Culture & Literature
History of War

History of War No. 70

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.

In the aftermath of the D-Day landings, Allied forces quickly set about establishing a solid foothold in Normandy. The city of Caen, in the British sector of the invasion, remained in German hands into July, despite being a 6 June objective, such soon became a focus of operations. Among the forces deployed as part of these offensives was the famed 7th Armoured Division, fresh from the desert of North Africa. However, as Anthony Tucker-Jones explores this issue, the ‘Desert Rats’ faced a very different challenge in the lethal bocage terrain of northern France.…

1 min.

TOM GARNER This issue Tom returned to his medieval roots, exploring the lesser-known campaigns of Joan of Arc. Starting on page 38, he discovers how the Maid of Orléans made her name as a military leader and how she was finally defeated. ANTHONY TUCKER-JONES Historian Anthony is the author of several titles on WWII and other modern conflicts. This issue he uncovers how the 7th Armoured Division fared in the Normandy campaign, as part of Monty’s battle for Caen (page 26). JON TRIGG The July 20 Plot was the closest attempt on Hitler’s life, and could have changed the course of WWII. This month Jon investigates who the plotters were and how they planned to topple the Nazi regime (page 52). FOR MORE FROM THE HISTORY OF WAR TEAM VISIT: WWW.HISTORYOFWAR.CO.UK…

1 min.
war in focus

SEASIDE SUB Taken: 1919 German submarine SM U-118 attracts a fascinated crowd as it lies stricken on the beach of Hastings, on England’s south coast. The boat was commissioned early in 1918 and embarked on just one patrol before the surrender of the Imperial German Navy in November 1919. It washed ashore after breaking from its towing vessel, while en route to France. RED SANDS SEA FORTS Taken: 2018 This stunning photograph by Mark Edwards won the English History category of the Historic Photographer of the Year Awards 2018. Built in the Thames Estuary during WWII, these sea forts were intended to protect London from enemy air attacks. Entries are now open for the 2019 awards: turn to page 91 for more information on how you can enter. DOG SOLDIER Taken: April 1984 A British soldier of The…

6 min.
the great game

July 1839-October 1842 FIRST ANGLO-AFGHAN WAR The East India Company invades Afghanistan to ostensibly settle a succession dispute between rival Afghan emirs Dost Mohammad Khan and Shah Shujah. The British occupy Kabul and restore Shujah to the Afghan throne. The occupation is unpopular, the British withdraw and Dost Mohammad is restored. “VIRTUALLY ALL OF THE 16,500 BRITISH AND INDIAN SOLDIERS, WORKERS AND CIVILIANS ARE KILLED, CAPTURED OR GO MISSING” 1782-1834 BRITISH EXPLORATIONS Beginning with George Foster in 1782, employees of the East India Company travel through Afghanistan in search of Central Asian trade routes and include Company soldiers such as Arthur Conolly, Alexander Burnes and Henry Pottinger. Russian traders are already active and the activities of the British slowly create diplomatic tensions. 1824-54 RUSSIAN EXPANSION Russia greatly increases its territory during the 19th century by expanding to the east…

4 min.
a controversial policy

“IN 1846, 2,000 MILES LAY BETWEEN THE SOUTHERN BORDERS OF THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE AND TERRITORY HELD BY THE BRITISH IN INDIA. BY 1885, THIS DISTANCE HAD SHRUNK TO A MERE 500 MILES AS THE TWO EMPIRES SLOWLY EDGED EVER CLOSER TO EACH OTHER” Throughout the so-called Great Game, Britain’s principal fear was a Russian invasion of India, the jewel in the crown of empire. Concern over Russian expansion in Asia became so acute during the 19th century that successive governments in London were engulfed in paranoia of the Tsar’s troops pouring over India’s northern border. In retrospect, this obsession was perhaps misplaced, but at the time it felt real enough for Britain to adopt an aggressive forward policy to ensure the security of their most valued colonial possession. Many argued for…

6 min.
anglo-persian war 1856-57

“THE BRITISH MADE THEIR PREPARATIONS FOR AN ASSAULT RIGHT UNDER THE EYES OF THE PERSIAN DEFENDERS. THIS SIGHT MUST HAVE BEEN A FRIGHTENING ONE, AS THE 2,000 STRONG GARRISON ABRUPTLY SURRENDERED” During the 19th century, Britain believed Persia was heavily influenced by Russia. Persia had clashed with Russia during the Russo-Persian Wars of 1804-13 and 1826-1828, both ending in Russian victory and the ceding of Persian territory to the victor. By 1828, Russia effectively controlled the Caucasus and forced Persia to allow a Russian fleet in the Caspian Sea. Russia also effectively diminished Britain’s own standing in the region, raising tensions between the two powers during the Great Game. Persia had slipped into a state of economic exhaustion and political anarchy during the 1830s. Desperate to restore some of their former empire,…