Author: Hazel Blair

Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli: the father of Renaissance warfare

Iain King examines the relationship between war and thought in the writings of Niccolò Machiavelli. “Men rise from one ambition to another; first they seek to secure themselves against attack, then they attack others.” – Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, 1532 Machiavelli was many things: a scholar and writer, a spin doctor for the government of his […]

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The myth of the invincible Vikings

The Vikings have a formidable military reputation. But much of this, argues Martyn Whittock, is hype. We need some serious analysis.   In AD 866 there were four independent Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England. By 874, there was just one. A ‘blitzkrieg’ of Viking attacks had obliterated three kingdoms. In eight short years, the Vikings had […]

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Interwar policy and the disaster at Dunkirk, 1940

Outgeneralled, the British Army crashed to defeat before the German Blitzkrieg in May 1940. The greatest defeat in British imperial history, it was the price of interwar conservatism. But the soldiers had fought with gritty determination and most of them were rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk. So Britain would survive to fight again.   […]

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Prince Albert and reform of the Victorian Army

Queen Victoria’s husband was not a military man. But the Crimea turned him into a zealous army reformer. As an armchair strategist, Prince Albert displayed an acute insight into the basic realities of the Crimean conflict. ‘Russia is not to be conquered,’ he wrote to his brother Ernest in Germany, ‘but financially she can be […]

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What is the significance of the Dambusters legend?

MHM Editor Neil Faulkner analyses the RAF’s controversial strategic bombing campaign. What is the real significance of the Dambusters legend? James Holland and I clashed on this question on the BBC radio air-waves on 17 May 2013, the 70th anniversary of Operation Chastise, the famous bouncing-bomb raid on the Möhne, Eder, and Sorpe dams. We both agreed […]

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Churchill: ‘Blood, toil, tears, and sweat’

What’s that quote on the new £5 note? The phrase ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat’ is featured under the portrait of Winston Churchill, and it is a quote from Churchill’s first speech to the House of Commons, which he gave on 13 May 1940. Delivering his speech during the Battle […]

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WWII Berlin in photographs

The Battle of Berlin, fought between 16 April and 2 May 1945, was the last major European offensive of the Second World War. The 17-day Soviet assault centred on the German capital, which suffered a total of 363 air raids during the war. By May 1945, 1.7 million people had fled the city. Here, MHM takes a […]

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10 things you didn’t know about the Norman conquest of Ireland

Most people are familiar with the tumultuous events of England in 1066, but how much do you know about ‘the other Norman conquest’, launched a century after the Battle of Hastings? In spring of 1169, a small band of Normans set sail from South Wales bound for Ireland, landing in May of that same year. This […]

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5 key reasons Churchill lost the 1945 general election

Despite a succession of victories during the Second World War, Conservative leader Winston Churchill faced a crushing defeat in Britain’s 1945 general election – one of the most astonishing political events in British history. Churchill’s approval rating was 83% just months prior to his loss, but in an unexpected landslide victory Clement Attlee’s Labour party swept to power […]

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