Modern

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The Ethics of Battlefield Archaeology

A controversial amateur archaeology programme has aired on Channel 5, despite widespread condemnation from archaeologists, academics, and heritage professionals across the UK and abroad. Battlefield Recovery, produced by London-based ClearStory Ltd, features four self-styled ‘diggers’: British metal-detectorists Steven Taylor, Kris Rodgers, and Adrian Kostromski, and American dealer in Nazi memorabilia Craig Gottlieb. The series is a repackaged version of Nazi War Diggers, which the National Geographic Channel planned […]

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GALLIPOLI: V Beach Madness

To mark Anzac Day 2015, MHM reposts Peter Hart’s action-packed article taking us into the inferno of the Gallipoli landings.

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BEHIND THE IMAGE: Charge of the Royal Naval Division, 1915

This photograph shows infantry from the British Royal Naval Division climbing out of the trenches as if for a charge at the Battle of  Gallipoli during 1915. Every man grasps their rifle with bayonet fitted, ready for the kind of close-quarters encounter with the enemy that it was expected – wrongly – would decide the war. The hills in the background are […]

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BARNES WALLIS: visionary designer

WALLIS: Biography Born: 26 September 1887, Ripley, Derbyshire Married: Molly Bloxam, 1925 Educated: Christ’s Hospital Aircraft designed: Vickers Wellington, R100 airship, Vickers Warwick, Vickers, Windsor. Bombs designed: Bouncing Bombs, Tallboy, Blockbuster Died: 30 October 1979, aged 92. In context: the bouncing bomb In 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War, Great Britain was […]

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The Sherman Tank

Building the Sherman Tank In 1940, in the light of the successful use of panzers in the European war, the US Army decided to start a rapid tank-building programme. Rather than adapting existing engineering plants, the President of Chrysler suggested constructing a brand new Tank Arsenal just outside Detroit, the home of the US car industry. Adopting the mass-production techniques used for making cars, this huge new […]

Conflict-Scientists

CONFLICT SCIENTISTS – Frank Whittle

Born: 1 June 1907, Earlsdon, Coventry Occupation: RAF Engineer Officer Awards: KBE (1948), CBE (1944), CB (1947), Louis E. Levy Medal (1956), Order of Merit (1986), Fellow of the Royal Society (1986), Honorary Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (1986), Commander of the Legion of Merit (1946) Died: 9 August 1996, Columbia, Maryland The Jet Engine Towards the end of […]

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BEHIND THE IMAGE – Tanks on Parade

This image shows three tanks taking part in the Lord Mayor’s parade in Ludgate Circus, London in November 1918. The parade celebrated the end of the First World War as armistice was declared that month. In this photograph we can see crowds of men, women, and children who have gathered out on the street to […]

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World War I: Hill 60

Hill 60 was a low rise south-east of Ypres made from the soil removed in digging a cutting for the Ypres to Comines railway. It had excellent views over both Ypres and Zillibeke, and was captured by the Germans during the first Battle of Ypres in November 1914. On 17 April 1915, in one of the first tunnelling operations by the British Army, six […]

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CONFLICT SCIENTISTS – Robert Oppenheimer

Biography Born: April 22, 1904 New York Married: Katherine Puening Harrison in 1940 Fields: Theoretical physics Institutions: University of California, Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, Los Alamos Laboratory, Institute for Advanced Study. Died: February 18 1967 Princeton, New Jersey In the 1930s theoretical physics was a cerebral battlefield. Europe was in a scientific conflict with North […]

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Shell Shock

The term ‘shell shock’ was first used by military doctors in early 1915 to describe the physical ailments of a nervous breakdown. Initially, it was thought the cause was concussion of the brain by shock waves from a shell landing nearby. Before long, it came to sum up a broad range of symptoms, ranging from stuttering incoherently to being struck completely dumb (mutism); from being temporarily blinded to the […]

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