Culture & Literature
History of War

History of War No. 73

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 September 1939, as the Nazi campaigns in Western Europe gained momentum, a remote but nonetheless consequential struggle was concluding in Mongolia. Beginning as a minor border skirmish, the Battles of Khalkhin Gol saw thousands of Japanese and Soviet infantry, armour and aircraft deployed along the vast grasslands surrounding the Khalkha River. Among the Soviet officers in charge was Corps Commander Georgy Zhukov, who would later take his experiences from Khalkhin Gol and apply them on the decisive Eastern Front against German divisions.…

1 min.

TOM GARNER Tom spoke with US veteran Pete Shaw. He shares his experiences fighting across Europe, from the beaches of Normandy, to the heart of the Reich (p.44). He also spoke with historian Antony Beevor about his new book (p.94). HARETH AL BUSTANI New to the pages of History of War, Hareth is a journalist and historian with a passion for Japanese history. Over on page 36 he explores how the arrival of firearms to Japan radically changed the battlefields of the samurai. MARIANNA BUKOWSKI Back with another gripping story of Polish WWII heroism, Marianna tackles the Great Battles with a blow-by-blow account of General Maczek’s Armoured Division at Hill 262, during the Battle of the Falaise Pocket (p.62).…

1 min.
war in focus

EARS SKYWARD Taken: c. 1938 Japanese anti-aircraft soldiers man acoustic locators close to Tokyo. Developed before the wider emergence of radar, these devices, also known as acoustic horns, were designed to detect the presence and location of enemy aircraft. Despite a range of variants being developed, combining multiple and even larger ‘horns’, the devices soon became obsolete. DESERT LEGION Taken: September 2003 A Legionnaire of the Spanish Legion on patrol in Diwaniya, Iraq, during the occupation of the country. One of the original supporters of the invasion, Spain deployed around 1,300 troops, including members of the Legion, in August 2003. However the following year forces were withdrawn after the war continued to face opposition with the Spanish population. WINNIE IN MOSCOW Taken: October, 1944 Winston Churchill is welcomed to Moscow by Vyacheslav Molotov, and a Red Army guard…

4 min.
italian wars of independence

1815-30 EARLY REVOLUTIONARY ACTIVITY Influenced by Napoleon’s rule as ‘King of Italy’, revolutionary groups such as the ‘Carboneria’ dream of unifying the Italian peninsula under a constitutional government. Insurrections separately occur in the kingdoms of the Two Sicilies and Sardinia-Piedmont. 1830-31 INSURRECTIONS Eight states exist on the peninsula in 1830 and the July Revolution in France directly influences revolutionaries. Insurrections occur in Modena, the Papal Legations and the Duchy of Parma with plans to unite as the ‘United Italian Provinces’. Pope Gregory XVI asks Austria to suppress the rebels and an Austrian army marches across Italy to crush resistance. 1848 1848 REVOLUTIONS Uprisings against reactionary Austrian and Two Sicilies control are led by the kingdoms of Sardinia-Piedmont, Lombardy-Venetia as well as the fledgling state of Sicily. These revolts take place as part of the wider Revolutions of 1848. 23…

4 min.
battle famous : solferino

“THE COMBINED NUMBER OF TROOPS INVOLVED EXCEEDED 300,000, AND IN ITS COSTLY WAKE THE SECOND ITALIAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE CAME TO AN END” For one of the final times in history, ruling monarchs faced one another on the battlefield, with Emperor Napoleon III of France and King Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont-Sardinia opposing Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria at Solferino on 24 June 1859. The combined number of troops involved exceeded 300,000, and in its costly wake the Second Italian War of Independence came to an end. The war had begun two months earlier with the Austrian Army responding to Piedmontese provocations. Franz Josef launched an invasion, but after their defeat at the Battle of Magenta on 4 June, the Austrians began a withdrawal from Lombardy. The French-Piedmontese Army pursued. Both…

1 min.
mercy for the wounded

Swiss businessman and humanitarian Jean-Henri Dunant witnessed firsthand the carnage at the Battle of Solferino and was moved to action. After the fighting had ceased, approximately 23,000 wounded lay scattered across the broad battlefield, and Dunant attempted to organise efforts to render aid. The experience affected him profoundly, and after returning to his home in Geneva, Dunant wrote the book A Memory Of Solferino, advocating the concept of a neutral entity that might care for wounded soldiers who might otherwise die for lack of medical attention. Dunant printed the book at his own expense, and its distribution proved a catalyst for founding the International Committee of the Red Cross and later the Geneva Convention. For his effort, Dunant received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. He was also the founder…