MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History Spring 2017

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.

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4 Números

en este número

1 min.
opening round

During World War I thousands of spent cannon shells and other detritus of the battlefield were transformed by soldiers and prisoners of war into a wide variety of objets trouvés, such as this 37mm artillery shell and engraved shell casing from the Canon d’Infanterie de 37 modèle 1916 TRP—a French-made infantry support gun used to destroy enemy machine gun nests. A popular French newspaper, Le Pays de France, even sponsored a series of contests that offered cash prizes for the best pieces of what it called l’artisanat des tranchées (“art of the trenches”). The raw material for this new art form was especially plentiful at Passchendaele, on the last ridge east of Ypres, Belgium, where three years of battle had turned the terrain into a moonscape of shell craters. By…

1 min.

HAVANA, CUBA, 1961 Cuban armed forces go on alert after Prime Minister Fidel Castro charges that the U.S. government is planning an invasion of the island nation—an allegation President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s press secretary brands “nuts.” TODAY:A little more than two years after former President Barack Obama began normalizing relations with Cuba, at least 10 U.S. airlines are offering daily flights to Havana and other cities in the officially Communist nation. MOSUL, MESOPOTAMIA, 1925 After journalist George Seldes of the Chicago Tribune reports on Turkish atrocities in Mesopotamia, a group of refugees in Mosul tell investigators appointed by the League of Nations of how they were torn from their families and driven from their homes. TODAY:More than a million civilians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul are caught in a military offensive spearheaded by…

3 min.
mountainous terrain

Point Well Taken The Autumn 2016 issue of MHQ features a photo of sailors placing memorial leis on the graves of men killed at Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (“Culture of War,” page 85). The caption contains what I believe is a piece of misinformation. The caption says that Diamond Head can be seen in the background of the photograph. Having been stationed at Kaneohe Marine Corps base in 1955–1956, I believe the high hill in the background is Mokapu Point, which is adjacent to the Kaneohe base. Diamond Head would be on the other side of Oahu Island, near Honolulu. For visual clarification, I refer you to two books that clearly show the outline of Mokapu Point in photos of the mass graves of the…

2 min.
death battalions

I have been reading George Bernard Shaw’s play Saint Joan, and I found the following sentence in the preface quite puzzling: “In reactionary Russia in our own century a woman soldier organized an effective regiment of Amazons, which disappeared only because it was Aldershottian enough to be against the Revolution.” Who is “a woman soldier”? How to be “Aldershottian enough”? Could you kindly tell me what he means? Shirley Wong Xin-Dian, Taiwan Shaw was probably referring to the Women’s Battalions of Death, five units of female volunteers formed late in World War I by Marina Bochkareva, a peasant girl who had joined the Imperial Russian Army in November 1914. Bochkareva hadrisen to the rank of sergeant by May 1917, when she suggested the formation of these units to Aleksandr Kerensky’s provisional government,…

9 min.
the survivor

As an infantryman in the German Sixth Army during World War II, Adelbert Holl fought in the protracted battle for control of the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in Southern Russia. He was taken prisoner when the Germans surrendered in 1943 and spent the next seven years in Soviet prison camps. After he was repatriated to Germany in 1950, Holl recorded his experiences as a prisoner of war, including this account of his time in a prison camp near the small Siberian city of Angarsk. We drive through the taiga for three days before the train stops at its destination: Bratsk. The terrain here is cut through by valleys and ravines and is very hilly. From the railway wagons we went in smaller columns to the individual camps of Bratsk. All such…

9 min.
the genesis of ‘genocide’

Inventing new terms about war is as unusual as adding elements to the periodic table: It happens, but only rarely. One such word, unknown before 1942 but now commonplace, is “genocide.” The word has a history, bound inextricably with the life of one man: Raphael Lemkin. Lemkin was a Galician-born Polish lawyer trained in the 1920s in international law in Lwów, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine). He was a difficult man to like—obsessed, paranoid, a bit of a fabulist about minor matters and supposed achievements with which he adorned his lonely life. Another famous international lawyer, Hersch Lauterpacht, later a professor at the University of Cambridge and an intellectual adversary of Lemkin, also trained in Lwów in the interwar years, before the Nazis swept away the entire world of Galician Jewry in…