Culture & Literature
History of War

History of War No. 77

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
Read More
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

“A good navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guarantee of peace”. President Theodore Roosevelt made this remark at the cusp of a watershed moment in maritime history, just a few years before the launch of HMS Dreadnought. Arguably one of the most significant battleships ever developed, Dreadnought was bristling with almost three-times as many cannons as previous designs, out-gunning every other vessel at the time. Rather than guaranteeing peace Dreadnought’s emergence triggered an arms race, and global powers sought to match this new level of naval capability in the buildup to the First World War.…

1 min.

TOM GARNER To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Tom spoke with Mindu Hornick MBE, a Holocaust survivor now living in the UK. She shares her experiences of the camp and work to educate future generations (page 52). DR BERNARD WILKIN This month, French military and Napoleonic expert Bernard takes a look at the short-lived rebellion of Ferdinand von Schill, a Prussian Major who in 1809 fought against French occupation, despite overwhelming odds (page 46). MARK SIMNER This issue’s Great Battles explores the Siege of Lucknow – a long and brutal struggle during the Indian Uprising (1857-8). Mark explores how the garrison held out against overwhelming odds (page 72).…

1 min.
war in focus

THE ART OF WAR Taken: May 1945 The 101st Airborne’s makeshift exhibition at Berchtesgaden. After the liberation of the area in 1945, troops discovered valuable paintings and sculptures hidden in nearby caves. They had been taken by Hermann Goering from occupied nations during the war. Some of the liberated art on display included Franz Hals’s Portrait of a Priest and a piece by Rubens. LAST CHOPPER OUT OF XUÂN LOC Taken: April, 1975 Two Chinook helicopters hover above a road (likely Highway 1) during the evacuation of supplies and soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 18th Division and their families. Located east of Saigon, Xuan Loc was one of the last battles of the Vietnam War. DRESDEN OUT OF THE ASHES Taken: 1950 The ruin of the Frauenkirche (right) Dresden’s Lutheran church, and in…

6 min.
barons’ wars

FIRST BARONS’ WAR 1215 MAGNA CARTA SPARKS WAR When King John refuses to accept and abide by the terms of Magna Carta, rebellious Anglo-Norman barons revoke their fealty to him. They invite Prince Louis of France to invade England and take the English throne. John flees and Louis is proclaimed king at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. October-December 1215 01 SIEGE OF ROCHESTER John besieges Rochester Castle against a garrison of rebel knights. The fortress is stoutly defended even after the defenders are forced back into the keep, which itself is partially destroyed. Starvation eventually forces them to surrender. 19 October 1216 DEATH OF KING JOHN While campaigning in eastern England, John dies of natural causes at Newark Castle. He is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry III with William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, being declared as regent. Henry will…

5 min.
battle of lincoln

On 19 October 1216, King John died, leaving behind his son and successor, Henry III, who was only nine years old. The warrior-knight William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, was appointed Regent of the Kingdom. At the time, Marshal was around 70 years old. He was an aristocrat of rank and substance, a man famed for his chivalry, who had honed his political and military talent in service to Henry II and Richard the Lionheart. However, he had begun his career more modestly, as a penniless younger son of a minor nobleman, winning fame and fortune on the tournament circuit. Marshal was six foot tall, a man of considerable physical strength, skilled in horsemanship and the use of a variety of weapons. And he was a natural leader of men, as…

4 min.
why did simon de montfort fight at evesham?

In 1264, nearly 50 years after the Magna Carta, the Second Barons’ War broke out. It was provoked by a breakdown in trust between Henry III and a group of his leading barons. As with the first civil war, it was fought over the importance of upholding the Great Charter and maintaining good government. The leader of the rebels was Simon de Montfort. Simon de Montfort was a charismatic figure. The son of a crusader, he was a skilful military commander, deeply religious and highly principled. He was a Frenchman who sometimes misjudged English sensibilities, and could appear aloof and arrogant. Initially he got on well with Henry III and was handsomely rewarded, marrying the king’s sister Eleanor and receiving the earldom of Leicester. But then their relationship deteriorated. Simon came…