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Culture & Literature
History of War

History of War No. 75

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 December 1944 Allied forces in France, Belgium and the Netherlands were preparing to dig in and keep warm in the horrendously cold conditions. But the first Christmas of the newly opened western front would be anything but peaceful – to the east, thousands of German soldiers were gearing up for an immense offensive to knock the Allies back into the sea. Swallowed up in the middle of the Battle of the Bulge was the town of Bastogne. The defence of the 101st Airborne here has since taken on almost mythic status, however as expert on the battle Martin King explains, they did not stand alone. FOR MORE FROM THE HISTORY OF WAR TEAM VISIT: WWW.HISTORYANSWERS.CO.UK…

1 min.

TOM GARNER This issue Tom spoke with Korean War veteran Neville Williams. He shares his memories of being conscripted into the army and how he turned his artistic hand to create cartoons of life on the frontline (p. 58). DR BERNARD WILKIN The Battle of Eylau (1807) was among Napoleon’s bloodier victories. Facing off against a coalition of Prussians and Russians the emperor’s forces were pushed to their limits – on page 38 Bernard provides a thrilling blow-by-blow account. ANDREW ROY SAUNDERS In his upcoming new book Lone Wolf Andy tells the little-known story of Richard Playne Stevens – the RAF’s night fighter ace. Starting on page 46 he describes how this talented pilot defended the skies while Britain slept.…

1 min.
war in focus

GUSTAF BLAST Taken: February 2013 A US special forces soldier fires a Carl-Gustaf recoilless rifle on a firing range in Helmand province, Afghanistan. The original weapon was developed in Sweden shortly after WWII and was subsequently adopted by militaries around the world – favoured over other designs for its accuracy and ease of use. Today the M4 (CGM4) is widely used around the world. FESTIVE FRITZ Taken: December 1915 German troops bring a little festive decoration to their trench on the Eastern Front, in preparation for Christmas. As on the Western Front the war in the east was expected to be over by Christmas, 1914. Instead, by 1915, this front had witnessed over a million casualties in the first year of fighting. However fighting did not become as static as the trench warfare in the…

5 min.
tet offensive

January 1968 GIÁP’S OFFENSIVE IDEA With the conflict caught in a stalemate, North Vietnamese commander Võ Nguyên Giáp chooses 31 January 1968 as the occasion to launch a coordinated, surprise offensive. The plan is to attack over 100 cities and outposts in South Vietnam. The intention is to cause the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) to collapse and encourage rebellion among the South Vietnamese people. If possible, the offensive might also convince American leaders to stop defending South Vietnam. 21 January-9 July 1968 BATTLE OF KHE SANH 01 North Vietnamese forces bombard a US Marines garrison at Khe Sanh on the main road from northern South Vietnam to Laos. While American resources are diverted to the defence, 70,000 North Vietnamese soldiers assemble to begin their true objective, which is the offensive. 30 January-28 March…

6 min.
battle at the embassy

The peace and goodwill of Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration, were shattered on 30 January 1968 when Communist forces launched their surprise offensive in 13 cities across South Vietnam. Sudden and ferocious, the onslaught spread rapidly to engulf more than 100 towns and hamlets throughout the embattled country. Nowhere was the shock of the Tet Offensive more keenly felt, or the reach of the communist regime in North Vietnam more powerfully demonstrated, than in the compound of the US embassy itself, situated in Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam. While preliminary reports of attacks from both the Viet Cong and regular units of the North Vietnamese Army flooded into the US embassy, the Tet Offensive came home in shocking fashion, early in the morning of 31 January. Before dawn two…

4 min.
a strategic victory?

When North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap conceived the master plan for the Tet Offensive he did so with clear objectives. Giap hoped to spark a general uprising against the corrupt South Vietnamese government of President Nguyen Van Thieu, destabilising the political situation within South Vietnam. He wanted to convince the American people that the Vietnam War, already a protracted and costly endeavour by early 1968, was nowhere near conclusion. He also sought to demonstrate that Communist forces could strike at the time and place of their choosing, dictating to the South Vietnamese and their American sponsors that the Vietnam War would continue to take a heavy toll in lives and resources. Giap was keenly aware that the support of the American people for the war effort had begun to wane. Despite the…