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German SS Troops with a Panzer Division

The Ardennes, 1944

More than 4,000 square miles of hills and ridges, thickly forested, dissected by streams and rivers, its few roads punctuated by chokepoints. One of Western Europe’s ancient wildernesses. How was the Ardennes Offensive executed, and how did it accelerate the bitter end of one of history’s most brutal regimes?

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Found: the bow of the USS Grunion

The USS Grunion was a Gato-class submarine that was sunk at Kiska, Alaska, during World War II. Operating near the Aleutian Islands, the submarine reported that it had been attacked by Japanese antisubmarine patrols, but had managed to avoid sinking. Later moving to Kiska Island, from which it was based throughout July 1942, the Grunion […]

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Churchill’s wartime visitor book available online

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of Churchill War Rooms becoming operational, Imperial War Museums has digitised the original visitor book containing the names of numerous well-known visitors, including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, General Dwight D Eisenhower, Winston Churchill himself, and Clement Attlee.

The Bersted warrior’s helmet

Remains of Iron Age warrior to go on display

The spectacular remains of an Iron Age warrior, discovered 12 years ago in Chichester, England, will soon be put on public display for the first time at the Novium Museum, Chichester. Thought to date from 50BC, the warrior’s skeleton was discovered buried alongside a series of ornate weapons and artefacts.

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The Seven Days, 1862

The American Civil War might easily have ended in 1862. In the event, it dragged on for three more years, claiming the lives of 600,000 men, more than all of America’s other wars combined. A strong case can be made that this outcome was the work of two very different men – George B McClellan and Robert E Lee. To what extent do individuals change the course of history?

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War Reporters: Ernie Pyle

Dubbed ‘the Soldier’s Friend’, his work had been syndicated across the States, making him a household name. President Harry Truman, on learning of Pyle’s death at the hands of a hidden Japanese machine-gunner, summed it up, saying nobody had ‘so well told the story’.

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Battle Map: Operation Cobra

Operation Cobra was a resounding success for the Allied forces on their path to liberating France in the summer of 1944, and one of the key turning-points in the history of the Second World War. Those days of fast-moving action between 25 and 30 July saw the beginning of the final collapse of the German occupation of France.

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The Novgorod: ‘Circular Ironclad’

The Novgorod’s design originated in 1868, when the Scottish shipbuilder John Elder proposed widening the beam of a warship to reduce the area to be protected. This would allow it to carry thicker armour and heavier guns than a conventional ship, and to have a shallower draught.

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War Reporters: George Orwell

The life of a journalist who was never far from the front-line: George Orwell. His writing sought to rationalise and navigate the challenges of the day, and his early vision for a utopian socialist society slowly gave way to the dystopian warnings expressed in his novels.

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