Sheep weren't introduced to Patagonia until the 1860s, when they were brought over from the Falkland Islands by the English wool barons. They took to the landscape with vigour, but their success has also been their downfall. They decimated the vegetation, turning much of the landscape into desert, and their numbers fell from a peak of around 7.5 million before World War II to approximately 2 million in the 1990s. The number of ranches also declined rapidly, but sheep are staging a comeback and there remain around ten sheep to every human.
Julius Popper was a controversial figure who built a personal empire and private army on Tierra del Fuego in the late 1880s after he found gold on El Páramo beach. Originally from Romania he issued his own currency and stamps, but was reviled by the indigenous Indians for his acts of genocide against them.
Omdurman in 1898.
Omdurman, a village at the time, is now a suburb of Khartoum.
The building of Ushuaia prison was central to the development of the town and settlement of the area. The Argentines treated it much as the British had treated Port Arthur in Van Diemen's Land, putting convicts to work constucting the town and railway in a landscape they had no hope of ever escaping.
SMS Dresden was a light cruiser in the German Navy that managed to escape the Allied Forces at the Battle of the Falkland Islands during World War I. She had been successfully dodging the British Navy for some time when they cornered her in Cumberland Bay at Más a Tierra in 1915; they opened fire and the Dresden was abandoned minutes before she exploded and sank.
A similar naval hide-and-seek story occurred the same year in Tanganyika (now Tanzania). The German SMS Königsberg, which like the Dresden had been successfully drawing British forces away from the main theatre of war, took refuge in the Rufiji Delta while essential repairs were carried out. The Royal Navy tracked her down and blockaded the cruiser before finally sinking her. The episode inspired Wilbur Smith's novel Shout at the Devil.
massacre took place on the Russian naval fortress of Kotlin Island in the Gulf of Finland in 1921. Part of the general left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks, it resulted in the execution of an estimated 2,100 rebels and many more in Petrograd Prison where the survivors were sent for internment.
Chatwin tells his own version of the Jemmy Button story, but there are many more, both factual and fictional, that have contributed to his fame.
Helmuth von Moltke was Chief-of-Staff of the Prussian Army from 1857 to 1887.
A leading strategist, he modernised the Prussian Army with new equipment and tactics that proved highly effective against Austria and Bavaria in 1866 and against France in 1870.