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Afghanistan: graveyard of armies

A huge, mountainous, landlocked Central Asian state, Afghanistan has defied invaders for 2,500 years. Jules Stewart takes a look at the country’s military longue durée.     Taken in historical context, the 13-year presence of NATO combat troops in Afghanistan amounted to scarcely a footnote to centuries of foreign military intervention in the country. From the […]


MHM 92 – May 2018

The May issue of Military History Monthly, the British military history magazine, is now on sale. In this issue: SPECIAL: BRITANNIA – THE REAL STORY This month, our special delves into the true history behind the fictional new TV series Britannia. The Roman invasion of Britain pitted two very different military entities against each other: the Romans and […]

British Soldier in Afghanistan

Defending the Forces

Mark Corby got it wrong about modern British Army performance, argues paratrooper Tom Blakey. With over 23 years’ service, I have served on operations in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Macedonia, Iraq, and Afghanistan (multiple tours of each, except for the Balkans operations). After reading Mark Corby’s Opinion piece ‘Falling Standards’ in MT 13, I was left […]

Combined Joint Training Field Exercise (CJTFEX) 96

Falling Standards

Mark Corby laments the degraded condition of the British Army. As a direct result of the Iraq and Afghan insurgencies, it appears that all is not well with the British Army. Firstly, the frankly mawkish attitude to casualties has shocked earlier generations. Whilst every casualty is a personal tragedy for those involved, 378 dead in […]


Map of the Battle of Maiwand – 27 July 1880

Map of the Battle of Maiwand, 27 July 1880: the decisive action of the Second Afghan War. General Burrows’ little army of 2,700 men was caught in the open by a force around seven times the size. The Afghan warlord Ayub Khan played his advantages to the full, threatening the ranks of the British line, […]


Map of the Third Afghan War 1919

The first aircraft to be deployed in the war swooped to strafe the Afghans fleeing across the frontier after their defeat. A map of the Third Afghan War of 1919 showing the deployment of force on either side and the locations of the principal engagements. Taken from our series on Britain’s four Afghan Wars. To read […]


The First Anglo-Afghan War, 1839-1842

From the start, what little order there was went awry. As pillaging Afghans moved into the emptying cantonment, panic ran through the straggling camp-followers, causing a stampede and the abandonment much of the stores.

Why Military history is important

Major-General Julian Thompson, military historian and former Royal Marines officer, explains why military history is important, not just academically, but in the practical world of modern conflict.

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