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A Day In The Life Of A German Soldier In The Trenches Of The First World War

The experience of the First World War was in many ways more disturbing for an average soldier than that of even the Second World War. While the fighting at Stalingrad or Moscow in 1942 and 1943 was brutal, the sheer claustrophobia and psychological terror of the trench warfare which defined the First World War was […]

Opening a Front in Greece: Operation Tenement

Much of our perception of the latter stages of the Second World War is often focused exclusively on the Western and Eastern Fronts as the Western Allies moved east from France into Germany and the Russians barreled through Poland towards Berlin. But there were several other fronts being opened and fought in during 1944 and […]

The World’s First Inter-Continental Weapon: The Japanese Fu-Go Balloon Bombs

It is often assumed that the world’s first inter-continental weapon system was the Convair B-36 Peacemaker, a US strategic bomber which was the first plane of its kind capable of flying between continents without refueling. Designed to hold a nuclear bomb it gave the United States the ability to launch nuclear strikes against Russia or […]

Preparing for D-Day: The Dieppe Raid

Operation Jubilee: August 19th, 1942 Sometimes victory can be rescued from the jaws of defeat. This is certainly a maxim which applies to the Dieppe Raid by the Western Allies against the German-occupied French town of Dieppe in mid-August 1942. Viewed from a purely statistical perspective the Dieppe Raid, or Operation Jubilee, as it was […]

Keeping Russia Supplied After Operation Barbarossa

The Allied Arctic Convoys (1941 – 1945) On Sunday the 22nd of June 1941 Operation Barbarossa, Nazi Germany’s invasion of Soviet Russia, was initiated. This was the largest ever invasion campaign undertaken by a nation state against another country and involved three million Axis troops, 600,000 motorized vehicles, 3,500 tanks and over 4,000 aircraft. In […]

The Afrika Korps Palm Tree & Swastika

The Truth Behind the Afrika Korps’ Fabled Helmet Insignia There is a scene in the first film in the Indiana Jones franchise, Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Jones encounters some Nazis. These have a curious symbol on their vehicles, showing a swastika and a palm tree. This logo is not ahistorical. It was indeed […]

Rescuing Mussolini

The Outbreak of the Italian Civil War and the Gran Sasso Raid (September 12th, 1943) Most histories of the Second World War include details of the rise of Fascism in Italy under Benito Mussolini, the latter’s alliance with Nazi Germany in the 1930s and Italy’s subsequent role in the war in Africa and the Balkans. […]

Turning The Tide In The China-Burma-India Theatre: Merrill’s Marauders In Burma (1944)

There are many theatres of the Second World War which remain comparatively obscure by comparison with the main fronts in Europe. Everyone knows about D-Day and the Battle of Stalingrad, but there is understandably less public awareness of, for instance, the Japanese bombing of northern Australia in 1942. Similarly, the course of events in the […]

Nazis’ Lost Sub: The Sinking of U-869 off New Jersey

The Sinking of U-869 off New Jersey (February 11th, 1945) We are all familiar with the Battle of the North Atlantic and the ubiquity of the German submarines, the U-boats to the same. From 1939 all the way through to 1945 hundreds of German U-boats patrolled the waters of the North Atlantic and the Western […]