MHM 55 – April 2015

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CoverThe April issue of Military History Monthly, the British military history magazine, is on sale today.

In this issue we cover:

WWI in East Africa
For our special feature this month we study Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck’s campaign in German East Africa, focusing on Lettow-Vorbeck as a commander, and on his victory at the 1914 Battle of Tanga.  This 19-page extended feature includes:

– Timeline
– Battle Map
– Warriors and Weapons
– Commander Profile

War comes to Kansas – ‘Vengeance is in my heart, and death in my hand’
Frederick Chiaventone recalls one of the few atrocities of the American Civil war, the 1863 Lawrence Massacre.

‘Goats set out to lure a tiger’ – The Battle of Sidi Bou Zid
Battle-hardened Wehrmacht veterans clash with raw American units on St Valentine’s Day, 1943. Alun Granfield tells the story.

A wounded mind – Post-traumatic stress in Medieval warfare
Brian Burfield investigates how Medieval warriors were affected by their grisly battlefield experiences.

Also in this issue: Behind the Image; War Culture; Conflict Scientists; War on Film; Book Reviews; Museum Reviews; Event Listings; Competitions; and much more.


From the editor

Neil Faulkner, Editor

Economy of force is one of the principles of war. It is a key feature of guerrilla warfare, where relatively small numbers of insurgents may tie down larger numbers of regular soldiers and drain their capacity and will to resist.

The Arab Revolt of 1916-1918 is a famous example. There were ten times as many British soldiers fighting in Palestine as there were Arab insurgents fighting in Arabia and Syria. Yet the Turks had equal numbers of men deployed on each front.

This, of course, was Lawrence of Arabia’s war. But there was a German equivalent: General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck. In some ways, his achievement was more impressive: with never more than 15,000 men, the great majority of them African askaris in German service, he kept as many as 300,000 Entente troops in the field. At the end, still undefeated, he was going onto the offensive with an invasion of enemy territory!

It was an extraordinary contribution to the German war-effort. The campaign in German East Africa may have been a side-show, but it represented a massive diversion of enemy strength from the main battlefronts of the First World War.

The Battle of Tanga and Lettow-Vorbeck’s campaigns are the focus of our special this issue. On the cover we feature another of this month’s articles: Fred Chiaventone’s account of the Lawrence Massacre in August 1863, the most notorious guerrilla attack of the American Civil War, one involving men like William Quantrill, ‘Bloody Bill’ Anderson, and Frank James (brother of Jesse).

Also this time, Alun Granfield analyses another American battle – the disastrous US defeat at Sidi Bou Zid in Tunisia in February 1943 – while Brian Burfield returns to explore the evidence for mental illness in Medieval warfare.

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