Second world war

More derring dos and don’ts from Paddy Leigh Fermor

4 October 2014 9:00 am

Recent years have seen the slim but splendid Patrick Leigh Fermor oeuvre swell considerably. In 2008 came In Tearing Haste,…

Hugh Trevor-Roper: the spy as historian, the historian as spy

20 September 2014 9:00 am

Shortly after the war began in September 1939, the branch of the intelligence services called MI8, or the Radio Security…

My amazing dad has found the secret of a happy life

13 September 2014 9:00 am

This week I wanted to tell you about my amazing dad. He hasn’t died or anything. I just thought I’d…

The forgotten flank of the forgotten corps of the Forgotten Army

6 September 2014 9:00 am

The British who fought in Burma became known as the ‘Forgotten Army’ because this was a neglected theatre of the…

Andrew Marr’s diary: Seeing shadows of Syria in Limousin’s ghost village

30 August 2014 9:00 am

No, no, no, you don’t want a house abroad — the paperwork, the taxes, the piping, the cost of the…

A member of the London Home Guard demonstrates the use of old wallpaper as camouflage (1942)

The real Dad’s Army was no joke

30 August 2014 9:00 am

Dad’s Army, the sitcom to end all sitcoms, portrayed the Home Guard as often doddery veterans. In one episode, Private…

Hitler’s Valkyrie: Unity Mitford at 100

9 August 2014 9:00 am

Unity Mitford at 100

Spectator letters: Press regulation, heroic Bulgarians and the case for Scotch on the rocks

5 July 2014 9:00 am

Beyond the law Sir: In your leading article of 28 June you make the point that the hacking trial demonstrates…

The cold, remote plateau of Vichy France where good was done

28 June 2014 9:00 am

It is with a heavy heart that I pick up anything to do with the Holocaust. Not because it’s wearisome…

Brave, noble, forgotten – the other side of Italy's second world war

28 June 2014 9:00 am

At the time of the armistice of September 1943, when the kingdom of Italy formally transferred its allegiance from the…

Patrick Leigh Fermor as a major in the parachute regiment, October 1945

Patrick Leigh Fermor and the long, daft tradition of Brits trying to save Greece

31 May 2014 9:00 am

Twenty-odd years ago, while on holiday in the deep Mani at the foot of the Peloponnese, I got into conversation…

Christopher Buckley's diary: Do you have to be American to love Downton?

17 May 2014 9:00 am

My wife and I spent the winter in Worcestershire. This allowed me to tell everyone back home in the States:…

Paul Johnson’s diary: Boris would make a great PM – but he must strike now

10 May 2014 9:00 am

I feel an intense antipathy for Vladimir Putin. No one on the international scene has aroused in me such dislike…

Generation War does something very un-German – bottles it

3 May 2014 9:00 am

I was so looking forward to Generation War (BBC2, Saturday) — a three-part drama series covering the second world war…

Churchill reading in his library at Chartwell

Churchill was as mad as a badger. We should all be thankful

19 April 2014 9:00 am

The egotistical Churchill may have viewed the second world war as pure theatre, but that was exactly what was needed at the time, says Sam Leith

Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon survive the Blitz in Mrs Miniver (1942).Churchill reckoned it was ‘worth six war divisions’ and Goebbels considered it an ‘exemplary propaganda film’, but to Lillian Hellman it was‘a piece of junk’

When Mussolini came knocking on Hollywood’s door

29 March 2014 9:00 am

John Ford was the first of the five famous Hollywood film directors to go to war. He went expecting to…

How Denmark’s Jews escaped the Nazis

8 March 2014 9:00 am

Of all the statistics generated by the Holocaust, perhaps some of the most disturbing in the questions they give rise…

How the first world war inspired the EU

8 February 2014 9:00 am

To understand the real meaning of the EU, you must grasp that it originated in the first world war, rather than the second

Write what you know — especially if it's the second world war

25 January 2014 9:00 am

Adam Foulds’s latest novel is less successful than its predecessor. In 2009 he reached the Booker shortlist with The Quickening…

Mishal Husain's diary: Sachin, women secret agents, shipbuilding .. and telling the time.

23 November 2013 9:00 am

I’ve worked for the BBC for years and have been listening to the Today programme all my adult life, but…

Blonde, beautiful — and desperate to survive in Nazi France

16 November 2013 9:00 am

Around 200 Englishwomen lived through the German Occupation of Paris. Nicholas Shakespeare’s aunt Priscilla was one. Men in the street…

Charles Moore's notes: It's great there's a World Islamic Economic Forum — now can we have a Jewish one?

2 November 2013 9:00 am

As I write, the World Islamic Economic Forum is opening in London, the first time it has been held in…

Alexander Chancellor: Why aren't Italians angrier about Nazi atrocities?

19 October 2013 9:00 am

Given that more than 9,000 innocent Italian civilians, many of them women and children, died in Nazi massacres during the…

Alexander Chancellor: It seemed a little creepy that thousands of people wanted to

21 September 2013 9:00 am

My village, Stoke Bruerne in south Northamptonshire, is just getting back to normal after a great influx of visitors for…

The Windsor Faction, by D.J. Taylor - review

14 September 2013 9:00 am

In both his novels and non-fiction, D. J. Taylor has long been fascinated by the period between the wars. Now…