MHM 132 Letters – January

Your thoughts on issues raised by the magazine


Your article on Dunkirk (MHM December 2022/January 2023) raised an interesting point regarding the ‘moral compass’ of the Wehrmacht.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The author states that the troops engaged in Operation Barbarossa had a weaker moral compass than the troops involved in France and the Low Countries.

The significant numbers of veterans from the Imperial Army of 1914-1918 and recruits trained before the advent of the Third Reich in the Wehrmacht of 1940 are highlighted. It is suggested this gave them an idealistic fervour that would not be replicated later in the war.

Given the relatively low number of casualties suffered by the Wehrmacht in France and the Low Countries, many of the soldiers would have gone on to fight in Operation Barbarossa.

I would suggest the weaker moral compass of the troops in the Soviet Union arose not from the composition of the army, but from the attitude of the German High Command.

The Third Reich’s view of the Slavic races as inferior is well documented and manifested itself in various ways, for example the ‘Commissar Order’ (authorising the execution of all captured enemy political officers) and a lack of provision for looking after prisoners of war etc.

Thank you for another interesting issue.

Simon Davidson


Thank you for another packed edition of the magazine with many interesting pieces on Dunkirk, 627 Squadron, and the early Troubles in Ireland.

I particularly enjoyed Graham Goodlad’s article on the five key battles of the Soviet Army. That article and the recent ‘War on Film’ account of the movie Enemy at the Gates have helped me far better understand the workings of the Red Army.

It made me think that it would be great to read an article on the current war in Ukraine. An approach from your MHM writers on the war would I’m sure be very informative and complement the journalism we regularly read or hear.

Trevor Downs


In your article on the birth of the Irish Free State (MHM December 2022/January 2023) mention is made of the three Irish infantry regiments that were retained after partition.

However, there is an error: while the Irish Rifles became Ulster Rifles, the Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria’s Own) did not adopt ‘Ulster’ in their title.

Thank you for an excellent publication.

Peter Weston
via email


There is a saying in aviation: ‘if it looks right, it flies right’. But the Brewster Buffalo (‘Back to the Drawing Board’, MHM December 2022/January 2023) was one of the few exceptions to this rule. The Buffalo was certainly a fine-looking aircraft but, as you so rightly say, it was grossly underpowered and no match for its Axis rivals. It was, for example, completely outclassed by the Japanese fighters during the fighting for Singapore in early 1942.

Elsewhere, in what was another excellent issue, I especially enjoyed reading the Dunkirk story from a different point of view to that we are normally used to. I was enlightened on the bravery of the Belgian Army, which surprised the advancing German soldiers – something that I had never read of before.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The German tactical errors brought about by the interference of Hitler were of course no surprise, and became an increasing problem as hostilities continued.

Colin Pomeroy