Military History Matters 120

Cover Story

The careers of Rodney & Howe In the second article in our occasional series, Graham Goodlad assesses two 18th-century admirals whose flaws were offset by outstanding victories.

Features

Smuts: guerrilla, politician, warlord Stephen Roberts reports on the extraordinary career of Jan Smuts, who went from Boer commander to Commonwealth statesman.
The Battle of Kircholm, 1605 – Sweden’s Greatest Defeat Poltava is more famous, but, explains historian Magnus Olofsson, Kircholm was probably the greatest defeat in Swedish history.
Rodney, Howe, and the rise of British seapower In the half century between the Battle of Quiberon Bay (1759) and the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), Britain’s Royal Navy transformed naval tactics and established global maritime supremacy. Developments in…
The Glorious First of June Neil Faulkner analyses the fighting on 1 June 1794 and sees a new British tactical system still in development.
Combat of Champions Ashley and Stephen Cooper take a close and critical look at the hallowed idea of war by personal combat.

News

English Civil War massacre ‘cover-up’ revealed New research has attempted to establish why a brutal massacre during the English Civil War has been largely forgotten by history. The site of a Royalist garrison in Nottinghamshire, Shelford…
Falkland Islands cleared of mines nearly 40 years since war A campaign has finally cleared the Falkland Islands of thousands of mines laid during the war there almost 40 years ago. The project removed the estimated 13,000 lethal devices that…
Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Culloden battle hoard found It remained buried for two and a half centuries. Now a hoard believed to have been part of a supply of weapons for Bonnie Prince Charlie has been found in…
American Air Museum at Duxford granted listed status It is the largest museum of its kind in Europe. Now the American Air Museum at IWM Duxford has been granted Grade II-listed status by English Heritage. The impressive building,…
Rare WWII Enigma machine uncovered in the Baltic An incredibly rare Enigma machine from the Second World War has been recovered from the Baltic Sea. Divers made the discovery at Gelting Bay, east of Flensburg, while searching for…

Views

HMS Glatton Ideas 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…
Restoring HMS Victory Ideas MHM'S Assistant Editor Calum Henderson delves into the history of HMS Victory.
War Athletes – Wyndham Halswelle People The life of Wyndham Halswelle - Olympic athlete and soldier in the Second Boer War and Second World War.
Inside the fortress The Picture Desk The ‘Flying Fortress’ became legendary for its ability to stay in the air even after taking a severe battering.
War of Words – ‘Kamikaze’ Ideas Marc DeSantis delves into the history and meaning of the word 'kamikaze.'
Letters – MHM120 January/February 2021 Letters Your thoughts on issues raised by the magazine.

Reviews

Hitler’s V-Weapons: The Battle against the V-1 and V-2 Written at the Time – an official history Review of John Grehan's latest release 'Hitler’s V-Weapons: The Battle against the V-1 and V-2 Written at the Time – an official history'.
War on Film: Malta Story Taylor Downing reviews a classic war movie.
The English Civil War Review of 'The English Civil War: An Atlas and Concise History of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, 1639–51' and 'English Civil War: Operations Manual'.
SAS: Band of Brothers Review of 'SAS: Band of Brothers' by Damien Lewis.
Sicily ’43: the assault on Fortress Europe Review of James Holland's 'Sicily ’43: the assault on Fortress Europe'.
In View MHM’s round-up of the latest military history titles.
MHM Book Awards 2021 Gold, silver, and bronze prizes are up for grabs in the race for MHM Book of the Year, which will be awarded to the titles our readers feel have made…

From the editor

The British Empire could not have been built without seapower. And British maritime supremacy could not have been achieved without a revolution in naval tactics in the second half of the 18th century.

In the second of our short series on leading British admirals, we focus on Rodney and Howe. Both ‘broke the line’ – at the Battle of the Saintes (1782) and on the Glorious First of June (1794) respectively – but each victory was limited. We explore how the technology and tactics in these battles pointed the way to Trafalgar.

Back on land, Magnus Olofsson argues that Sweden’s greatest military defeat was not Poltava in 1709, as is generally assumed, but Kircholm in 1605, when the army of King Charles IX was annihilated by Polish-Lithuanian cavalry. Ashley and Stephen Cooper, meantime, take a long look – from antiquity to the Renaissance – at the hallowed idea of ‘combat by champions’.

Modern warfare is explored in Stephen Roberts’ article on Jan Christian Smuts, the South African soldier and statesmen who played leading roles in the Boer War and in both World Wars, and we round off with Eric Lee’s account of the Battle of Texel in spring 1945, the last stand of the Nazis in Europe.