Military History Monthly 24 – September 2012

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The September 2012 issue of Military History Monthly, the British military history magazine, brings you the history of warfare written by experts.

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In this issue we cover:

Bombing for D-Day: the Allied Transportation Plan

Tom Withington reports on the vital RAF bombing campaign to destroy the German transport network in Normandy in July 1944.

Taming the Tigers: the Sri Lankan Civil War

Tom Farrell analyses the long civil war between Tamil separatists and the Sri Lankan state that only recently came to an end.

British volunteers in Spain: the Spanish Civil War

A century after Spain’s First Carlist War, British volunteers flocked to serve again in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Neil Faulkner reports on the British contribution to the famous International Brigades.

History of the British Army in 25 Battles – Majuba Hill, 27 February 1881

MHM explores the British Army’s ominous defeat at the hands of independent marksmen – one of three losses it suffered in colonial warfare despite radical reform.

AD 1642: the defence of London

Between 1642 and 1645, London was the heart of a national revolution against royal absolutism. David Flintham reports on how Parliament turned the city into a fortress.


Also in this issue: Back to the Drawing Board, Museum Review, War Zone, and Book Reviews


From the editor

Neil Faulkner, Editor

What is the role of aerial bombing in modern war? What is the correct balance between an independent strategic role and tactical support for ground operations?

The argument has run and run since the advent of airpower in the early 20th century. The Germans put great effort into their strategic bombing campaign against Britain between 1915 and 1918, employing first Zeppelin airships, then Gotha and ‘Giant’ aeroplanes.

The interwar advocates of strategic bombing drew heavily on the experience. They produced their own ‘prophet’ in the Italian theorist Giulio Douhet, who published his masterwork, The Command of the Air, in 1927. Fear of aerial bombing became an obsession, and huge resources were devoted to air defence and air-raid precautions as another war approached.

In the event, the bombers killed tens of thousands rather than the millions feared, and the impact on infrastructure and industrial output was less than the knockout blow that men like Britain’s ‘Bomber’ Harris and the US Air Force’s Carl ‘Tooey’ Spaatz promised.

Our lead feature this issue highlights the argument about the relative value of strategic bombing as against tactical support. Tom Withington analyses the ‘Transportation Plan’ – the aerial campaign in support of D-Day designed to cripple the German transport network in France and prevent reinforcements and supplies reaching Normandy.

Also this issue, we look at Parliament’s defence of London during the Civil War, the Boer victory at the Battle of Majuba Hill in 1881, the role of British volunteers during the Spanish Civil War, and the recently ended 26-year-long Tamil Tiger insurgency in Sri Lanka.

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