The August issue of Military History Monthly, the British military history magazine, is on sale today.
The Battle of Vitoria – 21 June 1813
To mark the bicentenary of the battle that ended the Peninsular War, Jules Stewart analyses Wellington’s victory at Vitoria.
Gettysburg: Part 3 – The Second Day
The action moves to Little Round Top, as Julian Brazier continues his in-depth analysis of America’s greatest battle.
History of the British Army – The Epilogue
How much does today’s army owe to the three centuries of tradition spanning 1645-1945? MHM concludes its ‘History of the British Army in 25 Battles’ series with this round-up.
Irish Soldiers in WWII
Dark Times, Decent Men
Neil Richardson looks at a series of first-hand accounts from Irish soldiers fighting for the British Army during the Second World War.
The Fighting Irish
Tim Newark studies the formation of the Irish Brigade, and their active role in the North African and Italian campaigns.
Naval Gunpower: Part 2 – From Trafalgar to Jutland
David Porter assesses developments in naval gunnery from 1815 to 1918.
Also in this issue:
Back to the Drawing Board, Book Reviews, Genealogy Guide, WMD, War Zone, Listings, and much more.
From the editor
- Neil Faulkner, Editor
Churchill is supposed to have asked one of his leading commanders towards the end of the Second World War whether he could count on his men’s votes in the forthcoming general election. ‘No sir,’ came the reply. ‘80% of them will vote Labour.’
Somewhat dismayed, Churchill replied, ‘Well, at least that will give me 20%.’
‘No sir. The other 20% won’t vote at all.’
The story may be apocryphal. The figures are certainly inaccurate. The proportion of service personnel who did not vote in 1945 – largely because they were still scattered across the world – was much higher.
However, academic studies have shown that, of those service personnel who did vote, a large majority did indeed vote Labour. Britain’s soldiers, sailors, and airmen contributed disproportionately to the Labour landslide of 1945.
This was not the only occasion in history when the armed forces were more radical than society at large. The same was true when the British Army was founded in 1645 and again, almost certainly (though there are no definitive studies), at the end of the First World War in 1918.
It is a reminder that change matters more than continuity in the history of a long-lived institution like a national army. Viewed historically, the British Army is really a succession of very different armies, rather than a single institution.
We explore this theme further in the concluding section of our History of the British Army in 25 Battles.
Also in this issue, Julian Brazier analyses Lee’s attack on the second day of Gettysburg in 1863, Jules Stewart marks another anniversary with a piece on Vitoria – Wellington’s last great victory in Spain, in 1813 – and David Porter brings his story of naval gunnery up to the Battle of Jutland. Finally, we have a double feature courtesy of Tim Newark and Neil Richardson, both of whom have new books out on the role of Irish soldiers in British service.