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 […]
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 […]
Graham Goodlad reviews the career of Tomoyuki Yamashita, ‘the Tiger of Malaya’, who was responsible for the fall of Singapore in 1942.
On 13 December 1939, while Britain was living through a ‘Phoney War’ at home, in the waters off the River Plate a vicious sea battle was being played out, pitting three small cruisers against the pride of Germany’s Navy: the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee. The Battle of the River Plate has acquired, over the subsequent […]
How were tens of thousands of infantry landed on the Normandy beaches on 6 June 1944? How was the supply of ammo, fuel, water, rations, and everything else required by an army of invasion managed on crowded beaches under heavy fire from artillery and machine-guns? How were the beachheads protected from counterattack and given time […]
MHM places D-Day within the context of Operation Overlord, picking out some of the most brutal clashes and key events, from the huge-scale preparations to the Liberation of Paris.
Taylor Downing takes a look at how 1960s Hollywood dealt with one of the most important days of the Second World War. ‘Hollywood meets D-Day’ is probably the best way to describe the all-star spectacular The Longest Day released in 1962. Most of the key players in early 1960s Hollywood competed to be in the […]
Taylor Downing remembers Stuart Cooper’s ground-breaking 1975 World War II film. Stuart Cooper’s film Overlord (1975) is the only feature film ever produced by the Imperial War Museum. While the museum has worked closely with many television companies on documentary productions over the decades, Overlord uses the museum’s resources in the production of a drama-documentary […]
Even though nearly 70 years have passed since the end of the Second World War, the statistics on the destruction caused by the aerial bombing campaigns still beggar belief. Around 400,000 people, many of whom were civilians, died within the 1942 borders of the German Reich. Up to 25,000 people, again mostly civilians, perished in […]
Based on the autobiography of WWII prisoner-of-war Eric Lomax, this moving and harrowing new film deals with the horrific torture inflicted on prisoners by the Japanese on the infamous Burma Railway. The set-up is cleverly orchestrated. The film begins as if it is going to be a saccharine love story between the charming stranger Patti […]