Our armed forces have been cut too far to fight a meaningful war – and the coming defence review looks unlikely to change that
Nato’s beefed-up military exercises are impressive – and ominous
If Scotland votes for independence, Britain will be left weaker than anyone yet realises
Afghanistan’s new, British-led military academy may prove our most lasting legacy
Burma, My Father and the Forgotten Army, with Griff Rhys Jones, is on BBC2 at 9pm on Sunday, 7th July.…
The most telling figure in Carey Schofield’s book on the Pakistan army is Faisal Alavi, a major general who was murdered in November 2008.
The square jaw and steely gaze are deceptive.
America’s love of the ancient republics has had military consequences in the present
Ostensibly this small book is a jolly and true story (illustrated with some charming black-and-white snapshots) about the military experiences of Wojtek (pronounced Voycheck), the bear who, bought as a cub by Polish soldiers in Persia, earned name, rank and number as the mascot of the 22nd Company of the Artillery Supply Command, 2nd Polish Corps.
The Matterhorn, at 14,679 feet in the Alps, is said to be very difficult to climb.
‘Was all this the realisation of our war aims?’, Malcolm Muggeridge asked as he surveyed the desolation of Berlin in May 1945.
Seventy years after the RAF repelled the Luftwaffe, the Battle of Britain continues to have a powerful resonance.
Norman Stone forsook the chair of modern history at Oxford university for Ankara after realising that the ‘conversation at high tables would generally have made the exchanges in the bus- stop in the rain outside seem exhilarating’.
I was sitting recently with a former US marine by one of the huge open windows on the top floor of the Caravelle Hotel in Saigon.
Alistair Urquhart describes himself as ‘a lucky man as well as an angry man’.
‘I was not an enthusiast about getting US forces and going into Iraq,’ Dick Cheney said in 1997, looking back on the First Gulf War.
This book could have been a classic.
Do we need another huge life of Arthur Koestler? He wrote a great deal about himself, including three autobiographical works: Spanish Testament (1937), describing his experience as a death-row prisoner of General Franco, Arrow in the Blue (1952) and The Invisible Writing (1954).
The years between the middle of the 18th century and the middle of the 19th century, argues Holger Hoock, ‘saw Britain evolve from a substantial international power yet relative artistic backwater into a global naval, commercial and imperial superpower as well as a leading cultural power in Europe.
William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham was hailed by Victorian schoolboys as the man who made England great.
‘The Axis powers and France,’ declared Marshall Pétain and Hitler at Montoire in October 1940, ‘have a common interest in the defeat of England as soon as possible.’ Why this should have been so is one of the many interesting questions to which this book offers no satisfactory answer.
During the night of 9 February 1916, two men were sitting on opposing shores of Lake Tanganyika.
Most of us are brought up not badly, but wrongly.