MHM October/November 2020

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The October/November 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 118, the October/November issue.
Front cover of Military History Matters 118, the October/November issue.

The Battle of Okinawa

By spring 1945, Allied victory in the Second World War was inevitable. But the Japanese militarist regime continued to fight with bestial brutality, as demonstrated by the Battle of Okinawa, one of the most murderous of the war.

In our special this time, Alexander Izza analyses the invasion and subsequent fighting. In his first piece, he provides a vivid narrative of the battle itself, and in his second, analyses the opposing fighting forces and the strategy and tactics of the respective campaigns.

History of war: the myth of chivalry

Infantry have always been able to stop cavalry, argues MHM editor Neil Faulkner.

Trenches, ramparts, and blockades: English Civil War siege warfare

David Flintham looks at Royalist and Parliamentarian siege warfare in mid-17th-century England.

The rise of Germany The Prussian Army in the 1860s

David Porter analyses the Prussian Army in the era of Bismarck and Möltke the Elder.

Sideshow: Mutiny in the Duchy

Kate Werran discusses a racially charged American uprising in 1940s England.

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

The Second World War ended in the Pacific 75 years ago. Though very different, the exceptional savagery with which it was fought matched anything in Europe. Japanese Militarism proved every bit as bestial as German Nazism, and Japanese soldiers, imbued with the bushido cult of the samurai, usually fought to the death.

The war reached its terrible climax in the Battle of Okinawa, a medium-sized island honeycombed with hidden bunkers and tunnels, from which Japanese defenders had to be winkled out using explosives and flamethrowers.

Alex Izza is our guide to this last stand of the Japanese Empire in summer 1945, with complementary articles on the battle itself and the tactics of the opposing sides.

We mark another anniversary – that of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-71 – with an article by David Porter analysing the rise of Prussia as a military power in the mid 19th century. A follow-up special next time will look at the culminating war that transformed Prussia into the German Empire.

Also in this issue, we have 17th century expert David Flintham’s explanation of siege-warfare techniques during the British Civil Wars, my own attempt to dispel what I call ‘the myth of chivalry’, and Kate Werran’s highly topical account of a ‘hidden history’ clash between black American soldiers and white American military police in a small Cornish town in 1943.

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