Articles

Jane-Austen

Jane Austen: a wartime writer?

War and violence are the last things one would associate with that 19th-century doyenne of English literature, Jane Austen. Ambles in the countryside, flirtatious glances, frocks with lace and frills, and the relentless pursuit of wealthy bachelors are the more likely images conjured by her name.

Yet conventional interpretations of the novelist’s work lack reference to a crucial context – that of war. For most of Jane Austen’s life, Britain was involved in conflicts of varying existential significance across the globe.

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Chakdara: the other Rorke’s Drift?

The epic defence of Chakdara is intriguing. It lasted a week (26 July-2 August 1897), involved 240 men defending an isolated post against up to 8,000 tribal warriors, and had a big impact on the British public back home at the time. But no VCs were awarded, and the action is almost totally forgotten today. Why?

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Kaiserschlacht, Spring 1918

Could the Germans have won the First World War in 1918? Almost certainly. A quarter of a century later, the tide of war would turn irretrievably against Hitler’s Third Reich in 1942/1943. The massive industrial power of the Soviet Union and the United States combined – still rising towards a wartime peak –guaranteed eventual defeat. The outcome was far more open in 1917/1918.

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Interview: Mark Bowden on Vietnam

‘Easily the bloodiest single battle fought in the war.’ Mark Bowden, the journalist and acclaimed author of Black Hawk Down and Killing Pablo, talks about his new book Hué 1968.

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Lee and Jackson

What is the role of the individual in history? The collaboration between Robert E Lee and Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson changed the course of the American Civil War. Before Lee’s appointment, and his choice of Jackson as second-in-command, the conflict would likely have ended in 1862. We look back at one of history’s great military partnerships.

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Pigeons at Passchendaele

Gervase Phillips reports on the vital role of the ‘pigeon post’ amid Passchendaele’s waterlogged crater-fields. For Major Alec Waley, the commanding officer of the British Expeditionary Force’s Carrier Pigeon Service, 31 July 1917 was a peculiarly tense day, but ultimately a very satisfying one. It was the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres […]

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Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: 1914-1918

As the years draw on, the events of the First World War slowly fade from living memory. Scattered across the globe, the battlefields – once witness to the carnage of industrialised slaughter – today rest in relative peace.

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The Vietnam War

The war devastated Vietnam and tore America apart. As the body bags returned home in their thousands, US generals – who once believed victory was assured – started to wonder how best to admit defeat and withdraw. Over 50 years after it began, MHM looks back on the Vietnam War.

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Tudor war against Scotland

The bloody end met by Mary Queen of Scots at the hands of her cousin Elizabeth I of England is well known. But what of Mary’s early reign? Hazel Blair explores how events on the Continent impacted Anglo-Scottish relations in the 16th century, and explains the background to a savage ten-year war between Tudor and Stewart.

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The Russian Civil War

How did the Russian Civil War betray a popular revolution? MHM Editor Neil Faulkner assesses the historical significance of the conflict. It matched in scale, drama, and significance the American Civil War half a century before. Yet the Russian Civil War, which began a century ago this year, is only dimly remembered. The conflict raged […]

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