17th Century

Vasa-photo

Back to the Drawing Board: Vasa

Although Vasa was designed and built by an experienced Dutch shipbuilder, Henrik Hybertsson, she was larger than any vessel he had previously worked on.

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Afghanistan: graveyard of armies

A huge, mountainous, landlocked Central Asian state, Afghanistan has defied invaders for 2,500 years. Jules Stewart takes a look at the country’s military longue durée.     Taken in historical context, the 13-year presence of NATO combat troops in Afghanistan amounted to scarcely a footnote to centuries of foreign military intervention in the country. From the […]

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The Royal Navy’s Darkest Day: Medway 1667

Patrick Boniface recalls one of the most humiliating defeats in the history of Britain’s Royal Navy. To the people of Chatham the approaching ships on the River Medway must have looked impressive. Under full sail a Dutch flotilla was racing towards the Royal Navy stronghold intent on causing maximum damage. The June 1667 raid on […]

Back-to-the-drawing-board

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD – COMBINATION WEAPONS

You would think that combining two deadly weapons to create a super-weapon would be a smart move for any warmonger. Some combination weapons, however, were simply over-ambitious monsters: clumsy, cumbersome, useless. The popularity of the combination weapon rose during the 16th and 17th centuries, when weapons-smiths were innovators and owning a trident dagger elevated one’s […]

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The Defence of London: AD 1642

Between 1642 and 1645, London was the heart of a national revolution against absolutism.   During the ‘December Days’ in late 1641, the political crisis in relations between Court and Parliament tipped over into revolution. Vast crowds of ordinary Londoners besieged Parliament to force through the anti-royalist measures they supported. Then, in early January 1642, an attempted coup by the Court backfired. King Charles entered Parliament to arrest […]

Opinion – Battlefields of neglect

Neil Faulkner rails against the neglect of historic battlefields and a warped view of British history. Visit the battlefield of Evesham and you will find most of it private property with minimal public access. What happened here? As Steve Roberts explains this issue (see War Zone), it was where Simon de Montfort perished with many […]

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British Grenadiers – Soldier Profile

Grenadier companies were first formed in the British Army in 1678, and were not finally abolished until 1855. By the time of the Quebec campaign, the 13 companies of a British foot battalion included one of grenadiers and one of light infantry. The grenadiers, as the battalion elite, were traditionally posted on the right (with […]

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