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MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History

MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History Spring 2015

MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History takes you on an exciting journey to the world's greatest battles and campaigns over the last 5,000 years, from ancient warfare through modern battles. Written by distinguished authors and historians who bring the world of history alive, the magazine covers in vivid detail the soldiers, leaders, tactics, and weapons throughout military history, and delivers it in an exquisitely illustrated, premium quality edition.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
HistoryNet
Frequency:
Quarterly
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4 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
us.san.com

SIMPLE BUT VITAL, a drinking cup wasn’t always part of a soldier’s kit in the Civil War, so the U.S. Sanitary Commission passed out tin cups to Union troops throughout the war. As late as September 1864, after the Third Battle of Winchester, the commission had 1,104 cups on hand. An extragovernmental agency that President Lincoln initially believed might become a worrisome “fifth wheel” to the war effort, the commission proved its worth early on, under the leadership of its first secretary general, Frederick Law Olmsted (better known to history as America’s great landscape architect). The story of his own battles on behalf of the men at the front begins on page 22. (Tria Giovan/Corbis)…

2 min.
dispatches

Most wars in the modern era have been covered by reporters, commonly called war correspondents, working for news organizations. Teir firsthand accounts of battles and other military events are often brief, tightly focused, and characterized by immediacy and personal reactions. If the writer is a vigilant observer with an eye for symbolic detail and is an effective storyteller, his or her work may be sufficiently reliable and useful to be considered a rough draft of history. Tat said, the very immediacy that informs the best dispatches is the trait that soon consigns the piece and the writer to oblivion. Which is a shame and a waste, because some truly excellent writers have served as war correspondents in the past century or so, and as the conflicts they covered have faded…

1 min.
flashback

KURDISTAN 1979 AK-47 in hand, the daughter of a Kurdish peshmerga warrior is ready to defend her family as Kurdish freedom fighters battle for self-rule. TODAY The peshmerga (“those who confront death”) are among the few forces willing to go head to head with ISIS radicals spreading terror through Iraq and Syria. DUBLIN 1922 Free Staters take on Republican forces as civil war erupts in Ireland over the terms of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty that divided Ireland north and south. TODAY A new archaeological project is underway to document caves across Ireland that were used for hideouts, munition caches, and intelligence centers in the civil war. SOUTH VIETNAM 1966 On a medical mission, a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman inoculates a flood refugee against cholera. TODAY President Obama deploys military forces to West Africa to provide…

5 min.
war and evolution

Wayne Lee’s excellent article on the origins of warfare was both intellectually stimulating and a little disquieting for what was omitted and for how things were worded. I drew back my breath when I read Mr. Lee’s words that “this collection of behaviors” (among chimpanzees) is “war” and that it is an “organized group activity….designed to diminish one group for…another.” “Chimp warfare” is nothing more than the similarly regular activities of a pack of wolves patrolling their territory—just like any other animal, solitary or social, patrolling, swimming, or flying its particular territory for food and mates. The words “organized group activity” can be interpreted as if there is one alpha male (which there usually is) “selecting” other chimps to go on patrol, “directing” them to attack from left-center-right of position, or having…

2 min.
contributors

Willard Sterne Randall is a historian, author, and former investigative reporter who won a National Magazine Award for his expose of political corruption in Philadelphia. His work on that made him realize “you can learn a great deal from the public record.” And yet, he says, those records are rarely in the public consciousness. His interest in what public records could reveal and his puzzlement over the War of 1812 led him to his latest work, 1815: How America Survived, to be published later this year. “I couldn’t understand how thousands could be killed in a war that, when it was over, had no clear winner.” His questioning led him to the Treaty of Ghent (page 30), and to the Belgian city itself, where he literally walked in the footsteps of…

2 min.
why not blockade the british isles?

Q I have a question about the Battle of Britain in 1940. After the Fall of France, did the Germans ever consider putting a naval blockade around the British ports and English Channel, as the Union Navy did with the South during the Civil War? I would think the Germans could have laid mines and used their U-boat fleet and air force more effectively for a blockade, rather than sailing thousands of miles into the Atlantic to attack convoys. Even if the blockade had been only partially successful, wouldn’t the British have been starving and forced to surrender in a few months, saving the Germans the risk of an invasion? Leonard Glickman Somerset, Massachusetts A As a matter of fact, the Germans had had specialized mine-laying submarines since World War I, and in World…