Obsolete it may have been, but the Fairey Swordfish remained in front-line service throughout the Second World War, distinguishing itself as the last biplane in the world to see active service. Although Taranto was arguably its finest hour, Swordfish scored many other notable successes, notably damaging the German battleship Bismarck in May 1941, helping sink […]
A series of German World War II propaganda leaflets have come light, after being put on sale by private collectors. It is likely that the leaflets, intended for British servicemen, were masterminded by the Nazi head of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. They were dropped into occupied France following D-Day, June 1944. According to Richard Westwood-Brookes, of […]
Michael Seifert, a Nazi war criminal known as the ‘Beast of Bolzano’, has died aged 86 in an Italian hospital, where he was serving a life sentence. The Ukrainian-born Seifert became a Nazi prison guard following German occupation. After the war ended, he moved to Canada in 1951 to start anew, leaving his past behind. […]
UCL’s Gabe Moshenska muses on the extraordinary iconic significance of the gas mask. My particular object of interest is the ‘General Civilian Respirator’ issued to the British people in the lead up to the Second World War. This ubiquitous mass-produced object has come to symbolise life in Home Front Britain, even though it was never […]
Admiral of the Fleet Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope Andrew Browne Cunningham described by his biographer, John Winton, as ‘the greatest admiral since Nelson’, was born in 1883. He entered the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1897, and during the First World War commanded three destroyers with verve and distinction, earning himself a DSO and […]
Military archaeologist Keith Robinson takes a look at one of the lesser-known military museums of Britain, The Muckleburgh Collection in Norfolk. Driving westwards from Sheringham, along the north Norfolk coast, the road winds around the hilly deposits formed during the retreat of the last Ice Age. Such deposits are the delight of both naturalists and […]
The sky above mid-Kent became a swirling mêlée of fighters closing, banking, and twisting.
The British had the most sophisticated air-defence system in the world, constructed and directed by a master strategist of modern industrialised warfare.
By the time the Blitz began in earnest, more than 2.25 million families had Anderson shelters in their gardens.
The British people seemed determined to fight on – alone and against the odds. The Blitz was to be the great test of whether this resolve could be broken.