The April issue of Military History Monthly, the British military history magazine, is now on sale.
In this issue:
ON THE COVER: BIRTH OF THE RAF
100 years after its birth, renowned military historian Jeremy Black revisits the creation of a revolutionary military organisation: the Royal Air Force.
SPECIAL: CHAKDARA, 1897 – THE OTHER RORKE’S DRIFT?
In an action similar to Rorke’s Drift, 240 men defended an isolated outpost against 8000 tribal warriors, on the notoriously dangerous North-West Frontier. But no VCs were awarded, and the events are almost totally forgotten today. In this 15-page special feature, Mark Simner and Patrick Mercer tell the story of Chakdara’s epic defence. (Read our intro here.)
Gibraltar, 1782: climax of the longest siege in British history
Roy and Lesley Adkins recap a unique and unusual floating-battery attack on the defensive forts of Gibraltar.
XD Ops: destroying Hitler’s oil supplies
Julian Brazer reveals the unlikely success of a Territorial Army engineering unit during covert operations on the Western Front of the Second World War.
Lost traces of the Battle of the Atlantic
Sean Kingsley sheds light on the sunken memoirs of British India during WWII, through letters lost in transit.
Also in this issue:
War on Film; Women at War; Book of the Month; Book Reviews; Museum Review; Event Listings; Competitions; and much more.
From the editor
Empires develop by defeating conventional armies, conquering territory, and then fixing frontiers. They are usually good at pitched battle in open terrain, but often struggle in wilder border regions. The Romans had this problem: intractable insecurity on the frontiers in north Britain, central Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. So did the British in India.
Successive campaigns of conquest between 1750 and 1850 crushed the centralised Indian states of the great plains. But victory in the Sikh Wars and the conquest of the Punjab brought the borders of the Raj to ‘the North-West Frontier’ – a region of jagged uplands populated by fierce hill-tribes.
Our special this time uses one action – the defence of Chakdara in 1897 – as a window on the endlessly difficult guerrilla warfare between the Indian Army and the Pathan tribesmen of the region.
Elsewhere this issue, Jeremy Black marks the centenary of the foundation of the RAF with an analysis of air power in 1918, and Roy and Leslie Adkins describe the great floating-battery attack on Gibraltar in 1782.
We also have Julian Brazier on the little-known sabotage campaign against Channel coast oil supplies in 1940, and Sean Kingsley on the treasures of the WWII wreck SS Gairsoppa – which included a unique collection of letters
recovered from the seabed.