In the latest issue we cover:
History of the British Army – Alamein, 23 October-4 November 1942
By October 1942, the British Army had the equipment, training, and doctrine to fight a modern war. For the British, Alamein signified ‘the end of the beginning’.
Tunisgrad – Desert war, 1943
Chris Bambery reassesses the end of the Axis occupation of North Africa.
Airship against AA guns
Our new occasional series, Frontline, launches with the testimony of Kapitänleutenant Joachim Breithaupt, a young naval officer who commanded Zeppelin L15 during WWI.
Lairds of Battle – Scottish Highlanders
Ross Cowan argues that the tartan-clad Romantic icon of the Highlander has had a longer life on shortbread tins than in reality.
Egypt’s missiles – Operation Damocles and Nasser’s Nazi rockets
Roger Howard looks at the military friction caused by President Nasser’s 1957 rocket programme.
Also in this issue:
Back to the Drawing Board, War on Film, Museum Review, Your Military History, Books, Warzone and much more.
From the editor
- Neil Faulkner, Editor
The Second World War was never a single conflict. What began as a European civil war evolved, at the end of its first year, into a confrontation between the British Empire, supreme at sea, and the Nazis, dominant on land. In the middle of 1941, it changed again, as Eastern Europe was engulfed by a titanic and primeval struggle between Teuton and Slav.And only at the end of that year did it go global, when Japan launched an offensive in the Far East that immediately brought the USA into the war.
By the time it ended, the Second World War had become a struggle for global domination between two emergent superpowers – the US and the USSR. Many of its later acts – the ‘Big Three’ conferences at Teheran, Yalta, and Potsdam; the race to Berlin; the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – turned out to be the opening moves of a new ‘Cold War’.
So when Churchill spoke of ‘the end of the beginning’, he was expressing a very British view. Alamein was indeed the end of the long ‘beginning’ before the might of Russia and America began to tell. Once it did, victory was virtually certain – but so too was the eclipse of the British Empire. Alamein, in a sense, was the last hurrah of the greatest of the old European empires.
But Britain’s war was important in other ways. A people’s war, it could be won only by mass mobilisation and collective action. Because of this, victory meant not just the destruction of Fascism, but also a new contract between state and people based on economic intervention and social reform.
We explore the great turning-point in Britain’s war with complementary articles on Alamein and ‘Tunisgrad’. Also in this issue, Ross Cowan analyses warfare in the Scottish Highlands in the 16th and 17th centuries, Roger Howard reveals how Nazi scientists designed missiles for the Arabs in the 1960s, and we take a close look at the experience of First World War Zeppelin crew in the first of our new occasional series looking at the combat experience.