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Southeast Asia

George Woodcock describes how Malacca was once a city so rich that “its merchants valued garlic more highly than gold,” and how it has slowly dwindled in wealth and importance since the middle of the seventeenth century.

British missions to the Chinese Court had already run into many grievous difficulties. When a mission was despatched to Burma, writes Mildred Archer, they found their problems no less irksome.

“Whoever is Lord in Malacca, has his hand on the throat of Venice,” wrote a European traveller during the period of the city's greatest glory. G.P. Dartford brings us back to a time when Malacca dominated the trade routes of the East.

From 1565 until the year of Waterloo, great Spanish galleons continued to cross the Pacific, bearing cargoes of American silver. Once they had reached Manila, writes C.R. Boxer, they exchanged for Chinese silk. “This prodigious voyage” took a heavy toll of life. Yet still (wrote a Chronicler) “the desire of gain prevails...”

During the Seven Years' War with France and Spain, writes A.P. Thornton, a British expedition from India captured and held the Philippine capital.

K.G. Tregonning traces the path of Mongol conquest to a lesser studied destination - the ancient kingdoms of the Indo-Chinese and Malayan peninsulas.

Nora C. Buckley explains how, during the fifteenth century, Chinese seafarers were active in Indian and African trade.

The ill-fated fortress was opened on February 14th 1938.

The American soldiers who fought their way through the islands of the Pacific during the Second World War encountered fierce Japanese resistance but few local people. That all changed with the invasion of the Mariana Islands, says Matthew Hughes.

Vietnamese troops faced little resistance when they entered Cambodia's capital on January 7th, 1979.

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