MHM 38 – November 2013

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001_MHM38_Cover_finalThe November issue of Military History Monthly, the British military history magazine, is on sale today.

In the latest issue we cover:

Battle of the Nations: Leipzig, 1813
Julian Spilsbury marks the 200th anniversary of the greatest battle of the Napoleonic Wars, and one of the most decisive confrontations in history.

Grand Strategy 1943: The Second Front
MHM Editor Neil Faulkner concludes his short series on British grand strategy in 1943 with a critical look at Churchill’s preoccupation with the Mediterranean and the Far East.

Road to War: ‘Every Herero will be shot’
James Stejskal reports on a murderous colonial campaign in 1904-1905.

Maori Dawn: The Battle of Gate Pa, 1864
Andy McDonald recalls a colonial battle during the New Zealand Wars from which the British Army failed to learn.

The Poppy: From Flanders Fields to Helmand Province
Anthropologist Nick Saunders explores the rich symbolism of the Remembrance Day poppy.

Also in this issue:
War on film; Behind the Image; Back to the Drawing Board; Book Reviews; Museum Review; Event Listings and much more.



From the editor

Neil Faulkner, Editor

Why do we remember Waterloo but forget Leipzig? The answer, of course, is that Waterloo was a mainly British battle fought just across the Channel, whereas Leipzig was a battle of Austrians, Prussians, and Russians in the heart of Europe.

Both were great defeats for Napoleon and the French Empire. But Waterloo was a relatively small battle against a recently restored Napoleon. Leipzig, on the other hand, was almost certainly the biggest battle ever fought up to that time.

Half a million men, representing four Great Powers, struggled for four days to determine the fate of Europe. The total cost was almost 100,000 casualties. Fought 200 years ago this month, Leipzig fully deserves its epithet: it was a true ‘Battle of the
Nations’. Julian Spilsbury is our guide to the battle this issue.

On a completely different scale, but equally fascinating, is Andy McDonald’s analysis of Gate Pa in 1864, when 250 Maori tribal warriors routed a far larger British army equipped with batteries of modern artillery. The British appear to have learned no lessons from this defeat.

James Stejskal also focuses on a colonial campaign, but in this case a ghastly atrocity: the genocidal war against the Herero and Nama people of German South West Africa in 1904-1907, part of our ongoing ‘Road to War’ series on pre-1914 campaigns.

The Remembrance Poppy is the subject of another feature this issue. Nick Saunders, a mix of archaeologist and anthropologist, offers a summary of his new book, out this autumn in time for Remembrance Sunday.

Finally, I conclude my short series on British Grand Strategy in 1943 with a discussion of the vexed question of the Second Front. Am I right about Churchill? Should a Second Front have been opened in 1943, even 1942? Let us know your views.

1 Comment

  1. In the November issue’s cover story, “The Battle Of The Nations” (The Battle Of Leipzig), the map on page 15 is upside down and backwards and therefore confuses the reader, especially the novice, like me. The text on page 14 describing the battle fronts is correct, but contradicts the backwards map. Please, please, be more careful.

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