MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History Winter 2016

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.

United States
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4 Números

en este número

1 min.
athena leading

This bronze prow-fitting from a small boat is thought to have survived the history-shaping Battle of Actium in 31 BC—albeit at the bottom of the Ionian Sea. The helmeted female figure wears an aegis, or breastplate, indicative of the goddess Athena. The battle off the west coast of Greece proved the final defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra in their war with Octavian for dominion over Rome and its growing empire. Octavian’s victory was due in large part to the strategic masterminding of his consul, Agrippa (page 52)—the mastermind, in fact, of many of the emperor’s triumphs. (The Trustees of the British Museum)…

2 min.
collateral damage

The moral ambiguity of how we describe warfare is perhaps seen most starkly in categorizing casualties as either combatants or civilians. Combatant casualties are clearly understood: Killing enemies is what armies do. Civilian casualties are or may be a different matter. Surely no war or battle has ever been fought without causing some casualties among noncombatants, civilians who suffered the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their killing may be understood as not deliberate; they were not the targets of an army’s intentional combat actions. A recent event in Yemen points up the ambiguities: An air strike, involving at least two missiles, hit two tents in the village of Wahijah, near the Red Sea port of Mocha. According to BBC reports, about 130 people were killed,…

1 min.

GREECE 1948 Bitter civil war began in Greece in 1944 as the Nazis withdrew, pitting the Communist-backed ELAM against the moderate nationalist EDES. When the fighting ends with a cease-fire in 1949, as many as 500,000 Greek citizens, like these refugee children aboard a transport ship, are displaced. TODAY Several ongoing violent conflicts in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan are causing thousands of refugees to seek safety in European nations. SINAI 1973 During the Cold War years, the Soviet Union supplies armor, like this T-55 tank, to its longtime Mediterranean ally Syria. TODAY In support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, now in its fifth year of fighting a bloody civil war, Russia is supplying fighter aircraft, helicopters, artillery, armored personnel carriers, and military advisers, reportedly to “break the impasse in the war.” IN THE…

3 min.
hiroshima fallout

As soon as I saw the Autumn 2015 Ask MHQ regarding soldiers who had been at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I had to write in about my uncle, Marvin Kurjan, and pass on what he told me. He was about 20 and a rifleman with the 41st Infantry Division when he arrived in Hiroshima roughly four weeks after the bomb dropped. He said the first thing he saw was only one building standing that had more than one floor and it had a big Red Cross banner on it. Otherwise, the place was gone. To the day he died (at age 88 in late 2013), he always blamed his health problems on being at Hiroshima. As far as I know he was healthy as a horse until the end and only had some…

2 min.

Cartoonist Gene Basset (Portfolio, page 44) got to Vietnam because he disagreed with his editors at the Scripps Howard News Service about their support of the war. So they sent him off to see for himself what was going on in-country, figuring he’d “become educated.” He says he wasn’t sure exactly what he was going to do once there, but in the end he covered the war and the South Vietnamese living with it for most of 1965, traveling from the Mekong Delta to the 17th parallel and into the highlands. And drawing all the time. He saw action, but he survived—unlike two photographer friends of his who were killed in Vietnam. Official access to conflict areas was easier then than it is today, he says. “You could just wander…

4 min.
mercenaries that made their mark

Ten Thousand Greeks 400 BC Many Greek soldiers were left looking for work after the Peloponnesian War ended in 404 bc, and Prince Cyrus was happy to pay them to press his claim to the Persian throne. Though the Greek hoplites bowled over their lighter-armed opponents at the Battle of Cunaxa in 401, Cyrus was killed and his mercenaries were left stranded deep inside Persia. They battled their way through hostile lands and peoples until they reached the Black Sea in 400 bc. Their astonishing survival had repercussions decades later: King Philip of Macedonia and his son Alexander saw it as proof of Persia’s vulnerability to Greek arms. The Mamertines 264 BC These infamous mercenaries from Campania in western Italy were hired by the Sicilians of Syracuse to defend the port…