Culture & Literature
History of War

History of War No. 71

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.

This September marks 80 years since Nazi Germany invaded Poland – plunging the world into a second great global conflict. Although France and Britain responded in turn by declaring war on Hitler, Poland fought on alone against overwhelming odds. This issue, renowned historian and author Roger Moorhouse explores how Polish forces organised the defence of their country, while also dispelling many popular myths about Germany’s ‘unstoppable’ Blitzkrieg. He also recalls the Wehrmacht’s horrific war crimes committed during the advance towards Warsaw.…

1 min.

TOM GARNER This month Tom spoke with Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith, who recalls his experiences commanding Australian troops during the Vietnam War. Turn to page 44 to read his thrilling first-hand account of the Battle of Long Tan. ROGER MOORHOUSE In advance of the release of his latest book, First To Fight, Roger explores how the Polish armed forces attempted to hold back the German invasion in 1939, while also debunking many of the pervasive myths that have since emerged (p.26). JULES STEWART Back with another in-depth analysis of Spain’s rich military history, this month Jules takes a look at La Legión – the elite organisation modelled on the French Foreign Legion, which in 2020 enters its centenary year (p.60). FOR MORE FROM THE HISTORY OF WAR TEAM VISIT: WWW.HISTORYOFWAR.CO.UK…

1 min.
war in focus

EN ROUTE TO FRANCE Taken: October, 1939 Men of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) wave prior to departing for France. The BEF was formed shortly after the British declaration of war on Germany, and placed under the command of Lord Gort. The ‘Phoney War’, saw only one brief French offensive, and a majority of the BEF would be hastily evacuated from the Dunkirk area during Operation Dynamo. CORRIDOR OF POWER Taken: September, 1939 A motorcyclist halts at a crossroads in the north of Poland, during the 1939 invasion. The region, known as the Polish or Danzig Corridor, was a strip of territory between Germany and East Prussia – its borders having been established in the aftermath of WWI. Demands for the Free City of Danzig, within the Corridor, were among Hitler’s justifications for the invasion. HOME…

5 min.
british civil wars

1639-42 CELTIC UNREST Scottish Covenanters (Presbyterians) win two “Bishops’ Wars” against Charles I’s attempts to impose uniform practices between the churches of Scotland and England. Meanwhile, Irish Catholic rebels rise up to seize control of the Protestant English administration in Ireland. This weakens Charles’s authority and encourages an increasingly assertive Parliament to assert its rights. 1642-46 FIRST ENGLISH CIVIL WAR War breaks out between Charles I and the English Parliament. The First Civil War is also the longest and lasts for four years. It is mostly fought in England and results in a Parliamentarian-Covenanter victory although many bloody battles and sieges are fought before its conclusion. 23 October 1642 BATTLE OF EDGEHILL 01 The first major pitched battle between Charles I and Parliament occurs in Warwickshire. The two sides are almost numerically even and the engagement results in…

4 min.
the battle of marston moor

Just after 7.00pm on 2 July 1644 a huge clap of thunder rolled across Marston Moor, seven miles west of York. The moor was crammed with soldiers – perhaps as many as 28,000 on the Parliamentary side, and some 18,000 Royalists. No less than five armies were on the field. Parliament had gathered the Yorkshire forces of Lord Ferdinando Fairfax and his son Sir Thomas, Scottish Covenanters under Alexander Leslie, Earl of Leven and the army of the Eastern Association, commanded by the Earl of Manchester and his Master of Horse, Oliver Cromwell. For Charles I, there was the army of Prince Rupert and the garrison of York, led by William Cavendish, Marquis of Newcastle and his adviser Lord Eythin. As squalls of rain swept across the battlefield, troops from…

4 min.
prince rupert a help or hindrance to the royalist cause?

Prince Rupert of the Rhine was born in Prague, Bohemia, on 17 December 1619 – the third son of Charles I’s sister Elizabeth by her marriage to Frederick, the Elector of the Palatinate. Frederick’s assumption of the throne of Bohemia prompted an invasion by the forces of the Hapsburg Emperor and in November 1620 Rupert’s family were driven into exile at the court of the Prince of Orange in Holland where Rupert grew up. He was a gifted child who learned all the major European languages at a young age and was skilled in mathematics, art and music. His overriding interest, however, was in military affairs. Prince Rupert had already made a favourable impression on his uncle, Charles I, when he visited him in 1636. He was awarded an honorary MA…