The Spartans

Ancient historian Paul Rahe, whose monumental history of Sparta is just out, analyses the origins of the feared Spartan hoplite phalanx.…

Military History Matters 124

• Alexander the Great
• Rorke’s Drift: why did the Zulus lose?
• Churchill versus the men of 1940
• Operation Anthropoid: killing Reinhard Heydrich
• Sir John Moore and the Battle of Corunna…

Stalin’s War

This book convincingly argues that Stalin’s war began long before the German invasion of Russia in June 1941, and can really be said to have begun in the late 1920s. Initially, this was a war of suppression at home, combined with subversion abroad. As early as May 1927, Anglo-Soviet diplomatic…

Hitler and Stalin: the tyrants and the Second World War

In the autumn of 1939, after they signed a pact agreeing to carve up Poland, Hitler and Stalin were depicted in a cartoon as a newly wed couple walking down the aisle. Hand in hand, with Stalin the bride and Hitler the groom, the caption underneath read: ‘Wonder how long…

Churchill versus the men of 1940

Nigel Jones explored the vexed relationship between President Lincoln and General McClellan in the first year of the American Civil War last issue. This time, he takes a look at Prime Minister Churchill’s relationship with the British generals in WWII.…

The Shortest History of War

Heinrich Severloh was a good soldier. On 6 June 1944, the 20-year-old Wehrmacht private manned a machine-gun overlooking Omaha Beach. He did his job without complaint: mowing down American soldiers as they disembarked on to the shore more than 500 metres away. Firing almost continuously for nine hours, his gun…

War on film: Tunisian Victory

Talk of the war in North Africa and most Brits will think of Tobruk or El Alamein, while most Americans will think of Operation Torch, the Kasserine Pass, and Tunisia. The victory at El Alamein was presented in a powerful British film made by the Army Film and Photographic Unit,…

The Bridge, HMS Belfast

Built in the Northern Irish capital in the mid-1930s, the nine-deck Town-class light cruiser played a major role in the Second World War, initially as part of the British naval blockade against Germany.…

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