By 1917, thanks to the new munitions factories and the women that worked in them, the British Empire was supplying more than 50 million shells a year.
History tells us that a general can move and feed an army as efficiently as he likes, but the real litmus test is the battlefield.
I worked hard at my four-year M.A., but got a 2.1. That was a big disappointment, as I wanted to write about history and thought I needed a First.
No campaign of the First World War better justifies the poets’ view of the conflict as futile and pitiless than Gallipoli.
It is surely no coincidence that Napoleon’s two greatest heroes were Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar. In certain respects, he would outdo them both.
We’ve all faced the charge that our novels are history lite, and to some extent, that’s true. Yet for some, historical fiction is a way into reading history proper.
I passed the 11-plus, but it was decided that I should take the Common Entrance exam to Monmouth School, the nearest independent. I was never entirely comfortable there, as they didn’t have girls, and they played rugby instead of football.
Even a moderniser like Alexander II – who emancipated the serfs in 1861 – had no intention of devolving real power.
In the early hours of 16 December 1944, the Germans launched their last great offensive of the Second World War against weakly held U.S. positions in the Ardennes Forest, the site of their original Blitzkrieg success against the French in 1940.
Few remember that the battle of Rorke’s Drift was fought on the same day that the British Army suffered its most humiliating defeat at nearby Isandlwana.