The December 2020/January 2021 issue of Military History Matters, the British military history magazine, is out now.

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In this issue:

Front cover of Military History Matters 119, the December 2020/January 2021 issue.
Front cover of Military History Matters 119, the December 2020/January 2021 issue.

ON THE COVER
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.

Even afterwards, with the experience of slaughter-pen battles like Gravelotte-St-Privat, generals drew all the wrong conclusions and would repeat mistakes in 1914. In our special this time, David Porter explains why.

Prokhorovka: the greatest tank battle?

Bill Purdue looks at a new critical reappraisal of the Nazi-Soviet clash in the summer of 1943.

Native resistance: Medieval Irish warriors

Jeffrey James takes a close look at how the Irish defended themselves against everyone from the Vikings to the Tudors.

History of war: the genesis of airpower

Neil Faulkner begins a short series on the history of airpower and its impact on the evolution of modern warfare.

Sideshow: Fleming’s War

Calum Henderson explores the wartime exploits of Ian Fleming, the author who created James Bond.

Also in this issue:

Christopher Warner’s series on War Athletes, Behind the Image, War Culture, Book Reviews, Museum Review, Back to the Drawing Board, Listings, Competitions, and more.

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From the editor:

MHM editor Neil Faulkner.
MHM editor Neil Faulkner.

The American Civil War is one of the most written-about conflicts in history. Less well remembered is that Europe was also at war between 1864 and 1871.

The Franco-Prussian War reshaped Europe: it was the capstone on the process of German unification and it created an over-mighty state that soon threatened the delicate balance of power in Europe. It was the single most important geopolitical event on the long road to 1914.

It was also a new kind of more-murderous conflict based on mass-produced modern weapons. On the battlefields of the Franco-Prussian War, Europeans discovered the implications of breech-loaders, machine-guns, and steel cannon.

Marking 150 years since the war, David Porter’s special looks first at the strategy of the war as a whole, then focuses on tactics with a detailed examination of Gravelotte-St-Privat.

Also this issue, we have Bill Purdue’s review of the great debate about the Battle of Prokhorovka in 1943, Jeffrey James’ overview of medieval Irish warriors (including the ferocious Gall Oglach), the first in a short series analysing the rise of airpower, and a quick look at the wartime role of Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.

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