Military History Matters 137

Cover Story

The Thirty Years’ War: 1618-1648 Stephen Roberts traces the history of the Thirty Years’ War, Europe’s most destructive conflict prior to the First World War.


The Battle of Lützen: 16 November 1632 Stephen Roberts analyses the crucial battle that cost the life of the Swedish king.
They’re coming! The invasion scares of 1803-05 & 1940 Napoleon and Hitler both drew up detailed plans for the invasion of Britain, spreading alarm among the public and forcing urgent measures from the UK government in return. Here, David…
The corpse that fooled Hitler In the second part of our series on the use of deception during World War Two, Taylor Downing uncovers the extraordinary true story of Operation Mincemeat.
Cromwell’s admiral In the first part of a new occasional series, Graham Goodlad profiles Robert Blake, the republican ‘general at sea’ who laid the foundations of sea power after the Civil Wars.
Dark shadows: Nathan Bedford Forrest & Fort Pillow, 1864 Considered by many the finest cavalry officer of the American Civil War, Nathan Bedford Forrest was also responsible for one of its worst atrocities. Edmund West examines a troubling legacy.


Underwater Survey sheds light on shipwrecks from Dunkirk New research has been charting the wrecks of ships lost during Operation Dynamo, the Allied evacuation from Dunkirk in the summer of 1940. Historic England and its French counterpart, Drassm,…
New exhibition to explore the ordinary lives of Roman soldiers A new exhibition is set to explore what ordinary life was like for soldiers in the Roman army. Legion, opening in February at the British Museum, will boast more than…
Database records monuments to the British Civil Wars It was one of the most significant conflicts in the country’s history. Now, a new database has been set up to record the monuments and memorials to the British Civil…
Images provide clues to the final moments of Midway ships Haunting new images have been revealed of shipwrecks caused by one of the most significant naval battles of the Second World War. The Battle of Midway, fought on 4 June…


MHM 137 Competition Competitions Put your military history knowledge to the test with our competition.
MHM 137 Letters – November Letters Your thoughts on issues raised by the magazine.
Back to the drawing board: The de Havilland Sea Vixen Ideas David Porter on Military History's doomed inventions.
War Classics – Thermopylae: The Battle for the West Comment Fred Chiaventone recalls one of the great works of military history
The Indian army at the palace Museum, What's on Reviewing the best military history exhibitions with Calum Henderson
A bit of a long shot: an experimental catapult from WWII The Picture Desk This image shows the remains of an innovative catapult – designed to launch fighter aircraft into the sky – which has recently been uncovered by archaeologists in Oxfordshire. The Royal…


War on Film – The Best Years of Our Lives Taylor Downing reviews two war films linked by a common theme
The Indian army at the palace Reviewing the best military history exhibitions with Calum Henderson
Conflict: the evolution of warfare from 1945 to Ukraine REVIEW BY GRAHAM GOODLAD Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted the appearance of several books, setting the war in its historical context. This is the first study, however, to view…
Rome and Persia: the seven hundred year rivalry REVIEW BY MARC DESANTIS In ancient times, following the fall of Carthage, only Persia on Rome’s eastern frontier would be, to adopt a modern term, her ‘peer adversary’. It was…
In View MHM’s round-up of the latest military history titles
Victory to Defeat: The British Army 1918-40 REVIEW BY ANDREW MULHOLLAND Few recent military books can have been quite as timely as this one. For while conceived several years ago, Richard Dannatt and Robert Lyman’s study of…
Mosquito: the RAF’s legendary wooden wonder and its most extraordinary mission REVIEW BY COLIN POMEROY Despite the title of this book, there is little detail about the Mosquito’s development or performance within its pages. But that is the only disappointment, for…
To besiege a city: Leningrad 1941-42 REVIEW BY CALUM HENDERSON Leningrad – today known as St Petersburg – was a key military and industrial target in the early years of the Second World War. But the…
The Mongol storm: making and breaking empires in the medieval near east REVIEW BY KAVEH FARROKH With this book, Nicholas Morton has filled a gap in the field in the study of the Mongol military genius and the immense impact of their…

From the editor

From a British perspective, the two World Wars of 1914-18 and 1939-45 cast such a long shadow over Europe’s past that it can often obscure a third cataclysm, which for nearly three centuries had the dubious honour of being the deadliest conflict in the continent’s history.
In Germany and the Czech Republic, however, the Thirty Years’ War of 1618-48 still haunts the collective memory – as a uniquely painful national trauma that resulted in the deaths of anywhere between five and eight million soldiers and civilians from battle, famine, and disease.
In our cover story for this issue, Stephen Roberts takes us back to this terrible period to understand why the Thirty Years’ War is often known as the first ‘modern’ conflict, and to analyse the crucial battle that cost the life of a king.
Elsewhere, Graham Goodlad begins a new occasional series on the making of Britain’s imperial navy with a profile of Robert Blake, Cromwell’s ‘general at sea’ who laid the foundations of sea power after the Civil Wars.
Also in the issue, David Porter looks into the ‘invasion scares’ of 1805 and 1940, and compares the cross-Channel threats posed by Napoleon and Hitler; while Edmund West delves into the troubling legacy of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the brilliant Confederate cavalry officer who was also responsible for one of the American Civil War’s worst atrocities.
And finally, in the second part of his series on the use of deception during World War II, Taylor Downing tells the extraordinary true story of Operation Mincemeat and the 1943 invasion of Sicily.
We hope you enjoy the issue!