Second world war

Forget Chilcot. Here’s the inquiry we really need

5 September 2015 9:00 am

What we really need is an inquiry into why so many of us are so eager to support ‘humanitarian’ wars

I lived next to St Paul’s Cathedral as a baby in 1940 – it’s a miracle I am alive

5 September 2015 9:00 am

While the Germans were raining bombs on London during the second world war, the architects’ department of London County Council…

A.N. Wilson’s diary: VJ Day and the Virginia Woolf Burger Bar

15 August 2015 9:00 am

Should we have celebrated VJ Day? Hearing the hieratic tones of the Emperor Hirohito on Radio 4 the other day,…

The Alster: Hamburg’s centrepiece

Wealthy, cosmopolitan – and sometimes rough: the secrets of Hamburg (and my grandmother)

15 August 2015 9:00 am

‘What was it like growing up in Liverpool?’ a journalist asked John Lennon. ‘I didn’t grow up in Liverpool,’ he…

If the government have their way, will Radio 4’s dramas be broken up by ads for dentures?

1 August 2015 9:00 am

‘Bait by Cartier,’ she growls as her priceless diamond bracelet is strapped to a piece of rope and dropped overboard…

I can understand those seduced by Isis; once, it could have been me

25 July 2015 9:00 am

One of the great moments of my student life was opening the door and seeing visitors step back, shocked. I’d…

The new adventures of the adventure playground

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Are adventure playgrounds set to make a comeback, asks Maisie Rowe

Who dares lies: why do so many men pretend to have been in the SAS?

18 July 2015 9:00 am

Why do so many men (including Sir Christopher Lee) fib about serving with the SAS?

Heroically unoriginal: Channel 4’s Humans reviewed

20 June 2015 9:00 am

You’d think scientists might have realised by now that creating a race of super-robots is about as wise as opening…

Completely unmemorable - even though I saw it yesterday: Queen & Country reviewed

6 June 2015 9:00 am

Queen & County is John Boorman’s follow-up to his 1987 semi-autobiographical film Hope & Glory, although why a sequel now,…

Despair after VE day… the men left behind by victory

16 May 2015 9:00 am

The ex-officers left behind after VE day

Le Perche: every farmyard looks like a painting

Beauty, tragedy and black pudding: the delights of Normandy

16 May 2015 9:00 am

I am compiling a list of the best black puddings. It began in Spain when I encountered my first morcilla…

The carpet-bombing of Hamburg killed 40,000 people. It also did good

9 May 2015 9:00 am

The carpet-bombing of Hamburg killed 40,000 people. It also did good

Spectator letters: England’s defining myth, and another forgotten genocide

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Enemies within Sir: I thought Matthew Parris was typically incisive in his last column, but perhaps not quite as much…

‘Observer’s Post’, 1939, by Eric Ravilious

Irresistible: Ravilious at the Dulwich Picture Gallery reviewed

11 April 2015 9:00 am

The most unusual picture in the exhibition of work by Eric Ravilious at Dulwich Picture Gallery, in terms of subject-matter…

‘You are always close to me’: Unity Mitford’s souvenirs of Hitler

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Hitler’s adoring notes to Unity Mitford – and her family’s campaign to stop my book

The knives come out of the cabinet in Churchill’s wartime government

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Coalitions, as David Cameron has discovered, are tricky things to manage. How much more difficult, then, was it for Winston…

Here’s what a real reform of business rates would look like

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Of all the measures talked up ahead of the Budget, the reannouncement of a ‘radical’ review of the business rates…

VE day anniversary: why politics will take second place the day after the election

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Will politics take second place the day after the election?

Tom Holland’s diary: Fighting jihadism with Mohammed, and bowling the Crown Prince of Udaipur

24 January 2015 9:00 am

As weather bombs brew in the north Atlantic, I’m roughing it by heading off to Rajasthan, and the literary festival…

Henry VIII, Edward VI, Charles I, George VI and George V

Game of thrones: five kings spanning five centuries launch a new series on royalty

3 January 2015 9:00 am

Nigel Jones reviews the first five titles to appear in a new series on British monarchs

Railly, railly posh: Keira Knightley as Joan Clarke

The Imitation Game: a film that's as much in the closet as Alan Turing was

15 November 2014 9:00 am

The Imitation Game is a biopic starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician who broke the German’s Enigma…

Unlike the philistine sharks of today, Aleko Goulandris is an art collector of the old school

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Aleko Goulandris is my oldest and closest friend. We met in the summer of 1945, at the Semiramis hotel in…

Brad Pitt with the crew of the Sherman tank, Fury

Fury: the men blow stuff up, then Brad Pitt takes his top off

25 October 2014 9:00 am

Fury is a second world war drama that plays with us viscerally and unsparingly — I think I saw a…

We're still repeating the mistakes of the first world war

11 October 2014 9:00 am

The time-honoured saying that England’s great battles have been won on the playing fields of Eton is a lot of…