Culture & Literature
History of War

History of War No. 69

From the conquering legions of Ancient Rome to the thunderous tank battles of World War II and beyond, History of War takes you deeper inside the minds of history’s fighting men, further under the bonnets of some of the world’s most devastating war machines, and higher above the battlefield to see the broad sweep of conflict as it happened.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Issues

In this issue

1 min.

TOM GARNER This month Tom spoke with veteran and author Dr Alastair MacKenzie. In an incredible military career spanning 30 years, he has served in the New Zealand Army, the British Parachute Regiment and the SAS to name but a few (page 38). DAMIEN LEWIS An award-winning and bestselling author, Damien is an expert on Special Forces history, from WWII to modern conflicts. On page 66 he shares the thrilling account of SOE Captain Mike Lees, as he battled behind the lines in Italy. MURRAY DAHM For this issue’s Heroes of the Victoria Cross, Murray recalls the incredible story of Rambahadur Limbu, of the 10th Princess Mary’s Own Gurkha Rifles, who fought during the Malayan Emergency (page 50). FOR MORE FROM THE HISTORY OF WAR TEAM VISIT: WWW.HISTORYOFWAR.CO.UK…

1 min.

Hidden in the countryside of Pas-de-Calais, France, sits a concrete fortress, designed to unleash one of WWII’s most terrifying weapons: the V-2 rocket. Known today as La Coupole, the bunker stands as a sobering reminder of one of history’s darkest periods. Although the facility was silenced by the RAF in the summer of 1944, 75 years ago, before it could fulfil its destructive purpose, ‘vengeance weapons’ continued to be launched from occupied France and elsewhere, claiming thousands of civilian lives. This issue Mike Jones explores more about this horrific campaign.…

1 min.
war in focus

A ROYAL MESS Taken: 11 September, 1940 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth stand among the rubble of Buckingham Palace’s chapel, destroyed by a German bomb. Although the palace was bombed several times during the war, the King and his family refused to leave the danger of the capital. “I am glad we have been bombed.” The Queen later commented .“Now we can look the East End in the eye.” SIESTA IN SICILY Taken: c. 1943 Sgt Norwood Dorman, of Benson, North Carolina, takes a rest by a WWI memorial in Brolo, Sicily. The invasion of the Mediterranean island, codenamed Operation Husky, was co-ordinated from nearby Malta, and consisted of airborne and amphibious landings. Although the invasion forces encountered difficult weather conditions, the island was taken by August 1943. BEACHED KNIGHT Taken: c. October 1983 The wreckage of…

5 min.
bolivarian wars

1810-23 VENEZUELAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE A republic of Venezuela is proclaimed in an attempt to become the first Spanish colony to gain independence. Bolívar is a key figure in a faltering, prolonged conflict that ultimately results in Venezuelan sovereignty. January-August 1813 ADMIRABLE CAMPAIGN Bolívar invades Venezuelan territory to renew the faltering fight for independence. Beginning in New Granada, his forces cross the Andes and continue through Mérida and Trujillo. A Spanish army capitulates near Caracas and republican forces gain control of western Venezuela. 15 June 1813 “DECREE OF WAR TO THE DEATH” With few soldiers and using lightning tactics, Bolívar issues a decree that permits atrocities against Spanish royalists who attempt to block Venezuelan independence. The last sentence states, “Spaniards … count on death, if you [do] not actively work in favour of the independence of America.” 31 July…

4 min.
battle of carabobo

Always rising from defeat stronger than before, Simon Bolívar managed to gather an army large enough to march on Caracas, the capital of his homeland. In 1816 he was driven from the city by the Spanish and forced to plead for help wherever he could. The ruler of Haiti’s meagre support so heartened Bolívar that he repaid the kindness by emancipating black slaves wherever he went. As a result, the ranks of his army brought together people of different races and creeds. European volunteers were a common sight and even Bolívar had adopted a young Irishman named Daniel O’Leary as his aide-de-camp and confidant. Joining him in his latest crusade was José Antonio Páez, best described as the llanero commander in charge of the rough riders who terrorised the Spanish with…

1 min.
the english held fast

Although they were described as the “English Legion” the foreign volunteers who marched with Simon Bolívar in 1821 were a small assortment of riflemen whose numbers never exceeded a full battalion. Indeed, the historical record of their conduct of the battle is rich in gallantry and somewhat short on crucial detail. It’s possible just about 400 of them were present in Carabobo and they formed a line strong enough to hold the Spanish. So fierce was their determination that the officers leading them died at a rapid clip, leaving mere lieutenants to command the surviving ranks at the end of the fighting. But their achievements have enshrined the Legion in Venezuela’s history – a regal monument stands in the battle site today and London’s ambassadors do lay wreaths on it. To put their…