Military History Matters 124

Cover Story

Alexander the Great Graham Goodlad surveys the remarkable career of ancient history’s most successful warlord.


Rorke’s Drift: why did the Zulus lose? Chris Peers, author of a new minute-by-minute study of the fighting on 22 January 1879, analyses the extraordinary endurance of the mission-station garrison.
The Battle of Gaugamela, 1 October 331 BC Neil Faulkner analyses one of history’s greatest tactical triumphs.
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…
Operation Anthropoid: killing the Hangman of Prague Graham Goodlad describes the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, one of the Third Reich’s most sinister figures, and its bloody aftermath.
Sir John Moore and the Battle of Corunna Andrew Mulholland analyses a masterful tactical defence by one of the finest British commanders of the Napoleonic Wars.


RAF pilot’s uniform preserved as parcel for 70 years The uniform, consisting of jacket and trousers, was found in a house in Rolleston-on-Dove, East Staffordshire, during a home clear-out.
Monty ‘thoroughly enjoyed’ his first fight with Rommel, letter reveals The letter is dated 6 October of that year, just weeks before the battle that marked a turnaround in Allied fortunes in the war.
Plans of new home for National Museum of the US Navy revealed Initially commissioned in 2020, the new NMUSN campus will be in the vicinity of the historic Washington Navy Yard, allowing easy access to the public.
Russia returns remains of Napoleonic general to France Gudin’s one-legged skeleton was found in the summer of 2019 in a park under the foundations of a dancefloor in Smolensk.
‘Extremely rare’ Nazi artefacts found behind wall in Germany Sebastian Yurtseven discovered the objects in July while clearing out his aunt’s house following torrential rain and flooding in the region.
New evidence of Nazi war crimes uncovered in Poland’s ‘Death Valley’ Around 168 victims were exhumed shortly after the war, but it was long known that many other graves remained uncovered.


Letters – MHM Septemeber 2021 Letters Your thoughts on issues raised by the magazine.
War of Words: ‘Jeep’ Ideas ‘Jeep’ was US Army slang meaning something that was unimportant or laughable.
Back to the Drawing Board: the Paris Gun Ideas Although the design was an amazing technological achievement for its day, it was little more than a very expensive propaganda weapon.
The best military history events, lectures, and exhibitions (September 2021) Museum, What's on MHM's round-up of the best military history activities to explore this September, which includes an exhibition featuring 50 portraits of Holocaust survivors, and the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance…
The Bridge, HMS Belfast The Picture Desk 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…
War Classics – The Second World War: An Illustrated History Comment MHM Editor Neil Faulkner recalls one of the great works of military history.


The Viking Great Army and the Making of England Whether you like this book will depend on whether you like archaeology. If you do – as well as liking military history – and you therefore choose to read it,…
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.…
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…
Military History Exhibition – The National Memorial Arboretum MHM's Calum Henderson reviews the best military history exhibitions. This month, he explores The National Memorial Arboretum.
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…
The best military history events, lectures, and exhibitions (September 2021) MHM's round-up of the best military history activities to explore this September, which includes an exhibition featuring 50 portraits of Holocaust survivors, and the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance…
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.…
Facing the Mountain: the forgotten heroes of the Second World War The most highly decorated combat unit in the history of the United States Army is the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, with its distinctive motto ‘Go for Broke’ – a reference…
MHM’s round-up of the latest military history titles World War I Illustrated Atlas In fine and comprehensive detail, this book plots key battles and the exact course of the global land, sea, and air campaigns that made the…

From the editor

The example of Alexander the Great has mesmerised generals, historians, and artists for 2,300 years. Dead at the age of 32, he had conquered an empire that extended for 3,000 miles across Asia in the space of just 13 years. The Romans eventually conquered a similar expanse, but it took them 300 years.

In our special this time, we analyse the Macedonian military system and the character and brilliance of Alexander as strategist and tactician. We then take a detailed look at the Battle of Gaugamela of 331 BC, Alexander’s greatest victory and an all-time tactical masterpiece.

Elsewhere in this issue, Andrew Mulholland analyses Sir John Moore’s masterful defensive battle against French troops at Corunna in 1809, and Chris Peers explains why ‘rifle-and-bayonet’ defeated ‘spear-and-shield’ in the iconic colonial encounter at Rorke’s Drift in 1879.

Following on from his article last time on the fraught history between President Lincoln and General McClellan, Nigel Jones takes a critical look at Winston Churchill’s relationship with the British generals in the early part of the Second World War.

Finally, Graham Goodlad analyses Operation Anthropoid, when the Czech Resistance assassinated SS butcher Reinhard Heydrich, the so-called ‘Hangman of Prague’, in the summer of 1942, and its bloody aftermath.