second world war history

How a small Mediterranean island determined the outcome of the second world war

12 June 2021 9:00 am

If you can tell the difference between Jack Hawkins and John Mills, and between a Stuka and a Sten gun,…

The road to firebombing Tokyo was paved with good intentions

5 June 2021 9:00 am

In the 1930s, a group of American airmen had a dream. Air power, they believed, would do away with the…

Why did Hitler’s imperial dreams take Stalin by surprise?

15 May 2021 9:00 am

The most extraordinary thing, still, about Operation Barbarossa is the complete surprise the Wehrmacht achieved. In the early hours of…

Stalin as puppet master: how Uncle Joe manipulated the West

1 May 2021 9:00 am

Of the two dictators who began the second world war as allied partners in crime but ended it in combat…

Break-out and betrayal in Occupied Europe

10 October 2020 9:00 am

Für dich, Tommy, ist der Krieg vorbei. However, many British servicemen, officers especially, didn’t want their war to be over.…

Monuments to the second world war are looking increasingly dodgy

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Most monuments are literally set in stone — or cast in bronze to better survive the weather. Being enduring, they…

They took a lot of flak: the lives of the Lancaster bombers

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Those of us who write occasionally about military aviation can only admire the compelling personal experience that John Nichol brings…

It’s still impossible for Horst Wächter to recognise his father as a Nazi war criminal

18 April 2020 9:00 am

In 1926, while putting in place the repressive laws and decrees that would define his dictatorship, Mussolini appointed a new…

The nightmare of Okinawa made Truman decide to use the atom bomb

11 April 2020 9:00 am

The US operation of 1945 to take the island of Okinawa was the largest battle of the Pacific during the…

The Far East Campaign of 1941-5 is the new focus of Daniel Todman’s comprehensive history

4 April 2020 9:00 am

To begin not at the beginning but at the end of the beginning. Or rather, to begin at another beginning,…

For Jews in Occupied France, survival was a matter of luck

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Late in his life, I asked my uncle René about his exploits in wartime France. What I knew was that…

Hiding from the Gestapo in plain sight in Berlin

15 February 2020 9:00 am

Of the many bleak moments that have lodged in my mind since reading this extraordinary book the most unshakeable is…

The Pearl Harbor fiasco need never have happened

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

It is sometimes said that intelligence failures are often failures of assessment rather than collection. This is especially so when…

The deadly war game of the Battle of the Atlantic

11 January 2020 9:00 am

My father served in the Royal Navy during the second world war. He drank over-proof rum and smoked unfiltered cigarettes,…

Poland was no walkover for the Reich

30 November 2019 9:00 am

‘The victor will never be asked if he told the truth,’ Hitler remarked on the eve of invading Poland in…

The tragic story of Witold Pilecki, whose reports from Auschwitz fell on deaf ears

13 July 2019 9:00 am

On 14 October 1942, the 23 Swiss members of the International Committee of the Red Cross met in Geneva to…