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.
The world’s largest ever airborne operation was launched during September 1944, with less than a week of planning. This was one of many ingredients in what, for the Allies, would become a major strategic setback. What went wrong?
Blockbuster movies have been made about the legendary D-Day landings, but little attention is paid to what happened afterwards. Although the Allies succeeded in puncturing the German Atlantic Wall, a long campaign of bitter fighting through the fields and hedgerows of the Normandy countryside –otherwise known as the bocage – lay ahead. How were the Germans brought to final defeat?
Dan Keane reviews Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, a key highlight of the London Coliseum’s 2018/2019 season. It is difficult for any artist to find an appropriate medium to convey the immensity of pain generated by war. Such is the task of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, first performed in 1962 to mark the consecration of the […]
Patrick Mercer recalls a gruelling mountain assault by one of America’s most illustrious infantry units. My father fought throughout the Italian campaign and I can remember him saying to me, ‘It is the side which is less frightened who wins.’ That is why I have chosen to base this article on Lloyd M Wells’s book […]
Patrick Boniface on the deaths in combat of regal warriors. The door clicked shut behind him. HRH The Duke of Kent had left the warmth and comfort of his family home in Buckinghamshire. From within, his wife Princess Marina of Greece and his three young children, Edward, Alexandra, and Michael, all watched as he […]
Clare Mulley on the daring exploits of a highly decorated WWII special agent. Krystyna Skarbek, aka Christine Granville, was the first woman to work for Britain as a special agent during the Second World War. She was also the longest-serving. Her extraordinary contribution to the Allied effort in three theatres of the war led to […]
A hundred years ago this summer, German aircraft opened a shocking aerial campaign against London. Whereas the much-feared Zeppelins had appeared furtively under the cloak of darkness, the Gotha bombers appeared brazenly in broad daylight. Ian Castle analyses the German air offensive against London in 1917-1918.
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. […]
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 […]