Military History Matters 136

Cover Story

Victory in Iberia: The Peninsular War, 1808-1814 Graham Goodlad assesses the events that led to the defeat of Napoleonic France in the Peninsular War.


Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz: A tale of two sieges, January-April 1812 Graham Goodlad describes the capture of two key frontier fortresses, whose fall opened Spain to the advance of Wellington’s army. 
Arminius: Hitler’s barbarian hero The Germanic warlord who led the massacre of three Roman legions in the Teutoburg Forest would later provide inspiration for both the Kaiser and Adolf Hitler, as Tim Newark explains.
Master of the dark arts In the first part of a new series on deception in World War II, Taylor Downing tells the story of Lieutenant-Colonel Dudley Clarke, Britain's flamboyant pioneer of misinformation.
The British Templars: A new warrior elite The Knights Templar were renowned for their extraordinary feats of bravery in defence of the Holy Land. But the British contribution to their story is often overlooked, argues Steve Tibble.
In Flanders Fields: Cemeteries of the First World War A groundbreaking new exhibition draws on collections around the world to tell the complex and emotionally charged story of the cemeteries of World War I, as Nicholas Saunders reports.


Restored painting of the battle of Waterloo goes on display for first time in a generation A painting depicting a key moment before the Battle of Waterloo has gone on public display for the first time in a generation. Dawn of Waterloo, painted by Victorian artist…
New research reveals secrets of the Ardennes offensive Researchers have uncovered new information about one of the largest and bloodiest engagements of World War II. The Battle of the Bulge was fought between the Allies and Nazi Germany…
Divers explore ‘eerie’ wreck of WWI German U-boat sunk off Shetland A diving team has explored the final resting place of a German U-boat that sank off the coast of Shetland during the First World War. SM UC-55 lies on the…
New pictures show remains of rare WWII Hurricanes found in Ukraine New photographs have been released of the remains of the eight Hawker Hurricane fighter planes that were found buried in Ukraine earlier this summer. The remnants of the British WWII…


MHM 136 Competition and Crossword Competitions Put your military history knowledge to the test with Our competition and crossword.
War Classics: Greece and Rome at War – New Edition Comment Nick Spenceley recalls one of the great works of military history.
Pritzker Military Museum & Library Museum, What's on Reviewing the best Military History Exhibitions with Christopher Warner.
MHM 136 Letters – September Letters Your thoughts on issues raised by the magazine.
Baseball and britain: Aerial reconnaissance of the USAAF The Picture Desk Between 1943 and 1944, reconnaissance units from the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) trained for combat deployment over the skies of England. They flew over airfields, radar installations, and…
Back to the drawing board: The A38 Valiant Infantry Tank Ideas David Porter on military history's doomed inventions.


Pritzker Military Museum & Library Reviewing the best Military History Exhibitions with Christopher Warner.
In View MHM’s round-up of the latest military history titles.
War on Film – Oppenheimer TAYLOR DOWNING reviews the latest film releases.
The Savage Storm: The battle for Italy 1943  REVIEW BY JONATHAN EATON James Holland has established a firm reputation as one of the leading British historians of the Second World War. He has published a series of books…
Women in Intelligence: The hidden history of two World Wars REVIEW BY CALUM HENDERSON Mata Hari was the ultimate femme fatale. The Dutch-born exotic dancer and courtesan was famously beautiful and enigmatic, and equally notorious for her many affairs –…
Pax: War and Peace in Rome’s Golden Age REVIEW BY MARC DESANTIS Over several centuries, Rome met and bested every other organised state of the Mediterranean basin. By overcoming all rivals, Rome extinguished the ability of other states…
Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt: An eyewitness history REVIEW BY PATRICK MERCER When I joined the army there were sphinxes all over the place: on cap badges, collar badges, sporran badges, embroidered on Regimental Colours… The Gloucesters even…
The Panzers of Prokhorovka: The myth of Hitler’s greatest armoured defeat  REVIEW BY TOBY CLARK This new book by Dr Ben Wheatley of the University of East Anglia can claim success in the fields of both academic and popular history. With…

From the editor

It is often said of the Duke of Wellington that he ‘never lost a battle’ – and while some may quibble with that description, it is certainly true that the British commander’s extraordinary run of victories in 1808-15 was crucial in bringing the Napoleonic Wars to an end.

As we discover in our cover story for this issue, Wellington’s success was founded on qualities of decisiveness, of common sense, and of attention to detail that first came to widespread public attention during the Peninsular War – the brutal six- year conflict in Spain and Portugal, where he led a coalition of forces fighting the French emperor.

Napoleon himself would describe the Peninsular War as his ‘bleeding ulcer’, haemorrhaging men and money in equal measure. But as Graham Goodlad explains, it was also the conflict that made his adversary’s name, establishing Wellington’s reputation as Britain’s greatest general.

Also in this issue, Taylor Downing begins a new four-part series on the history of deception during World War II with an eye-opening profile of Dudley Clarke, the flamboyant pioneer of misinformation.

Elsewhere, Steve Tibble reveals the British contribution to the Knights Templar, the crusading warrior elite; while Tim Newark traces the career of Arminius, the Germanic warlord who annihilated three Roman legions at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.

And finally, to mark Remembrance Day, Nicholas Saunders reports on a groundbreaking new exhibition in Belgium, telling the story of the cemeteries of World War I.

We hope you enjoy the issue!