaning virgin), but with an added negative connotation. These two words, ‘puzel’ and ‘pussel’, are both puns on Joan’s name (Pucelle), thus showing Talbot’s utter contempt for her.[41] Similarly, the use of the word ‘dolphin’ to describe the Dauphin carries negative and mocking connotations, as does the use of the word ‘dogfish’, a member of the shark family considered dishonourable scavengers, preying on anything and anyone.[42] Again, Talbot is showing his contempt for Charles’ position by exposing it to mockery with some simple word play.[43] Other examples of words employed aggressively are seen when the English reclaim Orléans, and a soldier chases the half-dressed French leaders from the city, declaring “The cry of ‘Talbot’ serves me for a sword,/For I have loaden me with many spoils,/Using no other weapon but his name” (2.1.81–83). A similar notion is found when the Countess of Auvergne meets Talbot, and muses, “Is this the Talbot so much feared abroad/That with his name the mothers still their babes” (2.3.15–16). Here words (specifically Talbot’s name) literally become weapons, and are used directly to strike fear into the enemy.

However although words are occasionally shown to be powerful and deeply persuasive, they also often fail in their signifying role, exposed as incapable of adequately representing reality. This idea is introduced by Gloucester at Henry V’s funeral, where he laments that words cannot encompass the life of such a great king: “What should I say? His deeds exceed all speech” (1.1.15). Later, when Gloucester and Winchester confront one another outside the Tower of London, Gloucester champions the power of real action over the power of threatening words: “I will not answer thee with words but blows” (1.3.69). Similarly, after the French capture Rouen and refuse to meet the English army in the battlefield, Bedford asserts, “O let no words, but deeds, revenge this treason” (3.2.48). Another example of the failure of language is found when Suffolk finds himself lost for words whilst attempting to woo Margaret: “Fain would I woo her, yet I dare not speak./I’ll call for pen and ink and write my mind./Fie, de la Pole, disable not thyself!/Hast not a tongue?” (5.4.21–24). Later, Joan’s words, so successful during the play in convincing others to support her, explicitly fail to save her life, as she is told by Warwick, “Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat and thee./Use no entreaty, for it is in vain” (5.5.84–85).

Language as a system is also shown to be open to manipulation. Words can be employed for deceptive purposes, as the representative function of language gives way to deceit. For example, shortly after Charles has accepted Joan as his new commander, Alençon calls into question her sincerity, thus suggesting a possible discrepancy between her words and her actions; “These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues” (1.2.123). Another example occurs when Henry forces Winchester and Gloucester to put aside their animosity and shake hands. Their public words here stand in diametric opposition to their private intentions;

Well, Duke of Gloucester, I will yield to thee
Love for thy love, and hand for hand I give.

He takes Gloucester’s hand

(aside) Ay, but I fear me with a hollow heart.
(to others) See here, my friends and loving countrymen,
This token serveth for a flag of truce
Betwixt ourselves and all our followers.
So help me God as I dissemble not.

So help me God. (aside) As I intend it not.


Choosing the Red and White Roses by Henry Payne (1908)

Act 2, Scene 4 is perhaps the most important scene in the play in terms of language, as it is in this scene where Richard introduces the notion of what he calls “dumb significants”, something which will carry resonance throughout the trilogy. During his debate with Somerset, Richard points out to the lords who are unwilling to openly support either of them, “Since you are tongue tied and loath to speak,/In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts” (ll.25–26). The dumb significants to which he refers are roses; a red rose to join Somerset, a white rose to join Richard. As such, the roses essentially function as symbols, replacing the very need for language. Once all the lords have selected their rose, the roses then come to symbolise the House they represent. When Henry chooses a red rose, he is totally unaware of the implications of his actions, as he doesn’t understand the power the dumb significants have. He places all his trust in a more literal type of language, and thus selects a rose in what he thinks is a meaningless gesture, but which does in fact have profound implications. Henry’s mistake results directly from his failure to grasp the importance of silent actions and symbolic decisions; “a gesture – especially such an ill-considered one – is worth and makes worthless, a thousand pretty words.”[44]

[edit] Themes

[edit] Death of chivalry

A fundamental theme in the play is the death of chivalry, “the decline of England’s empire over France and the accompanying decay of the ideas of feudalism that had sustained the order of the realm.”[45] This is specifically manifested in the character of Talbot, the symbol of a dying breed of men honourably and selflessly devoted to the good of England, whose methods and style of leadership represent the last dying remnants of a now outmoded, feudal gallantry. As such, Michael Taylor refers to him as “the representative of a chivalry that was fast decaying,”[46] whilst Michael Hattaway sees him as “a figure for the nostalgia that suffuses the play, a dream of simple chivalric virtus like that enacted every year at Elizabeth‘s Accession Day tilts, a dream of true empire. He is designed to appeal to a popular audience, and his death scene where he calls for troops who do not appear is yet another demonstration of the destructiveness of aristocratic factionalism.”[47]

One of the clearest examples of Talbot’s adherence to the codes of chivalry is seen in his response to Fastolf’s desertion from the battlefield. As far as Talbot is concerned, Fastolf’s actions reveal him as a dishonourable coward who places self-preservation above self-sacrifice, and thus he represents everything wrong with the modern knight. This is in direct contrast to the chivalry that Talbot represents, a chivalry he remembers fondly from days gone by:

I vowed, base knight, when I did meet thee next,
To tear the garter from thy craven’s leg,
Which I have done because unworthily
Thou wast install’d in that high degree. –
Pardon me, princely Henry, and the rest.
This dastard, at the Battle of Patay,
When but in all I was six thousand strong,
And that the French were almost ten to one,
Before we met, or that a stroke was given,
Like to a trusty squire did run away;
In which assault we lost twelve hundred men.
Myself and divers gentlemen beside
Were there surprised and taken prisoners.
Then judge, great lords, if I have done amiss,
Or whether that such cowards ought to wear
This ornament of knighthood: yea or no?

To say the truth, this fact was infamous
And ill beseeming any common man,
Much more a knight, a captain, and a leader.

When first this order was ordained, my lords,
Knights of the garter were of noble birth,
Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage,
Such as were grown to credit by the wars;
Not fearing death nor shrinking for distress,
But always resolute in most extremes.
He then that is not furnished in this sort
Doth but usurp the sacred name of knight,
Profaning this most honourable order,
And should – if I were worthy to be judge –
Be quite degraded, like a hedge-born swain
That doth presume to boast of gentle blood.


Talbot’s description of Fastolf’s actions stands in direct contrast to the image of an ideal knight, and as such, the ideal and the reality serve to highlight one another, and thus reveal the discrepancy between them.

Similarly, just as Talbot uses knights to represent an ideal past, by remembering how they used to be chivalric, so too does Gloucester in relation to Henry V, who he also sees as representing a glorious and honourable past:

England ne’re had a king until his time.
Virtue he had, deserving to command;
His brandished sword did bind men with his beams,
His arms spread wider than a dragon‘s wings,
His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire,
More dazzled and drove back his enemies
Than midday sun fierce bent against their faces.


Henry V has this function throughout much of the play; “he is presented not as a man but as a rhetorical construct fashioned out of hyperbole, as a heroic image or heraldic icon.”[48] He is seen as a representative of a celebrated past which can never be recaptured; “there is in the play a dominant, nostalgic, celebratory reminiscence of Henry V who lives on in the immortality of preternatural legend.”[49]

The Maid of Orléans by Henrietta Ward (1871)

The play, however, doesn’t simply depict the fall of one order, it also depicts the rise of another; “How the nation might have remained true to itself is signified by the words and deeds of Talbot. What she is in danger of becoming is signified by the shortcomings of the French, failings that crop up increasingly amongst Englishman […] also manifest are an English decline towards French effeminacy and the beginnings of reliance upon fraud and cunning rather than manly courage and straightforward manly virtue.”[50] If the old mode of honourable conduct is specifically represented by Talbot and Henry V, the new mode of duplicity and Machiavellianism is represented by Joan, who employs a type of warfare with which Talbot is simply unable to cope. This is seen most clearly when she sneaks into Rouen and subsequently refuses to face Talbot in a battle. Talbot finds this kind of behaviour incomprehensible and utterly dishonourable. As such, he finds himself fighting an enemy who uses tactics he is incapable of understanding; with the French using what he sees as unconventional methods, he proves unable to adapt. This represents one of the ironies in the play’s depiction of chivalry; it is the very resoluteness of Talbot’s honour and integrity, his insistence in preserving an old code abandoned by all others, which ultimately defeats him; his inability to adjust means he becomes unable to function in the newly established ‘dishonourable’ context. As such, the play is not entirely nostalgic about chivalry; “so often the tenets of chivalry are mocked by word and action. The play is full of moments of punctured aristocratic hauteur.”[51]

Talbot’s mode of chivalry is replaced by politicians concerned only with themselves and their own advancement: Winchester, Somerset, Suffolk, even Richard. Narcissistic political infighting has supplanted self-sacrificing patriotism and chivalry: “the play charts the disastrous breakdown of civility among the English nobility.”[52] Nobles concerned with personal power above all else have replaced knights concerned only with the empire. As such, by the end of the play, both Talbot and his son lay dead, as does the notion of English chivalry. In this sense then, the play “depicts the deaths of the titanic survivors of an ancien régime.”[53]

[edit] Patriotism

Hand-in-hand with the examination of chivalry with which the play engages is an examination of patriotism. Indeed, some critics argue that it was patriotism which provided the impetus for the play in the first place. Although England had defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588, leading to a short-lived period of international confidence and patriotic pride, the national mood by 1590 was one of despondency, and as such, 1 Henry VI may have been commissioned to help dispel this mood: “The patriotic emotions to which this play shamelessly appeals resonate at an especially fragile time politically speaking. Frightening memories of the 1588 Spanish Armada, or of the Babington Plot of 1586, which led to the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots; concerns over a noticeably declining and still unmarried Queen Elizabeth; worries over Catholic recusancy; fear of military involvement in Europe, and, just as disquietingly, in Ireland, combine to make a patriotic response a matter of some urgency. [The play] is a bracing attempt to stiffen the sinews of the English in a time of danger and deceit.”[54]

Evidence of this is seen throughout. For example, the English seem vastly outnumbered in every battle, yet they never give up, and oftentimes they prove victorious. Indeed, even when they do lose, the suggestion is often made that it was because of treachery, as only by duplicitous means could their hardiness be overcome. For example, during the Battle of Patay (where Talbot is captured), the messenger reports,

The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord [ie Talbot],
Retiring from the siege of Orléans,
Having full scarce six thousand in his troop,
By three-and-twenty thousand of the French
Was round encompass’d and set upon:
No leisure had he to enrank his men.
He wanted pikes to set before his archers;
Instead whereof sharp stakes plucked out of hedges
They pitch’d in the ground confusedly
To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.
More than three hours the fight continu’d,
Where valiant Talbot, above human thought,
Enacted wonders with his sword and lance.
Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand him;
Here, there, and everywhere, enraged he slew.
The French exclaimed the devil was in arms:
All the whole army stood agazed on him.
His soldiers, spying his undaunted spirit,
‘À Talbot! À Talbot!’ cried out amain,
And rushed into the bowels of the battle.
Here had the conquest fully been sealed up
If Sir John Fastolf had not played the coward.
He, being in the vanguard placed behind,
With purpose to relieve and follow them,
Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.
Hence flew the general wrack and massacre;
Enclos’d were they with their enemies.
A base Walloon, to win the Dauphin’s grace,
Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back –
Whom all France, with their chief assembled strength,
Durst not presume to look once in the face.


Here Fastolf’s betrayal is the direct cause of the English defeat, not the fact that they were outnumbered ten-to-one, that they were hit by a surprise attack or that they were surrounded. This notion is returned to several times, with the implication each time that only treachery can account for an English defeat. For example, upon hearing of the first loss of towns in France, Exeter immediately asks, “How were they lost? What treachery was used?” (1.1.68). Upon losing Rouen, Talbot exclaims, “France, thou shalt rue this treason with thy tears/If Talbot but survive thy treachery” (3.2.35–36). Later, when thinking back on the French campaign, Richard asks Henry, “Have we not lost most part of all the towns/By treason, falsehood and by treachery” (5.5.108–109).

H.C. Selous’ illustration of Talbot engaging in battle in Act 4, Scene 6; from The Plays of William Shakespeare: The Historical Plays, edited by Charles Cowden Clarke and Mary Cowden Clarke (1830)

However if the English are of the mind that they can only be defeated by treachery and betrayal, the play also presents the French as somewhat in awe of them, bearing a begrudging respect for them, and fearing their strength in battle. As such, whilst the English attribute every defeat to treachery, the French opinion of the English seems to imply that perhaps this is indeed the only way to beat them. For example, during the siege of Orléans:

Froissart, a countryman of ours, records
England all Olivers and Rolands bred
During the time Edward the Third did reign.
More truly now may this be verified,
For none but Samsons and Goliases
It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten?
Lean raw-boned rascals – who would e’er suppose
They had such courage and audacity.

Let’s leave this town, for they are hare-brained slaves,
And hunger will enforce them to be more eager.
Of old I know them; rather with their teeth
The walls they’ll tear down than forsake the siege.

I think by some odd gimmers or device
Their arms are set, like clocks, still to strike on,
Else n’er could they hold out as they do.


As such, the play presents, to a certain extent, the English image of themselves as somewhat in line with the French image of them, with both stressing resoluteness and steadfastness.

Another component of the patriotic sentiment is the religious note the play oftentimes strikes. On the whole, everything Catholic is represented as bad, everything Protestant is represented as good: “The play’s popularity [in 1592] has to be seen against the backdrop of an extraordinary efflorescence of interest in political history in the last two decades of the sixteenth century fed by self-conscious patriotic Protestantism’s fascination with its own biography in history. It is not for nothing that Part One is persistently anti-Catholic in a number of ways despite the fact that in the fifteenth century the entire population of England was nominally Catholic (though not, of course, in 1592). The French are presented as decadently Catholic, the English (with the exception of the Bishop of Winchester) as attractively Protestant.”[55] Talbot himself is an element of this, insofar as his “rhetoric is correspondingly Protestant. His biblical references are all from the Old Testament (a source less fully used by Catholics) and speak of stoicism and individual faith.”[56] Henry V is also cited as an example of Protestant purity: “He was a king blest of the King of Kings./Unto the French the dreadful judgement day/So dreadful will not be as was his sight./The battles of the Lords of Hosts he fought” (1.1.28–31). “King of kings” is a phrase used in 1 Timothy, 6:15. “Lords of Hosts” is used throughout the Old Testament, and to say Henry fought for the Lord of Hosts is to compare him to the Christian warrior king, David, who also fought for the Lords of Hosts in 1 Samuel, 25:28.

However, despite the obvious celebratory patriotic tone and sense of Protestant/English religio-political identity, as with the lamentation for the death of chivalry, the play is somewhat ambiguous in its overall depiction of patriotism. Ultimately, the play depicts how the English lost France, a seemingly strange subject matter if Shakespeare was attempting to instil a sense of national pride in the people. This is rendered even more so when one considers that Shakespeare could have written about how England won France in the first place: “The popularity of “Armada rhetoric” during the time of 1 Henry VI’s composition would have seemed to ask for a play about Henry V, not one which begins with his death and proceeds to dramatise English loses.”[57] In this sense then, the depiction of patriotism, although undoubtedly strong, is not without ambiguity; the very story told by the play renders any patriotic sentiment found within to be something of a hollow victory.

[edit] Saintly vs. demonic

Joan and the Furies by William Hamilton (1790)

Demons, spirits, witches, saints and God are all mentioned on numerous occasions within the play, oftentimes relating directly to Joan, who is presented as “a fascinating mixture of saint, witch, naïve girl, clever woman, audacious warrior and sensual tart.”[58] The English continually refer to her as a witch and a whore, the French as a saint and a saviour, and the play itself seems to waver between these two poles: “Joan first appears in a state of beatitude, patient, serene, the “Divinest creature” of Charles’ adoration, the object of the Virgin Mary‘s miraculous intercession, chosen by her to rescue France, and so made beautiful, courageous and wise […] on the other hand, and virtually at the same time, she’s clearly an early combination of the demonic, the Machiavellian, and the Marlovian.”[59]

Joan is introduced into the play by the Bastard, who, even before anyone has seen or met her, says, “A holy maid hither with me I bring” (1.2.51). Later, after Joan has helped the French lift the siege of Orléans, Charles declares, “No longer on Saint Denis will we cry, but Joan la Pucelle shall be France’s saint” (1.7.28–30). Similarly, when Joan reveals her plan to turn Burgundy against the English, Alençon declares, “We’ll set thy statute in some holy place/And have thee reverenced like a blessed saint” (3.3.14–15).

On the other hand however, the English see her as a demon. Prior to her combat with Talbot, he exclaims, “Devil or devil’s dam, I’ll conjure thee./Blood will I draw on thee – thou art a witch –/And straightway give thy soul to him thou serv’st” (1.6.5–7). Then, after the fight, he says, “My thoughts are whirl’d like a potter’s wheel./I know not where I am nor what I do./A witch, by fear, not force, like Hannibal,/Drives back our troops and conquers as she lists” (1.6.19–22). Upon arriving in France, Bedford condemns Charles for aligning himself with Joan: “How much he wrongs his fame,/Despairing of his own arms’ fortitude,/To join with witches and the help of hell” (2.1.16–18). Talbot responds to this with, “Well, let them practice and converse with spirits./God is our fortress” (2.1.25–26). Later, Talbot refers to her as “Pucelle, that witch, that damn’d sorceress” (3.2.37) and “Foul fiend of France, and hag of all despite” (3.2.51), declaring “I speak not to that railing Hecate” (3.2.64). Prior to executing her, York also calls her a “Fell banning hag” (5.2.42).

Joan herself addresses this issue as she is about to be executed:

First let me tell you whom you have condemned:
Not me begotten of a shepherd swain,
But issued from the progeny of kings;
Virtuous and holy, chosen from above
By inspiration of celestial grace
To work exceeding miracles on earth.
I never had to do with wicked spirits;
But you, that are polluted with your lusts,
Stained with the guiltless blood of innocents,
Corrupt and tainted with a thousand vices –
Because you want the grace that others have,
You judge it straight a thing impossible
To compass wonders but by help of devils.
No, misconceiv’d, Joan of Arc hath been
A virgin from her tender infancy,
Chaste and immaculate in very thought,
Whose maiden blood, thus rigorously effused,
Will cry for vengeance at the gates of heaven.


Having failed in her efforts to convince the English she is a holy virgin, and that killing her will invoke the wrath of heaven, she alters her story and claims she is pregnant, hoping they will spare her for the sake of the child. She then lists off various French nobles who could be her child’s father in an effort to find one who the English respect. In this sense then, Joan leaves the play as neither saintly nor demonic, but as a frightened woman pleading fruitlessly for her life.

An important question in any examination of Joan is the question of whether or not she is a unified, stable character who vacillates from saintly to demonic, or a poorly constructed character, now one thing, now the other. According to Edward Burns, “Joan cannot be read as a substantive realist character, a unified subject with a coherent singly identity.”[60]

Michael Hattaway offers an alternate, sympathetic view of Joan which argues that the character’s movement from saintly to demonic is justified within the text: “Joan is the play’s tragic figure, comparable with Faulconbridge in King John. She turns to witchcraft only in despair; it cannot be taken as an unequivocal manifestation of diabolic power.”[61]

Another theory is that Joan is actually a comic figure, and the huge alterations in her character are supposed to evoke laughter. Michael Taylor, for example, argues, “A fiendish provenance replaces a divine one in [Act 5, Scene 5], a scene that reduces Joan to a comic, bathetic dependency on shifty representatives of the underworld.”[62] In line with this thinking, it is worth pointing out that in the 1981 BBC Television Shakespeare adaptation,[63] Joan, and the French in general, are treated predominately as comic figures. Joan (Brenda Blethyn), Alençon (Michael Byrne), the Bastard (Brian Protheroe), Reignier (David Daker) and Charles (Ian Saynor) are treated as buffoons for the most part, and there is no indication of any malevolence (significantly, when Joan’s fiends abandon her, we never see them, we simply see her talking to empty air). Examples of the comic treatment of the characters are found during the battle of Orléans, where Joan is ludicrously depicted as defending the city from the entire English army single-handed, whilst Talbot stands by incredulously watching his soldiers flee one after another. Another example appears in Act 2, Scene 1, as the five of them blame one another for the breach in the watch at Orléans that allowed the English back into the city. Their role as comic figures is also shown in Act 3, Scene 2. After Joan has entered Rouen and the others stand outside waiting for her signal. Charles is shown sneaking through a field holding a helmet with a large plume up in front of his face in an effort to hide.

The notion of demonic agency and saintly power, however, is not confined to Joan. For example, in the opening conversation of the play, speculating as to how Talbot could have been taken prisoner, Exeter exclaims “shall we think the subtle-witted French/Conjurers and sorcerers, that, afraid of him,/By magic verse have contrived his end” (1.1.25-27). Later, discussing the French capture of Orléans, Talbot claims it was “contrived by art and baleful sorcery” (2.1.15). Indeed, the French make similar claims about the English. During the Battle of Patay for example, according to the messenger, “The French exclaimed the devil was in arms” (1.1.125). Later, as the English attack Orléans,

I think this Talbot be a fiend of hell.

If not of hell, the heavens sure favour him.


Here, much as the English had done when they were being defeated by Joan, the French attribute diabolic power to their vanquishers. Unlike the English however, the French acknowledge that Talbot must be either a demon or a saint. As far as the English are concerned, Joan is demonic, it is not open to question.

[edit] Performance

Poster from Michael Boyd’s 2000 production

After the original 1592 performances, the complete text of 1 Henry VI seems to have been rarely acted. The first definite performance after Shakespeare’s day was on 13 March 1738 at Covent Garden, in what seems to have been a stand-alone performance, as there is no record of a performance of either 2 Henry VI or 3 Henry VI.[64] The next certain performance in England didn’t occur until 1906, when F.R. Benson presented the play at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in a production of Shakespeare’s two tetralogies, performed over eight nights. As far as can be ascertained, this was not only the first performance of the octology, but was also the first definite performance of both the tetralogy and the trilogy. Benson himself played Henry and his wife, Constance Benson, played Margaret.[65]

In 1953, Douglas Seale directed a production of 1 Henry VI at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, following successful productions of 2 Henry VI in 1951 and 3 Henry VI in 1952. All three plays starred Paul Daneman as Henry and Rosalind Boxall as Margaret, with 1 Henry VI featuring Derek Godfrey as Talbot and Judi Dench as Joan.

A production which made much of its unedited status came in 1977, at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, where Terry Hands presented all three Henry VI plays with Alan Howard as Henry and Helen Mirren as Margaret. Although the production was only moderately successful at the box office, it was critically lauded at the time for Alan Howard’s unique portrayal of Henry. Howard adopted historical details concerning the real Henry’s madness into his performance, presenting the character as constantly on the brink of a mental and emotional breakdown. Possibly as a reaction to a recent adaptation of the trilogy under the general title Wars of the Roses, which was strongly political, Hands attempted to ensure his own production was entirely apolitical: “Wars of the Roses was a study in power politics: its central image was the conference table, and Warwick, the scheming king-maker, was the central figure. But that’s not Shakespeare. Shakespeare goes far beyond politics. Politics is a very shallow science.”[66] Aside from Howard and Mirren, the production starred David Swift as Talbot and Charlotte Cornwell as Joan.

Under the direction of Michael Boyd the play was presented at the Swan Theatre in Stratford in 2000, with David Oyelowo as Henry and Keith Bartlett as Talbot. Both Margaret and Joan were played by Fiona Bell (as Joan is burned, Bell symbolically rose from the ashes as Margaret). The play was presented with the five other history plays to form a complete eight-part history cycle under the general title This England: The Histories (the first time the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) had ever attempted to stage the eight plays as one sequence). This England: The Histories was revived in 2006, as part of the Complete Works festival at the Courtyard Theatre, with the Henry VI plays again directed by Boyd, and starring Chuk Iwuji as Henry and Keith Bartlett reprising his role as Talbot. Katy Stephens played both Margaret and Joan. When the Complete Works wrapped in March 2007, the history plays remained on stage, under the shorter title The Histories, as part of a two-year thirty-four actor ensemble production. 1 Henry VI was performed under the title Henry VI, Part 1: The War Against France. At the end of the two-year programme, the entire octology was performed over a four-day period under the title The Glorious Moment; Richard II was staged on a Thursday evening, followed by the two Henry IV plays on Friday afternoon and evening, the three Henry VI plays on Saturday (two afternoon performances and one evening performance), and Richard III on Sunday evening.[67]

Boyd’s production garnered much attention at the time because of his interpolations and additions to the text. Most notably, Boyd introduced a new character into the trilogy. Called The Keeper, the character never speaks, but upon the death of each major character, the Keeper (played by Edward Clayton in 2000, and by Anthony Bunsee in 2006/2007), wearing all red, would walk onto stage and approach the body. The actor playing the body would then stand up and allow himself to be led off-stage by the figure. The production was also particularly noted for its realistic violence. According to Robert Gore-Langton of the Daily Express, in his review of the original 2000 production, “blood from a severed arm sprayed over my lap. A human liver slopped to the floor by my feet. An eyeball scudded past, then a tongue.”[68]

Apart from the 1738 performance at Covent Garden (about which nothing is known), there is no evidence of 1 Henry VI having ever been performed as a stand-alone play, unlike both 2 Henry VI (which was initially staged as a single play by Douglas Seale in 1951) and 3 Henry VI (which was staged as a single play by Katie Mitchell in 1994).[69]

Outside the UK, the first major American performance was in 1935 at the Pasadena Playhouse in California, directed by Gilmore Brown, as part of a production of all ten Shakespearean histories (the two tetralogies, preceded by King John and proceeded by Henry VIII).

In Europe, unedited stagings of the play took place at the Weimar Court Theatre in 1857. Directed by Franz von Dingelstedt, it was performed as the sixth part of the octology, with all eight plays staged over a ten day period. A major production was staged at the Burgtheater in Vienna in 1873, with a celebrated performance from Friedrich Mitterwurzer as Winchester. Jocza Savits directed a production of the tetralogy at the Munich Court Theatre in 1889 and again in 1906. In 1927, Saladin Schmitt presented the unedited octology at the Municipal Theatre in Bochum. Denis Llorca staged the tetralogy as one twelve-hour piece in Carcassonne in 1978 and in Créteil in 1979.

[edit] Adaptations

[edit] Theatrical

Evidence for the first adaptation of 1 Henry VI is not found until 1817, when Edmund Kean appeared in J.H. Merivale‘s Richard Duke of York; or the Contention of York and Lancaster at Drury Lane, which used material from all three Henry VI plays, but removed everything not directly related to York; the play ended with his death, which occurs in Act 1, Scene 4 of 3 Henry VI. Material used from 1 Henry VI includes the Temple Garden scene, the Mortimer scene and the introduction of Margaret.

Following Merivale’s example, Robert Atkins adapted all three plays into a single piece for a performance at The Old Vic in 1923 as part of the celebrations for the tercentenary of the First Folio. Guy Martineau played Henry, Esther Whitehouse played Margaret, Ernest Meads played Talbot and Jane Bacon played Joan.

Joan (Katy Stephens) is burned alive in Michael Boyd’s 2006 production at the Courtyard Theatre

The success of the 1951–1953 Douglas Seale stand-alone productions of each of the individual plays in Birmingham prompted him to present the three plays together at the Old Vic in 1957 under the general title The Wars of the Roses. Barry Jackson adapted the text, altering the trilogy into a two part play. 1 Henry VI and 2 Henry VI were combined (with almost all of 1 Henry VI eliminated) and 3 Henry VI was edited. Seale again directed, with Paul Daneman again appearing as Henry, alongside Barbara Jefford as Margaret. The roles of both Talbot and Joan were removed, and 1 Henry VI was reduced to three scenes – the funeral of Henry V, the Temple Garden scene and the introduction of Margaret.

The production usually credited with establishing the reputation of the play in the modern theatre is John Barton and Peter Hall’s 1963/1964 RSC production of the tetralogy, adapted into a three-part series, under the general title The Wars of the Roses, at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The first play (entitled simply Henry VI) featured a much shortened version of 1 Henry VI and half of 2 Henry VI (up to the death of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester). The second play (entitled Edward IV) featured the second half of 2 Henry VI and a shortened version of 3 Henry VI, which was followed by a shortened version of Richard III as the third play. In all, 1,450 lines written by Barton were added to 6,000 lines of original Shakespearean material, with a total of 12,350 lines removed.[70] The production starred David Warner as Henry, Peggy Ashcroft as Margaret, Derek Smith (later replaced by Clive Swift) as Talbot and Janet Suzman as Joan.[71][72] Barton and Hall were both especially concerned that the plays reflect the contemporary political environment, with the civil chaos and breakdown of society depicted in the plays mirrored in the contemporary milieu, by events such as the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. Hall allowed these events to reflect themselves in the production, arguing that “we live among war, race riots, revolutions, assassinations, and the imminent threat of extinction. The theatre is, therefore, examining fundamentals in staging the Henry VI plays.”[73]

Another major adaptation was staged in 1987 by the English Shakespeare Company, under the direction of Michael Bogdanov. This touring production opened at the Old Vic, and subsequently toured for two years, performing at, amongst other places, the Panasonic Globe Theatre in Tokyo, Japan (as the inaugural play of the arena), the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy and at the Adelaide Festival of Arts in Australia. Following the structure established by Barton and Hall, Bogdanov combined a heavily edited 1 Henry VI and the first half of 2 Henry VI into one play (Henry VI), and the second half of 2 Henry VI and 3 Henry VI into another (Edward IV), and followed them with an edited Richard III. Also like Barton and Hall, Bogdanov concentrated on political issues, although he made them far more overt than had his predecessors. For example, played by June Watson, Margaret was closely modelled after the British Prime Minister at the time, Margaret Thatcher, even to the point of having similar clothes and hair. Likewise, Paul Brennan‘s Henry was closely modelled after King Edward VIII, prior to his abdication.[74] Bogdanov also employed frequent anachronisms and contemporary visual registers (such as modern dress), in an effort to show the relevance of the politics to the contemporary period. The production was noted for its pessimism as regards British politics, with some critics feeling the political resonances were too heavy handed.[75] However, the series was a huge box office success. Alongside Watson and Brennan, the play starred Michael Fenner as Talbot and Mary Rutherford as Joan.

Another adaptation of the tetralogy by the Royal Shakespeare Company followed in 1988, performed at the Barbican. Adapted by Charles Wood and directed by Adrian Noble, the Barton/Hall structure was again followed, reducing the trilogy to two plays by dividing 2 Henry VI in the middle. The resulting trilogy was entitled The Plantagenets, with the individual plays entitled Henry VI, The Rise of Edward IV and Richard III, His Death. Starring Ralph Fiennes as Henry, Penny Downie as Margaret, Mark Hadfield as Talbot and Julia Ford as Joan, the production was extremely successful with both audiences and critics.

Michael Bogdanov and the English Shakespeare Company presented a different adaptation at the Grand Theatre in Swansea in 1991, using the same cast as on the touring production. All eight plays from the history cycle were presented over a seven night period, with each play receiving one performance only, and with only twenty-eight actors portraying the nearly five hundred roles. Whilst the other five plays in the cycle were unadapted, the Henry VI plays were combined into two, using the Barton/Hall structure, with the first named The House of Lancaster and the second, The House of York.

In 2000, Edward Hall presented the trilogy as a two-part series at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury. Hall followed the Jackson/Seale structure, combining 1 Henry VI and 2 Henry VI into one play that all but eliminated 1 Henry VI, and following this with an edited version of 3 Henry VI. This production was noted for how it handled the violence of the play. The set was designed to look like an abattoir, but rather than attempt to present the violence realistically (as most productions do), Hall went in the other direction, presenting the violence symbolically. Whenever a character was decapitated or killed, a red cabbage was sliced up whilst the actor mimed the death beside it.

In 2001, Tom Markus directed an adaptation of the tetralogy at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Condensing all fours plays into one, Markus named the play Queen Margaret, doing much the same with the character of Margaret as Merivale had done with York. Margaret was played by Gloria Biegler, Henry by Richard Haratine, York by Lars Tatom and Gloucester by Charles Wilcox. The only scene from 1 Henry VI was the meeting between Margaret and Suffolk.

Poster from the 2001 Shakespeare’s Rugby Wars

Another unusual 2001 adaptation of the tetralogy was entitled Shakespeare’s Rugby Wars. Written by Matt Toner and Chris Coculuzzi, and directed by Coculuzzi, the play was acted by the Upstart Crow Theatre Group and staged outdoors at the Robert Street Playing Field as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. Presented as if it were a live rugby match between York and Lancaster, the ‘play’ featured commentary from Falstaff (Stephen Flett), which was broadcast live for the audience. The ‘match’ itself was refereed by ‘Bill Shakespeare’ (played by Coculuzzi), and the actors (whose characters names all appeared on their jerseys) had microphones attached and would recite dialogue from all four plays at key moments.[76]

In 2002, Leon Rubin presented the tetralogy as a trilogy at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario. Using the Barton/Hall method of combining 1 Henry VI with the first half of 2 Henry VI, and the second half of 2 Henry VI with 3 Henry VI, the plays were renamed Henry VI: Revenge in France and Henry VI: Revolt in England. Michael Thierry played Henry, Seana McKenna played Margaret, Brad Ruby played Talbot and Michelle Giroux played Joan.

Also in 2002, Edward Hall and the Propeller Company presented a one-play all-male cast modern dress adaptation of the trilogy at the Watermill Theatre. Under the title Rose Rage, Hall used a cast of only thirteen actors to portray the nearly one hundred and fifty speaking roles in the four-hour production, thus necessitating doubling and tripling of parts. Although a new adaptation, this production followed the Jackson/Seale method of eliminating almost all of 1 Henry VI (Joan was completely absent). The original cast included Jonathan McGuinness as Henry, Robert Hands as Margaret and Keith Bartlett as Talbot. After a successful run at the Watermill, the play moved to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The American cast included Carman Lacivita as Henry, Scott Parkinson as Margaret and Fletcher McTaggart as Talbot.[77]

Outside England, a major adaptation of the tetralogy took place in 1864 in Weimar under the direction of Franz von Dingelstedt, who, seven years previously had staged the play unedited. Dingelstedt turned the trilogy into a two-parter under the general name Die weisse rose. The first play was called Haus Lancaster, the second Haus York. This adaptation was unique insofar as both plays were created by combining material from all three Henry VI plays. Following this structure, Alfred von Walzogen also produced a two-part play in 1875, under the general title Edward IV. Another European adaptation was in 1965 at the Teatro Piccolo in Milan. Directed by Giorgio Strehler it went under the title Il gioco del potenti (The Play of the Mighty). Using Barton and Hall’s structure, Strehler also added several characters, including a Chorus, who used monologues from Richard II, both parts of Henry IV, Henry V, Macbeth and Timon of Athens, and two gravediggers called Bevis and Holland (after the names of two of Cade’s rebels in the Folio text of 2 Henry VI), who commented (with dialogue written by Strehler himself) on each of the major characters as they set about burying them.[78] A major German adaptation was Peter Palitzsch’s two-part adaptation of the tilogy as Der krieg der rosen in 1967 at the Stuttgart State Theatre. Condensing the three plays into two, Heinrich VI and Eduard IV, Palitzsch’s adaptation concluded with the opening monologue from Richard III.[79]

[edit] Television

The first television adaptation of the play was in 1960 when the BBC produced a serial entitled An Age of Kings. The show comprised fifteen one-hour episodes that adapted all eight of Shakespeare’s sequential history plays. Directed by Michael Hayes and produced by Peter Dews, with a script by Eric Crozier, the production featured Terry Scully as Henry, Mary Morris as Margaret and Eileen Atkins as Joan. The character of Talbot was removed. The ninth episode, under the title ‘The Red Rose and the White‘ presented a heavily abridged version of 1 Henry VI.

In 1965, BBC 1 broadcast all three plays from John Barton and Peter Hall’s The Wars of the Roses trilogy (Henry VI, The Rise of Edward IV and Richard III) with David Warner as Henry and Peggy Ashcroft as Margaret. The play was presented as more than simply filmed theatre however. At certain performances of the plays, cameramen with hand-held cameras were allowed on stage to shoot battle scenes, and camera platforms were created around the theatre. In all, twelve cameras were used to record the performance, allowing the final product to be edited more like a film than a piece of static filmed theatre. Filming was done following the 1964 run of the plays at Stratford-upon-Avon, and took place over an eight-week period. In 1966, the production was repeated on BBC 1 where it was re-edited into eleven episodes of fifty minutes each.[80]

Joan (Brenda Blethyn) vows to lead the French to victory in Act 1, Scene 2. Behind her stand Alençon (Michael Byrne), Charles (Ian Saynor), Reignier (David Daker) and the Bastard (Brian Protheroe)

Another television version of the play was produced by the BBC in 1981 for their BBC Television Shakespeare series, although the episode didn’t air until 1983. Directed by Jane Howell, the play was presented as the first part of the tetralogy (all four adaptations directed by Howell) with linked casting. Henry was played by Peter Benson, Margaret by Julia Foster, Talbot by Trevor Peacock and Joan by Brenda Blethyn. All four plays were set in a children’s playground area, which decayed and became more and more dilapidated as the plays went on and social order became more fractious.

For the most part, Howell’s The First Part of Henry the Sixt is taken word-for-word from the First Folio, with only some relatively minor differences. For example, the adaptation opens differently to the play, with Henry VI singing a lament for his father. Another difference is that Fastolf’s escape from Rouen is seen rather than merely mentioned. Also worth noting is that Act 5, Scene 1 and Act 5, Scene 2 are reversed so that Act 4, Scene 7 and Act 5, Scene 2 now form one continuous piece.

Additionally, numerous lines were cut from almost every scene. Some of the more notable omissions include; in Act 1, Scene 1, absent are Bedford’s references to children crying and England becoming a marsh since Henry V died: “Posterity await for wretched years/When, at their mothers’ moistened eyes, babes shall suck,/Our isle be made a marish of salt tears,/And none but women left to wail the dead.” (ll.48–51). In Act 1, Scene 2, Alençon’s praise of the resoluteness of the English army is absent: “Froissart, a countryman of ours, records/England all Olivers and Rolands bred/During the time Edward the Third did reign./More truly now may this be verified,/For none by Samsons and Goliases/It sendeth forth to skirmish.” (ll.29–34). In Act 1, Scene 3, some of the dialogue between Gloucester and Winchester outside the Tower is absent (ll.36–43), whilst in Act 1, Scene 5, so too is Talbot’s complaint about the French wanting to ransom him for a prisoner of less worth: “But with a baser man-of-arms by far,/Once in contempt they would have bartered me—/Which I, disdaining, scorned, and crav’d death/Rather than I would be so vile-esteemed” (ll.8–11). In Act 1, Scene 7, some of Charles’ praise of Joan is absent: “A statelier pyramis to her I’ll rear/Than Rhodope’s of Memphis ever was./In memory of her, when she is dead,/Her ashes, in an urn more precious/Than the rich-jewelled coffer of Darius,/Transported shall be at high festivals/Before the kings and queens of France” (ll.21–27). In Act 3, Scene 1, some of Warwick’s attack on Winchester is absent: “You see what mischief – and what murder too –/Hath been enacted through your enmity” (ll.27–28). In Act 4, Scene 6, some of the dialogue between Talbot and John has been removed (ll.6–25). The most interesting omissions come in Act 4, Scene 7. In this scene, twelve of Joan’s sixteen lines have been cut; the entire seven line speech where she says John Talbot refused to fight her because she is a woman (ll.37–43); the first three lines of her five line mockery of Lucy’s listing of Talbot’s titles, “Here’s a silly, stately style indeed./The Turk, that two-and-fifty kingdoms hath,/Writes not so tedious a style as this” (ll.72–75); and the first two lines of her four line speech where she mocks Lucy, “I think this upstart is old Talbot’s ghost,/He speaks with such a proud commanding spirit” (ll.86–88). These omissions reduce Joan’s role in this scene to a virtual spectator, and coupled with this, Brenda Blethyn portrays the character as if deeply troubled by something (presumably the loss of contact with her ‘fiends’).

Another notable stylistic technique used in the adaptation is the multiple addresses direct-to-camera. Much more so than in any of the sequels, the adaptation of 1 Henry VI has multiple characters addressing the camera continually throughout the play, oftentimes for comic effect. The most noticeable scene in this respect is Act 2, Scene 3, where Talbot meets the Countess of Auvergne. Almost all of her dialogue prior to line 32 (“If thou be he, then thou art prisoner”) is delivered direct to camera, including her incredulous description of the difference between the real Talbot, and the reports she has heard of him. At one point during this speech, Auvergne exclaims “Alas, this is a child, a silly dwarf” (l.21), at which point Talbot himself looks at the camera in disbelief. The comedy of the scene is enhanced by having the 5-foot 10 actor Trevor Peacock playing Talbot, and the 6-foot 3 actress Joanna McCallum playing Auvergne. Elsewhere, addresses to the camera are found throughout the play. For example, as Bedford, Gloucester, Exeter and Winchester leave in Act 1, Scene 1, each one reveals their intentions direct-to-camera (ll.166–177). Other examples are Joan’s confession of where she got her sword (1.2.100–101); the Mayor’s last two lines at the Tower (1.3.89–90); Talbot’s “My thoughts are whirl’d like a potter’s wheel./I know not where I am nor what I do./A witch, by fear, not force, like Hannibal,/Drives back our troops and conquers as she lists” (1.6.19–22); some of Mortimer’s monologue prior to the arrival of Richard (2.5.22–32); Richard’s “Plantagenet, I see, must hold his tongue,/Lest it be said, ‘Speak, sirrah, when you should:/Must your bold verdict enter talk with lords?’/Else would I have a fling at Winchester” (3.1.61–64); Exeter’s soliloquy at the end of Act 3, Scene 1 (ll.190–203); Exeter’s soliloquy at the end of Act 4, Scene 1 (ll.182–194); most of the dialogue between Suffolk and Margaret as they ignore one another (5.4.16–64); and Suffolk’s soliloquy, which closes the play (5.6.102–109). Also to-camera is Joan’s “Poor market folks that come to sell their corn” (3.2.14), which is delivered as if it were a translation of the preceding line for the benefit of the non-French speaking audience.

In 1964, Austrian channel ORF 2 presented an adaptation of the trilogy by Leopold Lindtberg under the title Heinrich VI. The cast list from this production has been lost. In 1969, German channel ZDF presented a filmed version of the first part of Peter Palitzsch’s 1967 two-part adaptation of the trilogy in Stuttgart. The second part was screened in 1971.

[edit] Radio

In 1923, extracts from all three Henry VI plays were broadcast on BBC Radio, performed by the Cardiff Station Repertory Company as the third episode of a series of programs showcasing Shakespeare’s plays, entitled Shakespeare Night.[81] In 1947, BBC Third Programme aired a one hundred and fifty minute adaptation of the trilogy as part of their Shakespeare’s Historical Plays series, a six-part adaptation of the eight sequential history plays, with linked casting. Adapted by Maurice Roy Ridley, King Henry VI starred John Byron as Henry and Gladys Young as Margaret. Almost the entirety of 1 Henry VI was cut, with everything related to the conflict in France being removed. In 1952, Third Programme aired an adaptation of the tetralogy by Peter Watts and John Dover Wilson under the general name The Wars of the Roses. The tetralogy was adapted into a trilogy but in an unusual way. 1 Henry VI was simply removed, so the trilogy contained only 2 Henry VI, 3 Henry VI and Richard III. The adaptation starred Valentine Dyall as Henry and Sonia Dresdel as Margaret. In 1971, BBC Radio 3 presented a two-part adaptation of the trilogy by Raymond Raikes. Part 1 contained an abridged 1 Henry VI and an abridged version of the first three acts of 2 Henry VI. Part 2 presented Acts 4 and 5 of 2 Henry VI and an abridged 3 Henry VI. Nigel Lambert played Henry, Barbara Jefford played Margaret, Francis de Wolff played Talbot and Elizabeth Morgan played Joan. In 1977, BBC Radio 4 presented a 26-part serialisation of the eight sequential history plays under the general title Vivat Rex (long live the King). Adapted by Martin Jenkins as part of the celebration of the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II, 1 Henry VI comprised episodes 15 (“Joan of Arc”) and 16 (“The White Rose and the Red”). James Laurenson played Henry, Peggy Ashcroft played Margaret, Clive Swift played Talbot, Hannah Gordon played Joan, and Richard Burton narrated.

In America, in 1936, a heavily edited adaptation of the trilogy was broadcast as part of NBC Blue‘s Radio Guild series. Comprising three sixty minute episodes aired a week apart, the adaptation was written by Vernon Radcliffe and starred Henry Herbert as Henry and Janet Nolan as Margaret. In 1954, CBC Radio presented an adaptation of the trilogy by Andrew Allen, who combined 1 Henry VI, 2 Henry VI and 3 Henry VI into a one hundred and sixty minute episode. There is no known cast information for this production.

In 1985, German radio channel Sender Freies Berlin broadcast a heavily edited seventy-six minute two-part adaptation of the octology adapted by Rolf Schneider, under the title Shakespeare’s Rosenkriege.

[edit] References

[edit] Notes

All references to Henry VI, Part 1, unless otherwise specified, are taken from the Oxford Shakespeare (Taylor), based on the First Folio text of 1623. Under its referencing system, 4.3.15 means act 4, scene 3, line 15.

  1. ^ Taylor (2003: 32–39)
  2. ^ See Hattaway (1990: 63) and Taylor (2003: 92)
  3. ^ Hall (1548: Mmiiv)
  4. ^ For more information on this incident, see Bullough (1960: 50)
  5. ^ See Winifred Frazer, “Henslowe’s “ne””, Notes and Queries, 38:1 (Spring, 1991), 34–35 and Brian Vickers, Shakespeare, Co-Author: A Historical Study of Five Collaborative Plays (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 149 for more information on this theory
  6. ^ According to Andrew Gurr, these earnings made it the second most profitable play of the year, after the anonymous (and now lost) The Wise Man of Westchester (Playgoing in Shakespeare’s London, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987, 136)
  7. ^ Taylor (1995: 152)
  8. ^ Referred to as The Contention from this point forward
  9. ^ Referred to as True Tragedy from this point forward
  10. ^ R.B. McKerrow, “A Note on Henry VI, Part 2 and The Contention of York and Lancaster“, Review of English Studies, 9 (1933), 161
  11. ^ The Problem of The Reign of King Edward III (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988)
  12. ^ Taylor (1995: 150)
  13. ^ Jones (1977: 135–138)
  14. ^ Taylor (2003: 12–13)
  15. ^ Samuel Johnson, The Plays of William Shakespeare (1765), 3
  16. ^ In the Stationers’ Register on 19 April 1602 an entry refers to The firste and Second parte of Henry the Vj, which has often been taken to mean 1 Henry VI and 2 Henry VI. However, this entry actually refers to 2 Henry VI and 3 Henry VI, which were entered into the Register when Thomas Millington sold his rights to the plays to Thomas Pavier. Confusingly however, when 1 Henry VI was entered into the Register in 1623 for publication in the First Folio, it was registered as The thirde parte of Henry ye Sixt (because the names of the first and second parts were already taken). For more information, see Ronald Knowles’ 1999 Arden edition of 2 Henry VI (119), and Randall Martin’s 2001 Oxford edition of 3 Henry VI (104n1).
  17. ^ Wilson (1969: 9)
  18. ^ Pugliatti (1996: 52)
  19. ^ Tillyard (1944)
  20. ^ Ribner (1957)
  21. ^ Rossiter (1961)
  22. ^ Jonson (1605: np)
  23. ^ All quotes from Nashe (1592: i212)
  24. ^ Heywood (1612: B4r)
  25. ^ Michael Goldman, The Energies of Drama (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972), 161
  26. ^ Burns (2000: 75)
  27. ^ Alexander (1929)
  28. ^ Taylor (1995: 164)
  29. ^ Roger Warren, “Comedies and Histories at Two Stratfords, 1977”, Shakespeare Survey, 31 (1978), 148
  30. ^ Taylor (2003: 66)
  31. ^ Leggatt (1996: 18)
  32. ^ Quoted in Taylor (2003: 108)
  33. ^ Sheehan (1989: 30)
  34. ^ Ryan (1967: xxiv)
  35. ^ Taylor (2003: 13)
  36. ^ Charles Boyce, Shakespeare A to Z (New York: Roundtable Press, 1990), 274
  37. ^ Burns (2000: 84)
  38. ^ “Shakespeare’s Chronicles of the War of the Roses”, Radio Times, (24 October 1952), 7
  39. ^ Vincent (2005: 377–402)
  40. ^ Vickers (2007: 311–352)
  41. ^ See Burns (2000: 25–27, 156 and 287–298) for discussions of the multiple connotations of Joan’s name, which may also include ‘pizzle’, an Elizabethan word for the penis. Burns argues that the obvious contradiction raised by Joan’s name referring to both a whore and a virgin, as well as male genitalia, coupled with the fact that her female identity is questioned several times in the play, are all part of her complex characterisation, wherein she remains protean, never one thing for very long. Another example of this is the contrast between her representation by the French as a saint and by the English as a demon.
  42. ^ Taylor (2003: 130)
  43. ^ This particular line has created a great deal of controversy amongst editors of the play. In terms of Joan, some editors refer to her as ‘Joan la Pucelle’ (such as Michael Taylor), whilst others (such as Edward Burns) use the form ‘Joan Puzel’ (although he refers to the historical Joan in his introduction as ‘Jean la Pucelle’). The First Folio referred to her as ‘Ioane de Puzel’. In his version of 1.5.85, Burns follows the First Folio, which reads “puzel or pussel”, as opposed to Taylor’s “puzzel or pucelle.” A similar problem arises with relation to the Dauphin. In the First Folio, every occurrence of the word ‘Dauphin’ is in the form ‘Dolphin’. Again, Burns follows the First Folio here, although most 20th-century editors tend to change the form to ‘Dauphin’ (with the exception of 1.5.85). Michael Taylor argues that using the form ‘dolphin’ everywhere except 1.5.85 means that the pun in Talbot’s line is rendered meaningless. Similarly, H.C. Hart, in his 1909 edition of the play for the 1st series of the Arden Shakespeare, used the form ‘Dauphin’ throughout, but at 1.5.85 he argued, “Dolphin of the Folio must be considerately allowed to stand in the text here for the sake of the quibbling.” For more information on the various forms of Joan’s name and Charles’ title, see Appendix 1 in Burns (2000: 287–297)
  44. ^ Taylor (2003: 56)
  45. ^ Hattaway (1990: 6)
  46. ^ Taylor (2003: 21)
  47. ^ Hattaway (1990: 30)
  48. ^ Hattaway (1990: 5)
  49. ^ Taylor (2003: 19)
  50. ^ Ryan (1967: xxxi)
  51. ^ Taylor (2003: 40)
  52. ^ Hattaway (1990: 6)
  53. ^ Hattaway (1990: 17)
  54. ^ Taylor (2003: 23)
  55. ^ Taylor (2003: 16)
  56. ^ Burns (2000: 47)
  57. ^ Donald G. Watson, Shakespeare’s Early History Plays: Politics at Play on the Elizabethan Stage (Georgia: 1990), 39
  58. ^ Swandler (1978: 158)
  59. ^ Taylor (2003: 47–48)
  60. ^ Burns (2000: 26)
  61. ^ Hattaway (1990: 24)
  62. ^ Taylor (2003: 45)
  63. ^ The adaptation was filmed in 1981 but it didn’t air until 1983
  64. ^ Hattaway (1990: 43)
  65. ^ Halliday (1964: 216–18)
  66. ^ Robert Shaughnessy, Representing Shakespeare: England, History and the RSC (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1994), 61
  67. ^ “Nick Ashbury Histories Blog”. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  68. ^ Review from the Daily Express (16 December 2000)
  69. ^ Taylor (2003: 34)
  70. ^ Taylor (2003: 33)
  71. ^ “RSC Performance Database Henry VI 17/07/1963”. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  72. ^ “The RSC Shakespeare, The First Part of Henry the Sixth”. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  73. ^ Goodwin (1964: 47)
  74. ^ Ronald Knowles, King Henry VI, Part Two London: Arden, 1999, 27
  75. ^ Roger Warren, Henry VI, Part Two (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 18
  76. ^ Shakespeare in Performance: Henry VI, Part 1, Internet Shakespeare Editions
  77. ^ Kenneth Jones, “Edward Hall’s Rose Rage is Henry VI Trilogy in Full Bloody Bloom”,, 17 September 2004)
  78. ^ All information about non-UK productions is from Roger Warren, Henry VI, Part Two (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 26
  79. ^ A.J. Hoenselaars. Shakespeare’s History Plays: Performance, Translation and Adaptation in Britain and Abroad, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2004), 143
  80. ^ Alice V. Griffin, “Shakespeare Through the Camera’s Eye”, Shakespeare Quarterly, 17:4 (Winter, 1966), 385
  81. ^ Unless otherwise noted, all information in this section comes from the British Universities Film and Video Council

[edit] Editions of Henry VI, Part 1

  • Bate, Jonathan and Rasmussen, Eric (eds.) Henry VI, Parts I, II and III (The RSC Shakespeare; London: Macmillan, 2012)
  • Bevington, David. (ed.) The First Part of Henry the Sixth (The Pelican Shakespeare; London: Penguin, 1966; revised edition 1979)
  • Burns, Edward (ed.) King Henry VI, Part 1 (The Arden Shakespeare, 3rd Series; London: Arden, 2000)
  • Cairncross, Andrew S. (ed.) King Henry VI, Part 1 (The Arden Shakespeare, 2nd Series; London: Arden, 1962)
  • Dover Wilson, John (ed.) The First Part of Henry VI (The New Shakespeare; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1952)
  • Evans, G. Blakemore (ed.) The Riverside Shakespeare (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974; 2nd edn., 1997)
  • Greenblatt, Stephen; Cohen, Walter; Howard, Jean E. and Maus, Katharine Eisaman (eds.) The Norton Shakespeare: Based on the Oxford Shakespeare (London: Norton, 1997; 2nd edn., 2008)
  • Hart, H.C. and Pooler, C. Knox (eds.) The First Part of Henry the Sixt (The Arden Shakespeare, 1st Series; London: Arden, 1909)
  • Hattaway, Michael (ed.) The First Part of King Henry VI (The New Cambridge Shakespeare; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990)
  • Kingsley-Smith, Jane (ed.) Henry VI, Part Three (The New Penguin Shakespeare, 2nd edition; London: Penguin, 2005)
  • Montgomery, William (ed.) Henry VI Part I (The Pelican Shakespeare, 2nd edition; London: Penguin, 2000)
  • Ryan, Lawrence V. (ed.) Henry VI, Part I (Signet Classic Shakespeare; New York: Signet, 1967; revised edition, 1989; 2nd revised edition 2005)
  • Sanders, Norman (ed.) Henry VI, Part One (The New Penguin Shakespeare; London: Penguin, 1981)
  • Taylor, Michael (ed.) Henry VI, Part One (The Oxford Shakespeare; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)
  • Wells, Stanley; Taylor, Gary; Jowett, John and Montgomery, William (eds.) The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986; 2nd edn., 2005)
  • Werstine, Paul and Mowat, Barbara A. (eds.) Henry VI, Part 1 (Folger Shakespeare Library; Washington: Simon & Schuster, 2008)

the end @ copyright @ 2012

The story behind the rare Australia postal history cover in 1930





1930 Lord Howe Island Provisional Manuscript Overprint – on Cover: In over 25 years of dealing I have never owned or offered one of these famous items. The Postmaster on tiny LHI had a shortage of 2d stamps when the latter rate increased at short notice in late July 1930 to 2d. He telegrammed Sydney GPO to ask what to do, and was advised by telegram to : “use 1½d stamps with endorsement – 2d Paid PM LHI”.

So the PM took his entire stock of 260 Sturt 1½d commemoratives, (SG #117) and wrote in black ink pen across each one as instructed, and went ahead and used them up on mail. At this time only an average 80 mail articles a month left the remote island, which is 702 km north east of Sydney, and 1000 km SW of Norfolk Island. The stamp is tied by “Lord Howe Island OC 3 : 1930 N.S.W” with an additional strike alongside. By the rough strikes of the cancels and the address, this cover appears to be non-philatelic.

This course is NOT what Sydney GPO had envisaged – they assumed he would write the endorsement on the cover to one side, and AWAY from the stamps, but the Telegram was explicit ….. albeit ambiguous.

The PMG Department HQ in Melbourne was unaware of these provisional “overprints” for some months, which had franked LHI outward mail in August, September and early October. When they discovered it, they over-rode the earlier authority, but the PM Mr Fenton was neither officially criticised or reprimanded at any time, as he had acted in good faith. This is a genuine commercial cover to the Burns Philp Trading Company. Dr Bill Mayo’s LHI philatelic book states most of the few recorded covers are addressed locally to LHI.

The very few covers I have seen illustrated in sale cats looks ratty and/or toned. This one is quite PRISTINE for 77 years old – as you can see. SG and ACSC have always listed and priced this rare provisional. SG says it is Cat £650 mint or used = $A1,625. Any commercial COVER used in this era is rare – franked with any issue.

SG Says on cover prices for SG 117-125 are “From 10 x ” so this one is theoretically rated “From $A16,250”. A lovely item, in condition that would delight even the MOST fastidious of buyers.

Gold Medal exhibit material stuff, or one for the super fund. $A1,600

SOURCE: COURTECY  carl steven


Japanese Occupation Sumatra Map 1942-1945


The Dai nippon Occupation Indonesia

Part Sumatra

The complete Cd Exist but only for premium member

lease subscribe via comment







Unanswer of The Postal history Japanese stamp cancalled By DEI Makasser in 1936


THe Dutch East Indie History Collection




Netherlands Indies Paquebot Cancels – which it obviously is not.

The cancel is Makasser, which was in the Netherlands Indies, but I can’t find the stamp in the SG listings for Netherlands Indies … it does look like a Japanese Occupation stamp, but I can’t figure out for where



Dr Iwan Answ

It’s an ordinary Japanese stamp from 1932, Sakura #215.


The cancel looks typical Netherlands Indies for that period, but the year of 1936 is too early for Japanese Occupation?

So what is a Japanese stamp doing with a Makasser cancel?

Could it have been ships mail from Japan cancelled at the arrival port of Makasser?

And curse people who didn’t leave stuff like this on covers.


Three problems with that hypothesis:

1. the use of regular Japanese stamps in the parts of the Netherlands Indies under Navy control (which included Makassar) was quite rare.
2. the issue used stopped being distributed 5 years before the Japanese occupied the Netherland Indies
3. the cancel seems to be dated 1936, which predates the occupation by 6 years

So it seems a bit unlikely

It looks as though it is indeed a paquebot usage.

But if the cancellation is Dutch won’t it be 1936?


the date is something May 1936 at 18:00 hours.

This is a Japanaese stamp with a DEI cancel, effectively a paquebot, or item put ashore and cancelled there. The Ballpoint pen had not been invented so the postal official used a proper cancel.

Nice item
would be nicer on the entire cover
but never mind


similar cancels on DEI stamps using a 24 hour clock for times, so May 1936, 18:00 hours fits well, as does the dot type hatching.

Seems I’ve been convinced to follow the circle around from something I thought was not Paquebot, to that being the most likely explanation

DR Iwan Notes



I have the same collections from this city,surabaia,tandjong priok(Batavia), Padang,Olehleh aceh,belawan(medan)

the complete cd exist but only for premium member,please subscribe via comment

copyright @ 2012

The Story Behind The Rare Unissued China Mao -Lin Biao Stamps 1968




One of the great rarities of PRC stamps

Sold at auction this year for US $ 29,118

Unissued because there was no victory perhaps?


.Unissued because of that person standing to the right of  Mao


And who, font of all knowledge and keeper of the black flame of all that is ugly in philately, is that (non?) person standing to Mao’s left?

Lin Biao

Mao’s chosen successor who was killed in a plane crash in 1971, after which he was vilified. Supposedly was involved in a coup attempt, if memory serves?

But that all occured in 1971 and this stamp was planned, it seems, for 1968 when he was still beloved of the Chairman?

1968 W14 All China is Red 8f Expertly repaired, still one of the most famous stamp of PRC.Sold for US $ 23,529



this stamp was issued but recalled because the “All China is Red” slogan on the map was contradicted by Taiwan being shown on the map in white.
In September 1968, after the establishment of Cultural Revolution Revolutionary Committees, the Ministry of Posts issued the “All China Is Red” stamp.

It pictured workers, farmers and soldiers holding “the Quotations of Chairman Mao” and cheering; at the top, a red map of China with golden letters read “All China Is Red.” They were issued in Beijing for half a day before the China Atlas Press discovered that the Xisha and Nansha archipelagos were mistakenly missing from the map!

Due to its extremely limited number, the “All China Is Red” is one of the most famous rare ones in the world. Ten years ago, a post office sheet of 50 was displayed at the China Philatelic Expo in Guangzhou City and was considered a “national treasure,” valued at over 10,000,000 RMB.

Read More Info abou Lin Biao


Lin Biao

This article is about the Marshal of the People’s Republic of China. For the politician of the Republic of China, see Lin Biao (ROC).
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Lin.
Marshal Lin Biao
Marshal Lin Biao
First-ranking Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China
In office
21 December 1964 – 13 September 1971
Premier Zhou Enlai
Preceded by Chen Yun
Succeeded by Deng Xiaoping
Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of China
In office
25 May 1958 – 13 September 1971
Chairman Mao Zedong
Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China
In office
15 September 1954 – 13 September 1971
Premier Zhou Enlai
Personal details
Born (1907-12-05)5 December 1907
China Qing Dynasty Flag 1889.svgHuanggang, Hubei, China
Died 13 September 1971(1971-09-13) (aged 63)
Flag of the People's Republic of Mongolia (1949-1992).svg Öndörkhaan, Mongolia
Political party Communist Party of China
Spouse(s) Zhang Mei
Ye Qun
Lin Liguo (son)
Alma mater Whampoa Military Academy
Religion none
Military service
Years of service 1925-1971
Lin Biao
Chinese 林彪
Hanyu Pinyin Lín Biāo
Wade–Giles Lin Piao
Lin Yurong
Chinese 林育蓉
Hanyu Pinyin Lín Yùróng

Lin Biao (pinyin: Lín Biāo; IPA: [lǐn pjɑ́ʊ]; December 5, 1907– September 13, 1971) was a major Chinese Communist military leader who was pivotal in the communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, especially in Northeastern China. Lin was the general who commanded the decisive Liaoshen Campaign and Pingjin Campaign, co-led the Manchurian Field Army of the People’s Liberation Army into Beijing, and crossed the Yangtze River in 1949. He ranked third among the Ten Marshals. Zhu De and Peng Dehuai were considered senior to Lin, and Lin ranked ahead of He Long and Liu Bocheng.

Lin abstained from taking an active role in politics after the civil war, but became instrumental in creating the foundations for Mao Zedong‘s cult of personality in the early 1960s. Lin was rewarded for his service to Mao by being named Mao’s designated successor during the Cultural Revolution, from 1966 until his death.

Lin died in September 1971 when his plane crashed in Mongolia, following what appeared to be a failed coup to oust Mao. Because little inside information is available to the public on this “Lin Biao incident”, the exact events preceding Lin’s death have been a source of speculation among China scholars ever since. Following Lin’s death, he was officially condemned as a traitor by the Communist Party of China. He and Jiang Qing are still considered to be the two “major Counter-revolutionary cliques” blamed for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution



Lin Biao in Kuomintang uniform

Lin Biao was the son of a prosperous merchant family in the village of Huanggang, Hubei.[1] His name at birth was “Lin Yurong”.[2] Lin’s father opened a small handicrafts factory in the mid-late 1910s, but was forced to close the factory due to “heavy taxes imposed by local militarists”. After closing the factory, Lin’s father worked as a purser aboard a river steamship. Lin entered primary school in 1917,[3] but moved to Shanghai in 1919 to continue his education.[2] As a child, Lin was much more interested in participating in student movements than in pursuing his formal education.[4] Lin joined a satellite organization of the Communist Youth League before he graduated high school in 1925. Later in 1925 he participated in the May Thirtieth Movement and enrolled in the newly established Whampoa Military Academy in Guangzhou.[1]

As a young cadet, Lin admired the personality of Chiang Kai-shek, who was then the Principal of the Academy.[4] At Whampoa, Lin also studied under Zhou Enlai, who was eight years older than Lin. Lin had no contact with Zhou after their time in Whampoa, until they met again in Yan’an in the late 1930s.[5] Lin’s relationship with Zhou was never especially close, but they rarely opposed each other directly.[6]

After graduating from Whampoa in 1926, Lin was assigned to a regiment commanded by Ye Ting. Less than a year after graduating from Whampoa, Lin was ordered to participate in the Northern Expedition, rising from deputy platoon leader to battalion commander in the National Revolutionary Army within a few months. It was during the Northern Expedition that Lin joined the Communist Party[1] By 1927 Lin was a colonel.

When he was 20 Lin married a girl from the countryside with the family name “Ong”. This marriage was arranged by Lin’s parents, and the couple never became close. When Lin left the Kuomintang to become a communist revolutionary, Ong did not accompany Lin, and their marriage effectively ended.[4]

[edit] Chinese Civil War

After the Kuomintang-Communist split Lin’s commander, Ye Ting, joined forces with He Long and participated in the Nanchang Uprising on August 1, 1927.[2][7] During the campaign Lin worked as a company commander under a regiment led by Chen Yi.[8] Following the failure of the revolt, Lin escaped to the remote Communist base areas, and joined Mao Zedong and Zhu De in the Jiangxi–Fujian Soviet in 1928. After joining forces with Mao, Lin became one of Mao’s closest supporters.[6]

Lin became one of the most senior military field commanders within the Jiangxi Soviet. He commanded the First Army Group, and achieved a degree of power comparable to that of Peng Dehuai, who commanded the Third Army Group. According to Otto Braun, Lin was “politically… a blank sheet on which Mao could write as he pleased” during this period. After Mao was removed from power in 1932 by his rivals, the 28 Bolsheviks, Lin frequently attended strategic meetings in Mao’s name and openly attacked the plans of Mao’s enemies.[9]

Within the Jiangxi Soviet, Lin’s First Army Group was the best-equipped, and arguably most successful, force within the Red Army. Lin’s First Army became known for its mobility, and for its ability to execute successful flanking maneuvers. Between 1930 and 1933 Lin’s forces captured twice the amount of prisoners of war and military equipment as the Third and Fifth Army Groups combined. The successes of Lin’s forces are due partially to the division of labour within the Red Army: Lin’s forces were more offensive and unorthodox than other groups, allowing Lin to capitalize on other Red Army commanders’ successes.[10]

During the Communists’ defense against Chiang’s 1933-34 Fifth Encirclement Campaign, Lin advocated a strategy of protracted guerilla warfare, and opposed the positional warfare advocated by Braun and his supporters. Lin believed that the best way to destroy enemy soldiers was not to pursue them or defend strategic points, but to weaken the enemy through feints, ambushes, encirclements, and surprise attacks. Lin’s views generally conformed with the tactics advocated by Mao.[11]

After Chiang’s forces successfully occupied several strategic locations within the Jiangxi Soviet, in 1934, Lin was one of the first Red Army commanders to publicly advocate the abandonment of the Jiangxi Soviet, but he was opposed by most Red Army commanders, especially Braun and Peng Dehuai.[12] After the Communists finally resolved to abandon their base, later in 1934, Lin continued his position as one of the most successful commanders in the Red Army during the Long March. Under the direction of Mao and Zhou, the Red Army finally arrived at the remote Communist base of Yan’an, Shaanxi, in December 1936.

Lin and Peng Dehuai were generally considered the Red Army’s best battlefield commanders, and were not rivals during the Long March. Both of them had supported Mao’s rise to de facto leadership at Zunyi in January 1935. Lin may have become privately dissatisfied with Mao’s strategy of constant evasion by the end of the Long March, but continued to support Mao publicly.[13]

Lin Biao did not present the bluff, lusty face of Peng Dehuai. He was ten years younger, rather slight, oval-faced, dark, handsome. Peng talked with his men. Lin kept his distance. To many he seemed shy and reserved. There are no stories reflecting warmth and affection for his men. His fellow Red Army commanders respected Lin, but when he spoke it was all business …. The contrast between Mao’s top field commanders could hardly have been more sharp, but on the Long March they worked well together, Lin specializing in feints, masked strategy, surprises, ambushes, flank attacks, pounces from the rear, and stratagems. Peng met the enemy head-on in frontal assaults and fought with such fury that again and again he wiped them out. Peng did not believe a battle well fought unless he managed to replenish—and more than replenish—any losses by seizure of enemy guns and converting prisoners of war to new and loyal recruits to the Red Army.[14]

The American journalist Edgar Snow met Lin Biao in the Communist base of Shaanxi in 1936,[15] and wrote about Lin in his book, Red Star Over China. Snow’s account focused more on the role of Peng than Lin, evidently having had long conversations with, and devoting two whole chapters to, Peng (more than any individual apart from Mao). But he says of Lin:

With Mao Zedong, Lin Biao shared the distinction of being one of the few Red commanders never wounded. Engaged on the front in more than a hundred battles, in field command for more than 10 years, exposed to every hardship that his men have known, with a reward of $100,000 on his head, he miraculously remained unhurt and in good health. In 1932, Lin Biao was given command of the 1st Red Army Corps, which then numbered about 20,000 rifles. It became the most dreaded section of the Red Army. Chiefly due to Lin’s extraordinary talent as a tactician, it destroyed, defeated or outmanoeuvered every Government force sent against it and was never broken in battle …. Like many able Red commanders, Lin has never been outside China, speaks and reads no language but Chinese. Before the age of 30, however, he has already won recognition beyond Red circles. His articles in the Chinese Reds’ military magazines … have been republished, studied and criticised in Nanking military journals, and also in Japan and Soviet Russia.[16]

(Within a year of Snow’s reporting this, Lin was seriously wounded).[17]

Lin and Mao generally had a close personal relationship,[18] but some accounts claim that Lin sometimes made disparaging comments about Mao in private, and that Lin’s support of Mao was largely for the pursuit of power.[19] After arriving in Yan’an, Lin became the principal of the newly founded “Anti-Japanese University”. In 1937 Lin married one of the students there, a girl named Liu Ximin, who had earned the nickname “University Flower”.[20]

[edit] Second Sino–Japanese War (1937–1945)

In August 1937, Lin was named commander-in-chief of the 115th Division of the Communist 8th Route Army[2] and ordered to aid Yan Xishan‘s forces in repelling the Japanese invasion of Shanxi. In this capacity, Lin orchestrated the ambush at Pingxingguan in September 1937, which was one of the few battlefield successes for the Chinese in the early period of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

In 1938, while he was still leading Chinese forces in Shanxi, Japanese soldiers who had joined the Communists and were serving under Lin’s command presented Lin with a Japanese uniform and katana, which they had captured in battle. Lin then put the uniform and katana on, jumped onto a horse, and rode away from the army. While riding, Lin was spotted alone by a sharpshooter in Yan’s army. The soldier was surprised to see a Japanese officer riding a horse in the desolate hills alone. He took aim at Lin and severely injured him.[21] The bullet grazed Lin’s head, penetrating deep enough to leave a permanent impression on his skull.[22] After being shot in the head, Lin fell from his horse and injured his back.[21]

Recovering from his wounds and ill with tuberculosis, Lin left for Moscow at the end of 1937, where he served as the representative of the Communist Party of China to the Executive Committee of the Communist International. He remained in Moscow until February 1942, working on Comintern affairs and writing for its publication.[2] Lin was accompanied by his wife, Liu Ximin, but their relationship deteriorated in Moscow, and Lin eventually returned to Yan’an without her.[21]

While in Moscow, Lin became infatuated with Zhou Enlai’s adopted daughter, Sun Weishi, who was studying in Moscow from 1938 to 1946. Before returning to China, in 1942, Lin proposed to Sun and promised to divorce his wife, from whom Lin had become estranged. Sun was not able to accept Lin’s proposal, but promised to consider marrying Lin after completing her studies. Lin divorced Liu Ximin after returning to China, and married another woman, Ye Qun, in 1943. The relationship between Sun and Ye was notably bad.[23] After returning to Yan’an, Lin was involved in troop training and indoctrination assignments.

[edit] Defeating the Kuomintang

Lin with high-ranking officers under his command (Harbin, 1946)

Lin as commander-in-chief of the Manchurian Field Army.

Lin was absent for most of the fighting during World War II, but was elected the sixth-ranking Central Committee member in 1945 based on his earlier battlefield reputation.[17] After the Japanese surrender the Communists moved large numbers of troops to Manchuria, and Lin Biao moved to Manchuria to command the newly created “Communist Northeast Military District” in the fall. The Soviets transferred Japanese military equipment that they had captured to the Communists, making Lin’s army one of the most well-equipped Communist forces in China. By the time that units from the Kuomintang were able to arrive in the major cities of Manchuria, Lin’s forces were already in firm control of most of the countryside and surrounding areas.[24]

By the end of 1945 Lin had 280,000 troops in Manchuria under his command.[25] For the sake of bargaining with the Kuomintang in peace negotiations, Mao ordered Lin to assemble key armies to defend key cities, which was against the previous strategy of the Red Army. Lin suffered a major defeat in Siping, and retreated without receiving clear orders from Mao. After Siping Lin changed tactics, abandoning the cities and employing a strategy of guerrilla warfare and winning peasant support in the countryside.

When the Chinese Civil War resumed in 1947, Lin conquered the Manchurian provinces, and then swept into North China. Forces under Lin were responsible for winning two of the three major military victories responsible for the defeat of the Kuomintang. Lin suffered from ongoing periods of serious illness throughout the campaign.[17] Between the fall of 1948 and the spring of 1949, Lin commanded two of the “three great campaigns” waged by the PLA in northern China. Lin directed the Liaoshen Campaign, commanding a force of 700,000 against a KMT force of 550,000. Lin eliminated 470,000 Nationalist soldiers and secured the region for the Communists. Following the victory in Manchuria, Lin commanded over a million soldiers, encircling Chiang’s main forces in northern China during the Pingjin Campaign, taking Beijing and Tianjin within a period of two months. Tianjin was taken by force, and on January 22, 1949 General Fu Zuoyi and his army of 400,000 men agreed to surrender Beijing without a battle, and the PLA occupied the city on January 31. The Pingjin Campaign saw Lin eliminate a total of approximately 520,000 enemy troops. Many of those who surrendered later joined the PLA.[26]

After taking Beijing, the Communists attempted to negotiate for the surrender of the remaining KMT forces. When these negotiations failed, Lin resumed his attacks on the KMT in the southeast. After taking Beijing, Lin’s army numbered 1.5 million soldiers. By the end of 1949 the Red Army succeeded in occupying all KMT positions on mainland China. The last position occupied by Lin’s forces was the island of Hainan.

Lin Biao was considered as one of the Communist’s most brilliant generals after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, in 1949. Lin was the youngest of the “Ten Marshals” named in 1955, a title that recognized Lin’s substantial military contributions.[17]

[edit] Politician

[edit] Illness

Lin Biao continued to suffer from poor health after 1949, and chose to avoid high-profile military and political positions. His status led him to be appointed to a number of high-profile positions throughout most of the 1950s, but these were largely honorary and carried few responsibilities. He generally delegated or neglected many of the formal political responsibilities that he was assigned, usually citing his poor health as an excuse.[17]

After Lin’s injury in 1938, he suffered from ongoing physical and mental health problems. His exact medical condition is not well understood, partially because his medical records have never been publicly released. Dr. Li Zhisui, then one of Mao’s personal physicians, believed that Lin suffered from neurasthenia and hypochondria. He became ill whenever he perspired, and suffered from phobias about water, wind, cold,[27] light, and noise.[4] He was said to become nervous at the sight of rivers and oceans in traditional Chinese paintings, and suffered from diarrhea, which could be triggered by the sound of running water.[27] Li’s account of Lin’s condition is notably different from the official Chinese version.

Lin suffered from excessive headaches, and spent much of his free time consulting Chinese medical texts and preparing traditional Chinese medicines for himself. He suffered from insomnia, and often took sleeping pills.[28] He ate simple meals, did not smoke, and did not drink alcohol.[27] As his condition progressed, his fear of water led to a general refusal to either bathe or eat fruit. Because of his fear of wind and light, his office was gloomy and lacked any ventilation. Some accounts have suggested that Lin became a drug addict, either to opium[4] or morphine.

As early as 1953, Soviet doctors diagnosed Lin as suffering from manic depression. Lin’s wife, Ye Qun, rejected this diagnosis, but it was later confirmed by Chinese doctors. Lin’s fragile health made him vulnerable, passive, and easily manipulated by other political figures, notably Ye Qun herself.[27]

Lin’s complaints got worse with time and age. In the years before his death, the fiancee of Lin’s son reported that Lin became extremely distant and socially and politically detached, even to the extent that he never read books or newspapers. His passivity made him difficult to connect with at any meaningful level: “usually he just sat there, blankly”. In Lin’s rare periods of activity, he used his time mostly to complain about, and seek treatment for his large variety of medical issues.[29]

[edit] Alliance with Mao

Lin, like most of the Politburo, initially held serious reservations about China’s entry into the Korean War, citing the devastation that would result if the “imperialists” detonated an atomic bomb in Korea or China. Lin later declined to lead forces in Korea, citing his ill health.[30] In early October 1950, Peng Dehuai was named commander of the Chinese forces bound for Korea, and Lin went to the Soviet Union for medical treatment. Lin flew to the Soviet Union with Zhou Enlai and participated in negotiations with Joseph Stalin concerning Soviet support for China’s intervention, indicating that Mao retained his trust in Lin.

Due partially to his periods of ill health and physical rehabilitation in the Soviet Union, Lin was slow to rise to power. In the early 1950s Lin one of five major leaders given responsibility for civil and military affairs, controlling a jurisdiction in central China. In 1953 he was visited by Gao Gang, and was later suspected of supporting him.[31] In 1955 Lin was named to the Politburo.[17] In February 1958 Peng Dehuai, then China’s Defense Minister, gave a speech for the fortieth anniversary of the Soviet Red Army in which he suggested increasing the military cooperation between China and the Soviet Union. Mao wanted to distance China from the Soviet Union, and began grooming Lin Biao as a viable successor to Peng.[32] In 1958 Lin joined the Politburo Standing Committee[33] and became one of China’s Vice-Chairmen. In 1959, after the Lushan Conference, the relationship between Mao and Peng led to Peng’s arrest and removal from all government positions.[17] Privately, Lin agreed with Peng’s perspective on, and opposition to, Mao’s Great Leap Forward, and he was strongly opposed to Peng being purged, but Lin’s fear of being purged himself kept Lin from publicly opposing Mao’s efforts to purge Peng,[34] and Lin publicly condemned Peng as a “careerist, a conspiricist, and a hypocrite”.[35] Following Mao’s direction, Peng was successfully disgraced and put under indefinite house arrest.[34] Lin was the senior leader most supportive of Mao following the Great Leap Forward,[36] in which Mao’s economic policies caused an artificial famine in which tens of millions of people starved to death.[37]

Lin initially refused to replace Peng, but finally accepted the position at the insistence of Mao Zedong. As Defense Minister, Lin’s command of the PLA was second only to Mao, but he deferred many of his responsibilities to subordinates. The most important figures who Lin deferred the day-to-day operations of China’s armed forces to were Chief of Staff Luo Ruiqing and the Central Military Vice-Chairman, He Long.[17]

As Defense Minister, Lin’s policies differed from that of his predecessor. Lin attempted to reform China’s armed forces based on political criteria: he abolished all signs and privileges of rank, purged members considered sympathetic to the USSR, directed soldiers to work part-time as industrial and agricultural workers, and indoctrinated the armed forces in Mao Zedong Thought.[38] Lin’s system of indoctrination made it clear the Party was clearly in command of China’s armed forces, and Lin ensured that the army’s political commissars enjoyed great power and status in order to see that his directives were followed.[33] Lin implemented these reforms in order to please Mao, but privately was concerned that they would weaken the PLA (which they did).[39] Mao strongly approved of these reforms,[17] and conscientiously promoted Lin to a series of high positions.[40]

Lin used his position as Minister of Defense to flatter Mao by promoting Mao’s cult of personality.[41] Lin devised and ran a number of national Maoist propaganda campaigns based on the PLA, the most successful of which was the “learn from Lei Feng” campaign, which Lin began in 1963.[42] Because he was the person most responsible for directing the “learn from Lei Feng” campaign, Lin may have directed the forging of Lei Feng’s Diary, upon which the propaganda campaign was based.[41]

Because of Lin’s fragile health, Ye Qin controlled many aspects of Lin’s public life during the 1960s, including who would see Lin and what others would know about him. Mao encouraged Ye to act on Lin’s behalf, giving her an unusual amount of power and responsibility. In 1965 Mao asked Ye to publicly criticize Lin’s chief of staff, Luo Ruiqing, on Lin’s behalf, even though Ye did not yet hold any high political position. When Lin discovered that Ye had done so (after Luo was purged), he was angry at Ye, but powerless to alter Luo’s disgrace.[43]

Lin often read speeches prepared by others, and allowed his name to be placed on articles that he did not write, as long as these materials supported Mao. One of the most famous articles published in Lin’s name[44] was the 20,000-word pamphlet on revolution in developing countries, Long Live the Victory of the People’s War!, which was released in 1965. This article made Lin one of China’s leading interpreters of Mao’s political theories. The article likened the “emerging forces” of the poor in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to the “rural areas of the world”, while the affluent countries of the West were likened to the “cities of the world”. Eventually the “cities” would be encircled by revolutions in the “rural areas”, following theories prevalent in Mao Zedong Thought.[33] Lin made no promise that China would fight other people’s wars, and foreign revolutionaries were advised to depend mainly on “self-reliance”.

Lin worked closely with Mao, promoting Mao’s cult of personality. Lin directed the compilation of some of Chairman Mao’s writings into a handbook, the Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong, which became known as the Little Red Book.[45] Lin Biao’s military reforms and the success of the 1962 Sino-Indian War impressed Mao. A propaganda campaign called “learn from the People’s Liberation Army” followed. In 1966, this campaign widened into the Cultural Revolution.

[edit] The Cultural Revolution

Main article: Cultural Revolution

[edit] Rise to prominence

Lin’s support impressed Mao, who continued to promote Lin to higher political offices. After Mao’s second-in-command, Liu Shaoqi, was denounced as a “capitalist roader” in 1966, Lin Biao emerged as the most likely candidate to replace Liu as Mao’s successor. Lin attempted to avoid this promotion, but accepted it on Mao’s insistence.[17]

Privately, Lin opposed the purging of Liu and Deng Xiaopeng, on the grounds that they were “good comrades”, but was not able to publicly oppose Mao’s condemnation of them. Lin privately admired Liu, and once told his daughter that Liu had “a better understanding of theory than Mao”. Zhou Enlai was also considered for the position of Vice-Chairman, but Zhou successfully withdrew from the nomination, leaving Lin the only candidate.[46]

Lin also seriously attempted to withdraw from the nomination, but was not able to do so because Mao had made Lin’s appointment a decision of the Central Committee, so rejecting the position would violate Party procedure and would risk ending Lin’s political career. Lin was not present at the conference where it was decided to name him vice chairman. After Lin was named, he met with Mao and begged him personally not to name him to the position, but Mao criticized him, comparing Lin to the Ming emperor Shizong, who devoted so much of his time to the search for longevity medicines that Shizong neglected his government responsibilities.[47] In 1966 all other candidates for the position were removed, and Lin accepted the position as sole Vice-Chairman, replacing Liu Shaoqi as Mao’s unofficial successor.[40] After his appointment, Lin again attempted to submit a formal written request to Mao, asking Mao to rescind Lin’s appointment to the position of vice-chairman, but Mao again rejected this request. When Lin received the rejection letter, he was so angry that he tore the letter up and threw it in the garbage.[47]

Because there was no way to avoid becoming Mao’s second-in-command, Lin attempted to protect himself from the chaos of the Cultural Revolution by giving absolute support to Mao and doing very little else. Lin avoided expressing any opinion, or making any decision on any matter, until Mao’s own opinions and positions on that matter were clear, after which Lin would adhere as closely to Mao’s direction as possible. Lin made sure that, whenever he and Mao were scheduled to appear in the same place, Lin would always arrive earlier than Mao, waiting to greet the Chairman. Lin attempted to make all observers believe that he was Mao’s closest follower,[48] always appearing beside Mao in all of Mao’s public appearances with a copy of Mao’s Little Red Book.[49] When he was informed that the public’s image of Lin was that he was “Mao’s best student”, Lin was pleased, and stated: “I don’t have any talent. What I know, I learned from Mao.”[48]

[edit] Activities

Because Lin had no real interest in the position of Vice-Chairman, he did little other than whatever he believed would ingratiate himself to Mao. Privately, Lin had no interest in promoting the Cultural Revolution, and attended government meetings only when Mao demanded that he do so. Those colleagues closest to Lin noted that Lin avoided talking about the Cultural Revolution in any context other than public speeches, and when pressed would only make very brief and ambiguous statements. After 1966, Lin made no phone calls, received few visitors, secluded himself from his colleagues, and gained a reputation as being “reticent and mysterious”.[attribution needed] He did not take an active role in government, but allowed his secretaries to read short summaries of selected documents for half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon. This was generally insufficient to fulfill the responsibilities of vice-chairman,[39] and he left most important work and family duties to his wife, Ye Qun.

Lin’s passivity was part of a calculated plan to survive the Cultural Revolution alive and well. When Lin perceived that his longtime subordinate, Tao Zhu, was in danger of being purged in the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Lin sent a letter to warn Tao, advising Tao to be “passive, passive, and passive again”. Tao probably did not understand Lin’s advice, and was successfully purged in 1967.[39] In his relationship with Mao, Lin adopted a policy of “three ‘nos’: no responsibility; no suggestions; no crime”.[50]

Following the lead of Mao, in 1966 Lin directed Red Guards in Beijing to “smash those persons in power who are traveling the capitalist road, the bourgeoisie reactionary authorities, and all royalists of the bourgeoisie, and to forcibly destroy the “four olds“: old culture, old ideas, old customs, and old habits.[51] In August 1966 Lin publicly called for a “three-month turmoil” within the PLA, and on October 6 Lin’s Central Military Commission issued an urgent instruction that all military academies and institutes were to dismiss their classes and allow their students to become fully involved in the Cultural Revolution. Following the orders of this directive, officers and commissars were expelled from their positions, and some were beaten to death.[52] Students at Chinese military academies followed Lin’s instructions to rebel against their senior officers, breaking into the offices of Lin’s National Commission for Defense Science to abduct one of the department’s directors, and claiming Lin’s deputy chief of staff, Li Tianyu, whom students accused of disciplining them.[51] The students “overthrew” General Xiao Hua, the head of the PLA’s Political Department since the previous July, and went on to purge 40 other top officers working under him in the Political Department, most of which died in prison.[52]

Lin continued to support the Red Guards until May 1967, when Mao accepted Zhou Enlai’s appeals to moderate their radical activity through military intervention.[51] Lin moderated some of the most radical activity within the PLA; but, from 1967 to 1969, 80,000 officers were purged, 1,169 of which died from torture, starvation, or execution. Research programs were cancelled and the number of military academies across China shrank by two thirds. Many defensive fortifications were destroyed, and regular training within the PLA ceased.[52]

After 1966, Lin’s few personal political initiatives were efforts to moderate the radical nature of the Cultural Revolution. Privately, he expressed unhappiness with the Cultural Revolution, but was unable to avoid playing a high-profile role due to the expectations of Mao, China’s unpredictable political environment, and the manipulations of his wife and son, Ye Qun and Lin Liguo.[17] After 1966, Lin, like Liu before him, attempted to build his own base of support so that he could better position himself for the inevitable, unpredictable political situation that would occur following the death of Mao.[53] Lin’s few proactive attempts to direct the Cultural Revolution were attempts to protect Red Guards and his political allies from political persecution, and to mediate the attempts of Jiang Qing and her followers to radicalize China’s political climate.[34] In May 1967, Lin’s follower, Chen Boda, saved Zhou Enlai from being persecuted by Red Guards by convincing them that Zhou was Lin’s follower and supporter. Zhou repaid Lin’s assistance by giving him excessive public praise three months later, in August, but was forced to write a formal apology to Lin after Lin complained to Mao that such praise was inappropriate.[54]

Lin and Jiang cooperated at the outset of the Cultural Revolution, but their relationship began to deteriorate in 1968 as Jiang frequently attempted to interfere in Chinese military affairs, which Lin found intolerable.[55] By 1970 Lin and Ye were very unfriendly with Jiang Qing: Lin referred to her as a “long-nosed pit viper”.[34] From 1968 until his death in 1971, Lin and his supporters disagreed with Zhou Enlai and his followers over the issue of China’s relationship with the United States and the Soviet Union. Lin believed that both superpowers were equally threatening to China, and that they were colluding to thwart China’s interests. Zhou Enlai believed that China should become closer to the United States in order to mediate the threat posed by the Soviet military. Lin was supported by Jiang Qing in his opposition to pursuing a relationship with the United States, but was not able to permanently disrupt Zhou’s efforts to contact the United States.[56]

Lin Biao, as Defense Minister, was responsible for the Chinese response to the Zhenbao Island incident of March 1969, a battle with the Soviet Union over a small, uninhabited island on the border of Mongolia. Lin issued a report labeling the Soviet Union a “chauvinist” and “social imperialist” power, and issuing orders warning Chinese troops to be wary of an impending Soviet attack. Lin’s followers attempted to use the hysteria generated by the incident in an effort to deepen the power that they had gained during the Cultural Revolution, disregarding and acting against the interests of Zhou Enlai and his supporters.[57]

[edit] Height of power

Lin officially became China’s second-in-charge in April 1969, following the 1st Plenary Session of the 9th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Lin’s position as Mao’s “closest comrade-in-arms and successor” was recognized when the Party constitution was formally revised to reflect Lin’s future succession.[58] At the 9th Central Committee, Lin’s faction was unquestionably dominant within the Politburo. Of the Politburo’s twenty-one full members, Lin counted on the support of six members: the generals Huang Yongsheng, Wu Faxian, Li Zuopeng, Qiu Huizo; Ye Qun; and Chen Boda, an ambitious ideologue. Lin’s support surpassed the number of members aligned with Jiang Qing, and far surpassed those aligned with Zhou Enlai. Because over 45% of the Central Committee were of members of Army, Lin’s supporters dominated the Politburo, and Lin’s power was second only to Mao.[59]

During the Second Plenary Session of the 9th Central Committee, from August–September 1970, Mao became uncomfortable with Lin’s growing power, and began to maneuver against Lin by undermining his supporters and attacking some of Lin’s suggestions at the conference. At the Second Plenum, Lin advocated that Mao take the position of President, which had been dissolved after the removal of Liu Shaoqi, but Mao dismissed this appeal, suspecting Lin of using it to increase his own power.[58] Mao did not attack Lin directly, but showed his displeasure by attacking Lin’s ally, Chen Boda, who was quickly disgraced. Lin kept his position, but the events of the Lushan Conference revealed a growing distrust between Lin and Mao.[60]

Because Lin was one of the most influential figures in promoting Mao’s personality cult, he began to be criticized within the Party for its excesses later in 1970.[17] After 1970, some factions within the Army, and those led by Zhou Enlai and Jiang Qing, began to distance themselves from Lin.[58] In order to mediate Lin’s growing power, Mao approved Zhou’s efforts to rehabilitate a number of civilian officials who had been purged during the first years of the Cultural Revolution, and supported Zhou’s efforts to improve China’s relationship with the United States.[61]

A serious rift developed between Mao and Lin. Mao was displeased with comments that Lin had made about his wife, Jiang Qing, at the Second Plenary Session of the 9th Central Committee. Generals loyal to Lin refused to accept Mao’s criticism of them, and Mao began to question whether Lin continued to follow him unconditionally.[49] Mao wanted Lin to make a self-criticism, but Lin stayed away from Beijing and resisted doing so. Ye Qun made a self-criticism, but it was rejected by Mao as not genuine. Zhou Enlai attempted to mediate between Mao and Lin, but by 1971 Lin had become extremely reclusive and difficult to talk with at any level, and Zhou’s mediation failed. In July 1971 Mao decided to remove Lin and his supporters. Zhou again attempted to moderate Mao’s resolution to act against Lin, but failed.[62]

[edit] The “Lin Biao incident”

Lin died when a plane carrying him and several members of his family crashed in Mongolia on September 13, 1971, allegedly after attempting to assassinate Mao and defect to the Soviet Union. Following Lin’s death, there has been widespread skepticism in the West concerning the official Chinese explanation, but forensic evidence conducted by Russia (which recovered the bodies following the crash) has confirmed that Lin was among those who died in the crash.[6]

[edit] Official Chinese narrative

According to the Chinese government, Lin Biao was made aware that Mao no longer trusted him after the 9th Central Committee, and he harbored a strong desire to seize supreme power. In February 1971 Lin and his wife, Ye Qun (who was then a Politburo member), began to plot Mao’s assassination. In March 1971, Lin’s son, Lin Liguo (who was a senior Air Force officer) held a secret meeting with his closest followers at an Air Force base in Shanghai. At this meeting, Lin Liguo and his subordinates supposedly drafted a plan to organize a coup, titled “Project 571” (in Chinese, “5-7-1” is a homophone for “armed uprising”). Later that March, the group met again to formalize the structure of command following the proposed coup.[60]

Mao was unaware of the coup plot; and, in August 1971, scheduled a conference for September to determine the political fate of Lin Biao. On August 15 Mao left Beijing to discuss the issue with other senior political and military leaders in southern China. On September 5, Lin received reports that Mao was preparing to purge him. On September 8, Lin gave the order to his subordinates to proceed with the coup.[60]

Lin’s subordinates planned to assassinate Mao by sabotaging his train before he returned to Beijing, but Mao unexpectedly changed his route on September 11. Mao’s bodyguards foiled several subsequent attempts on Mao’s life, and Mao safely returned to Beijing in the evening of September 12. By failing to assassinate Mao, Lin’s coup attempt failed.[63]

Realizing that Mao was now fully aware of his abortive coup, Lin’s party first considered fleeing south to their base of power in Guangzhou, where they would establish an alternate ‘Party headquarters’ and attack armed forces loyal to Mao in cooperation with the Soviet Union. After hearing that Premier Zhou Enlai was investigating the incident, they abandoned this plan as impractical, and decided to flee to the Soviet Union instead. In the early morning of September 13, Lin Biao, Ye Qun, Lin Liguo, and several personal aides attempted to flee to the Soviet Union and boarded a prearranged Trident 1-E, (a CAAC B-256) piloted by Pan Jingyin, the deputy commander of the PLAAF 34th division. The plane did not take aboard enough fuel before taking off, ran out of fuel, and crashed near Öndörkhaan in Mongolia on September 13, 1971.[63] Everyone on board, eight men and one woman, was killed.[29]

[edit] Foreign perception of official Chinese explanation

The exact circumstances surrounding Lin’s death remain unclear, due to a lack of surviving evidence. Many of the original government records relevant to Lin’s death were secretly and intentionally destroyed, with the approval of the Politburo, during the brief period of Hua Guofeng‘s interregnum in the late 1970s. Among the records destroyed were telephone records, meeting minutes, personal notes, and desk diaries. The records, if they had survived, would have clarified the activities of Mao, Zhou Enlai, Jiang Qing, and Wang Dongxing relative to Lin, before and after Lin’s death.[6] Because of the destruction of government documentation related to Lin’s death, the Chinese government has relied on the “evidence” provided by the “confessions” of purged officials close to Lin to corroborate the official narrative, but non-Chinese scholars generally regard this “evidence” as unreliable.[49]

Ever since 1971, scholars outside of China have been skeptical of the government’s official explanation of the circumstances surrounding Lin’s death. Skeptics assert that the official narrative does not sufficiently explain why Lin, one of Mao’s closest supporters and one of the most successful Communist generals, would suddenly attempt a poorly planned, abortive coup. The government narrative also does not sufficiently explain how and why Lin’s plane crashed. Skeptics have claimed that Lin’s decision to flee to the Soviet Union was illogical, on the grounds that the United States or Taiwan would have been safer destinations.[49]

Influential Western historians critical of the Chinese government’s official story have promoted the view that Lin did not have either the intention or the ability to usurp Mao’s place within the government or the Party.[63] One theory attempted to explain Lin’s flight and death by observing that Lin opposed China’s rapprochement with the United States, which Zhou Enlai was organizing with Mao’s approval.[64] Because the Chinese government never produced evidence to support their report that Lin was on board the plane that crashed in Mongolia, Western scholars originally doubted that Lin had died in the crash. One book, published anonymously using a Chinese pseudonym in 1983, claimed that Mao had actually had Lin and his wife killed in Beijing, and that Lin Liguo had attempted to escape by air. Other scholars suggested that Mao had ordered the Chinese army to shoot down Lin’s plane over Mongolia.[65]

The Chinese government has no interest in re-evaluating its narrative on Lin Biao’s death. When contacted for its comment on fresh evidence that surfaced on the Lin Biao incident after the Cold War, the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated: “China already has a clear, authoritative conclusion about the Lin Biao incident. Other foreign reports of a conjectural nature are groundless.” Non-Chinese scholars interpreted China’s reluctance to consider evidence that contradicts its “official” history as the result of a desire to avoid exploring any issue that may lead to criticism of Mao Zedong or a re-evaluation of the Cultural Revolution in general, which may distract China from pursuing economic growth.[22]

[edit] Subsequent scholarship and reliable eyewitness accounts

A six-month investigation by Western scholars in 1994 examined evidence in Russia, Mongolia, China, the United States, and Taiwan, and came to a number of conclusions, some of which were contrary to the official Chinese version of events. The study confirmed that Lin Biao, Ye Qun, and Lin Liguo were all killed in the crash. Lin’s plane was travelling away from the Soviet Union at the time of its crash, making the exact sequence of events before Lin’s death more confusing, and casting doubt on the possibility that Lin was attempting to seek asylum in the USSR. Lin’s wife and son may have forced Lin to board the plane against his will. Several senior leaders within the Communist Party hierarchy knew that Lin’s party would flee, but chose not to attempt to stop their flight. According to this study, Lin had attempted to contact the Kuomintang in Taiwan on two separate occasions shortly before his death.[65] The findings of Lin’s attempt to contact the Kuomintang supported earlier rumors from inside China that Lin was secretly negotiating with Chiang’s government in order to restore the Kuomintang government in mainland China in return for a high position in the new government. The claims of Lin’s contact with the Kuomintang have never been formally confirmed nor denied by either the Communist government nor the Nationalist government in Taiwan.

The eyewitness account of Zhang Ning, who was Lin Liguo’s fiancee before his death, and another witness who requested anonymity, indicate a sequence of events different from the official narrative. According to Zhang, Lin Biao had become extremely passive and inactive by 1971. When Lin Liguo informed Ye Qun that Mao was preparing to strip Ye of her Politburo seat, the two became convinced that their family would be purged if they failed to act, and developed a plan to escape.[28]

At 10 o’clock the night before Lin’s party fled, Ye Qun announced that the family would board a plane at 7 the next morning to fly to Guangzhou. Lin’s 27-year-old daughter, Lin Liheng (known by the nickname “Doudou”) opposed the escape plan, and contacted Lin’s bodyguards to request that they guard her father from Ye. Doudou then phoned Zhou Enlai,[66] but was not able to contact him directly, and Zhou only received Doudou’s report second-hand.[55]

Zhou received Doudou’s message shortly after Doudou’s phone call, directly from the general office of the Central Committee responsible for guarding China’s senior leaders. The message contained Doudou’s warning that Ye Qun and Lin Liguo were attempting to persuade Lin Biao to flee the country using an aircraft currently being prepared at Qinhuangdao Shanhaiguan Airport. Zhou called Wu Faxian, the commander of the air force, who verified the plane’s existence. Zhou then issued orders that the plane could not take off without the written permission of himself and several other senior military officials, including Wu Faxian, general chief-of-staff Huang Yongsheng, and the commander of the navy and general chief-of-staff, Li Zuopeng. At 11:30, Ye Qun called Zhou and informed him that Lin Biao was planning to fly to Dalian, and denied that they had prepared a plane at Shanhuaiguan. Zhou then told Ye to wait for him to travel to see Lin before they left Beidaihe (where they were staying), issued orders to neutralize potentially disruptive officers close to Lin (Wu Faxian and Huang Yongsheng), and ordered two planes readied in Beijing so that he could fly to Lin’s residence to personally deal with the matter.[67]

Ye made an announcement that the party were to pack quickly. Two hours after Doudou contacted Zhou, soldiers had still not responded in any meaningful way. Ye and Lin Liguo woke Lin Biao and packed him into a waiting limousine. The party then drove to Shanhaiguan airport, 25 miles away from their residence in Beidaihe, where their plane was waiting. Lin’s bodyguards told Doudou and another companion that they were ordered to take them as well, but Doudou and her companion refused.[66]

One soldier shot at Lin’s limousine as it left Beidaihe, but missed, and most soldiers that the party encountered on their way to the airport allowed the limousine to pass. According to the driver of Lin’s limousine, there was no time to place mobile stairs next to the plane’s entrance, so the party boarded the plane via a rope ladder. Lin Biao was so weak that he had to be lifted and pulled onto the plane.[66]

Zhang Ning observed the plane after it left the airport. Lin’s plane initially traveled southeast (in the direction of Guangzhou). The plane then returned twenty minutes later and circled the airport several times as if it were trying to land, but the runway lights had been turned off. Soviet officials and Mongolian witnesses reported that the plane then flew north, over Mongolia and almost to the Soviet border, but then turned around and began flying south before it crashed. A Mongolian who witnessed the plane crash reported that the plane’s tail was on fire when it crashed.[68]

None of Zhou’s instructions prevented Lin’s flight, and he learned that Lin’s plane had taken off before he, himself, could fly to see Lin. Zhou then ordered all planes in China grounded without the written permission of Mao, himself, and several senior military leaders. He rushed to Zhongnanhai to brief Mao of Lin’s flight, and asked Mao if he wanted to order Lin’s plane shot down, but Mao replied that China should “let him go”. At 8:30 PM, September 13, the Mongolian Foreign Ministry summoned the Chinese ambassador to make a formal complaint about the unauthorized entrance of a plane into Mongolian airspace, and reported to the ambassador that the plane had crashed, killing all on board. The Chinese ambassador to Mongolia then phoned Zhou Enlai, who then instructed the ambassador to tell the Mongolians that the plane had entered Mongolian airspace because it had gone off course.[69]

Mongolian investigators were the first to inspect the wreckage, arriving later the same day. They found an identity card belonging to Lin Liguo, confirming Lin Liguo’s presence on the flight. Markings on the plane and surviving miscellaneous personal items confirmed that the plane and passengers had originated from China, but the Mongolians were uncertain that any of the dead were either Lin Biao or Ye Qun. After inspecting the crash, the Mongolians buried the dead onsite.[29]

Through the Chinese ambassador, Zhou requested and received permission for Chinese embassy staff to inspect the wreckage of Lin’s plane, which they did on September 15–16. The staff reported to Zhou that the plane had caught fire while attempting to land, and then exploded. Zhou then sent additional staff to interview Mongolian witnesses of the crash, and to perform a detailed technical assessment of the crash. The report concluded that the plane had approximately 30 minutes of fuel when it crashed, but attempted to land without activating its landing gear or wing flaps.[70]

Later in 1971 a Soviet medical team secretly traveled to the crash site and exhumed the bodies, which were by then modestly decomposed. The team removed the heads of two of the corpses suspected to be Lin Biao and Ye Qun and took them back to Russia for forensic examination. In 1972 the team concluded that the heads belonged to Lin Biao and Ye Qun (the heads are still stored in Russian archives). In order to corroborate their findings the team returned to Mongolia a second time to inspect the body believed to be Lin Biao’s. After exhuming the body a second time the team found that the corpse’s right lung had the remains of tuberculosis, which Lin had suffered from, confirming the Soviet identification. The Soviet team were not able to determine the cause of the crash, but hypothesized that the pilot was flying low to evade radar and misjudged the plane’s altitude. Judging from the fires that burnt after the plane crashed, the Soviets estimated that it had enough fuel to fly to the Soviet cities of Irkutsk or Chita. All of the work and its results were kept secret from the public: outside of the investigative team, only KGB director Yuri Andropov and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev were informed. The report remained classified until the early 1990s, after the end of the Cold War.[71]

[edit] Aftermath

Graffiti with Lin Biao’s foreword to Mao’s Little Red Book. Lin’s name (lower right) was later scratched out, presumably after his death

Lin Biao was survived by Doudou and one other daughter.[17] All military officials identified as being close to Lin or his family (most of China’s high military command) were purged within weeks of Lin’s disappearance.[63] On September 14, Zhou announced to the Politburo that four of the highest-ranking military officials in China were immediately suspended from duty and ordered to submit self-criticisms admitting their associations with Lin. This announcement was quickly followed by the arrest of ninety-three people suspected of being close to Lin,[72] and within a month of Lin’s disappearance over 1,000 senior Chinese military officials were purged.[49] The official purge of Lin’s supporters continued until it was closed by the 10th Central Committee in August 1973.[73] The incident marked the end of the myth that Mao was always considered absolutely correct within the Party.[63] The National Day celebrations on October 1, 1971, were cancelled.

The news of Lin’s death was announced to all Communist Party officials in mid-October 1971, and to the Chinese public in November. The news was publicly received with shock and confusion. Mao Zedong was especially disturbed by the incident: his health deteriorated, and he became depressed. At the end of 1971 he became seriously ill, he suffered a stroke in January 1972, received emergency medical treatment, and his health remained unstable. Mao became nostalgic about some of his revolutionary comrades whose purging Lin had supported, and backed Zhou’s efforts to conduct a widespread rehabilitation of veteran revolutionaries, and to correct some of the excesses of the Cultural Revolution (which he blamed on Lin).[74] In the aftermath of the purge of Lin’s supporters, Zhou Enlai replaced Lin as the second most powerful man in China, and Jiang Qing and her followers were never able to displace him. Without the support of Lin, Jiang was unable to prevent Zhou’s efforts to improve China’s relationship with the United States, or to rehabilitate cadres who had been purged during the Cultural Revolution.[75] The clause in the Party constitution indicating that Lin was Mao’s successor was not officially amended until the 10th Central Committee in August 1973.[73]

The position of the Chinese government on Lin and the circumstances of his death changed several times over the decade following 1971. For over a year the Party first attempted to cover up the details of Lin’s death. The government then began to issue partial details of the event, followed by an anti-Lin Biao propaganda campaign. After Mao’s death, in 1976, the government confirmed its condemnation of Lin and generally ceased any dialogue concerning Lin’s place in history.[76] Throughout the 1970s, high-ranking leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, including Hua Guofeng, spread the story to foreign delegates that Lin had conspired with the KGB to assassinate Mao.[77]

In 1973 Jiang Qing, Mao’s fourth wife and a former political ally of Lin’s, started the Criticize Lin, Criticize Confucius campaign, aimed at using Lin’s scarred image to attack Zhou Enlai. Much of this propaganda campaign involved the creative falsification of history, including (false) details about how Lin had opposed Mao’s leadership and tactics thoroughout his career.[78] Lin’s name became involved in Jiang’s propaganda campaign after flashcards, made by Ye Qun to record Lin’s thoughts, were discovered in Lin’s residence following his death. Some of these flashcards recorded opinions critical of Mao. According to Lin’s writings, Mao “will fabricate ‘your’ opinion first, then he will change ‘your’ opinion – which is not actually yours, but his fabrication. I should be careful of this standard trick.” Another critical comment of Lin’s states that Mao “worships himself and has a blind faith in himself. He worships himself to such an extent that all accomplishments are attributed to him, but all mistakes are made by others”.[46] Lin’s private criticisms of Mao were directly contradictory of the public image cultivated by Lin, who publicly stated following the Great Leap Forward that all mistakes of the past were the result of deviating from Mao’s instructions.[79]

Like many major proponents of the Cultural Revolution, Lin’s image was manipulated after Mao’s death in 1976, and many negative aspects of the Cultural Revolution were blamed on Lin. After October 1976, those in power also blamed Mao’s supporters, the so-called Gang of Four. In 1980, the Chinese government held a series of “special trials” to identify those most responsible for the Cultural Revolution. In 1981, the government released their verdict: that Lin Biao must be held, along with Jiang Qing, as one of the two major “counter-revolutionary cliques” responsible for the excesses of the late 1960s.[63] According to the official Party verdict, Lin and Jiang were singled out for blame because they led intra-Party cliques which took advantage of Mao’s “mistakes” to advance their own political goals, engaging in “criminal activity” for their own self-benefit.[40] Lin has been officially remembered as one of the greatest villains of modern China since then. Lin was never politically rehabilitated, so the charges against him continue to stand.[63]

For several decades Lin’s name and image were censored within China, but in recent years a balanced image of Lin has reappeared in popular culture: surviving aides and family members have published memoirs about their experience with Lin; scholars have explored most surviving evidence relevant to his life and death, and have gained exposure within the official Chinese media; movies set before 1949 have made reference to Lin; and, Lin’s name has re-appeared in Chinese history textbooks, recognizing his contributions to the victory of the Red Army.[76] Within modern China, Lin is regarded as one of the Red Army’s best military strategists. In 2007 a portrait of Lin was added to the Chinese Military Museum in Beijing, included in a display of the “Ten Marshals”, a group considered to be the founders of China’s armed forces.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c Leung 69
  2. ^ a b c d e Lazitch and Drachkovitch 265-267
  3. ^ Lin 164
  4. ^ a b c d e Lee 170
  5. ^ Barnonin and Yu 240
  6. ^ a b c d Mackerras, McMillen, and Watson. 140
  7. ^ Leung 70
  8. ^ Barnouin and Yu 242
  9. ^ Hu Chi-hsi 253
  10. ^ Hu Chi-hsi 263
  11. ^ Hu Chi-hsi 257-260
  12. ^ Hu Chi-hsi 264
  13. ^ Salisbury 188
  14. ^ Salisbury 191–192
  15. ^ Hu Chi-hsi 267
  16. ^ Snow 135
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Mackerras, McMillen, and Watson 141
  18. ^ Snow 84
  19. ^ Chang and Halliday 504
  20. ^ Lee 170-171
  21. ^ a b c Lee 171
  22. ^ a b Hannam and Lawrence 4
  23. ^ Zhang 2
  24. ^ Leung 70-71
  25. ^ Barnouin and Yu 103
  26. ^ Barnouin and Yu 116
  27. ^ a b c d Qiu The Culture of Power. 145
  28. ^ a b Hannam and Lawrence 2-3
  29. ^ a b c Hannam and Lawrence 2
  30. ^ Barnouin and Yu 142-143, 145
  31. ^ Barnouin and Yu 164, 166
  32. ^ Domes 82
  33. ^ a b c Lee 172
  34. ^ a b c d Hu Xingdou 1
  35. ^ Barnouin and Yu 183
  36. ^ Barnouin and Yu 191
  37. ^ Yang. Section I
  38. ^ Snow. “Biographical Notes”.
  39. ^ a b c Qiu The Culture of Power 80
  40. ^ a b c Qiu The Culture of Power. 15
  41. ^ a b Tanner 522
  42. ^ Ebrey 442
  43. ^ Qiu The Culture of Power. 149
  44. ^ Teiwes and Sun 5
  45. ^ Han
  46. ^ a b Qiu The Culture of Power. 78
  47. ^ a b Qiu The Culture of Power. 78-79
  48. ^ a b Qiu The Culture of Power. 79-80
  49. ^ a b c d e Qiu Distorting History
  50. ^ Hu Xingdou 2
  51. ^ a b c Barnouin and Yu 226, 229
  52. ^ a b c China at War 136
  53. ^ Robinson 1081
  54. ^ Barnouin and Yu 236–237, 241-243
  55. ^ a b Barnouin and Yu 272
  56. ^ Ross 268
  57. ^ Uhalley and Qiu 389
  58. ^ a b c Uhalley and Qiu 388
  59. ^ Ross 269-270
  60. ^ a b c He 248
  61. ^ Ross 270-272
  62. ^ Qiu The Culture of Power. 134-135
  63. ^ a b c d e f g He 249
  64. ^ Ross 265
  65. ^ a b Hannam and Lawrence 1
  66. ^ a b c Hannam and Lawrence 3
  67. ^ Barnouin and Yu 272-273
  68. ^ Hannam and Lawrence 1, 3
  69. ^ Barnouin and Yu 273-274
  70. ^ Barnouin and Yu 274
  71. ^ Hannam and Lawrence 3-4
  72. ^ Barnouin and Yu 275
  73. ^ a b Barnouin and Yu 280
  74. ^ Barnouin and Yu 275-276
  75. ^ Ross 275-276
  76. ^ a b Robinson 1080
  77. ^ Pacepa
  78. ^ Hu Chi-hsi 269
  79. ^ Barnouin and Yu 190

[edit] Bibliography