The Junkers 322 Mammut and the Messerschmitt 321/323 Gigant

All three of these aircraft originated with a 1940 requirement for a large assault glider in preparation for Operation Sealion, the projected invasion of Britain. Although Operation Sealion had effectively been cancelled by the time the requirement was issued in October 1940, there was still an urgent need for this…

War of words – ‘ovation’

Marcus Claudius Marcellus asked the Senate to grant him a triumph. He was refused because the fighting in his former province of Sicily was still ongoing, and his army was not with him to support his claim. Instead, he was given only an ovation.…

Words of wisdom: ‘Give to him who gives’

For the man who gives willingly, even if he gives much, rejoices in the gift and feels glad in his heart. The man who takes for himself, observing no sense of shame, even if it involves a small amount, hardens the heart.…

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‘Arrogance and violence’

Suetonius’ Lives of the Caesars offers a series of sensational biographies of Roman rulers from Julius Caesar to Domitian, highlighting moments of depravity, viciousness, scheming, and excess.…

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Fashioning the Viking Age

The designs of these outfits are based on two high-status graves, which contained some of the best-preserved Viking Age textiles in Denmark: a male burial from Bjerringhøj, dated to AD 970-971, and a female grave from Hvilehøj, dated to the late AD 900s.…

War of Words: ‘PAWN’

Pawn emerges etymologically from the Anglo-Norman poun, which itself comes from the medieval Latin pedo (‘footsoldier’), derived from the Latin pes (‘foot’).…

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‘Don’t postpone pleasure’

And pretty Samos, and the palace of Croesus at Sardis,What of Smyrna and Colophon – better or worse than their fame?Or are they all as dirt beside the Campus and the Tiber’s stream?Or does one of the cities of Attalus surface in your prayers,Or do you commend Lebedus, now sick…

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Ten years on from disaster

Urajiri is in the town of Minami Soma, impacted both by the tsunami and the meltdown, evacuated as it was in the exclusion zone around the stricken power plant. Archaeology is providing a focus for rebuilding community identity.…

A39 Tortoise Heavy Assault Tank

The Tortoise was to be a well-armoured assault vehicle that could break through heavily defended areas. But Its sheer bulk and weight meant that rail transportation was impossible, and it far exceeded the capacity of any landing craft or standard Bailey bridges.…

HMS Glatton

Sometimes poor quality-control can be as lethal as bad design – this was certainly true in the case of HMS Glatton. On the outbreak of war in August 1914, the Admiralty began buying warships that British shipyards were building for foreign navies. The purchases included two coast-defence battleships under construction…

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