Cover Features

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‘Breaking the line’

Neither Admirals Rodney or Howe were paragons of virtue. But they were both personally brave, adept tacticians, and, despite their flaws, effective leaders. With their victories, both men made a major contribution to the development of the Navy, and helped their country achieve global supremacy on the seas.

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The Franco-Prussian War

Often overlooked by history, the Franco-Prussian War had a profound impact on both France and Germany. Its military aspects also deserve study, for here was a clash of immense armies and their advanced weaponry, made possible by the industrial revolution. We take an in-depth look at the war that overturned the balance of power in Europe.

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Okinawa: Endgame in the Pacific

From the beginning, Okinawa challenged expectations. The landing was supposed to be the bloodiest of the war so far. The 182,000 troops riding aboard the 1,300-ship fleet heading for Okinawa were prepared for the worst – many had been warned that their commanders expected to lose eight in every ten men in the coming battle.

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The Immortal Hawke

In 1759, Britain faced an invasion threat from France, but two remarkable victories – the Battle of Lagos and later the Battle of Quiberon Bay – put paid to the plan. It was Admiral Sir Edward Hawke who delivered victory at the latter battle. So what kind of man was he, and what was his contribution to the history of the Royal Navy?

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The Battle of Berlin

Germany lost the war long before May 1945. But Hitler refused to surrender, instead dragging the country into the abyss. Although there was a huge imbalance in force between Germans and Soviets, the Nazis maintained surprising advantages in equipment, experience, and tactics. We explore in-depth this apocalyptic showdown.

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Balaklava

Balaklava is one of the most famous battles in British history. Yet it cannot really be compared with, say, Hastings, Waterloo, or the Somme, all of which were large-scale struggles with great issues at stake. Balaklava is an altogether different matter. In this month’s issue, we examine why the battle acquired such notoriety.

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Defeating Hannibal

More than 2,000 years after his death, the name of Hannibal continues to resonate with modern audiences. Yet today, few recall the commander who finally vanquished him, ending the Second Punic War and making possible Rome’s emergence as a great imperial power. This was Scipio Africanus.

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Willing executioners

Historian Christopher Browning labelled members of Reserve Police Battalion 101 ‘ordinary men’. Neither of the SS or the Wehrmacht, they were mostly middle-aged, unskilled workers. So what drove them to murder 38,000 civilians in Poland at the height of the war? In our special this time, we drill down to the level of the individual perpetrator, to ask to what degree ordinary people were responsible.

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Washington and Yorktown

George Washington earned a place in the pantheon of leaders who led both militarily and politically through the storms of revolution. Combining a determination to destroy the status quo with exceptional tactical skill, the General transformed an insurgency into the first triumph of a new country. Our special this time surveys Washington’s military triumph at Yorktown.

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The Battle of Midway

Coming just months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway – in which the outcome of World War II was supposedly decided in the space of a ‘fatal five minutes’ – is the subject of a new film released earlier this month. The clash between the American and Japanese fleets will never be forgotten, but does Midway really deserve the hype? Was it truly the greatest battle of the war?

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