Second world war

The joy of eating birdseed

8 August 2020 9:00 am

Rather like unpacking after a holiday, when you take unworn clothes from the case still neatly folded because the occasion…

The best podcasts for all your corona-gardening needs

18 July 2020 9:00 am

The American diet was probably at its healthiest in the second world war. Fearing interruption to supply chains, Washington launched…

Letters: We must sing again

18 July 2020 9:00 am

Growing pains Sir: James Forsyth (‘Rewiring the state’, 4 July) shocked this loyal Spectator reader with the following: ‘Even before…

Michaela Coel's dazzling finale reminds me of Philip Roth: I May Destroy You reviewed

18 July 2020 9:00 am

It might seem a bit of a stretch to see deep similarities between Michaela Coel (young, female, black and currently…

Letters: Why Hugh Dowding deserves a statue

11 July 2020 9:00 am

Police relations Sir: As a former Met Police officer, with a similar background to Kevin Hurley, I was surprised how…

Culture is going underground: meet the rebel army

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Leaf Arbuthnot and Igor Toronyi-Lalic on the new cultural rebels

We won the Battle of Britain – just

4 July 2020 9:00 am

We won the Battle of Britain – just

A true story that never feels true: Resistance reviewed

20 June 2020 9:00 am

Resistance stars Jesse Eisenberg and tells the true story of how mime artist Marcel Marceau helped orphaned Jewish children to…

Is baking and watching Netflix really comparable to being bombed?

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Sentimentalising the Blitz is hardly ‘Blitz spirit’

From ‘divine Caesar’ to Hitler’s lapdog – the rise and fall of Benito Mussolini

2 May 2020 9:00 am

Mussolini dreamed of a new Roman empire and dominion over the Mediterranean. Two decades later he was hanging by his feet in a public square, as Ian Thomson relates

Isolation forces us to work out what really matters

28 March 2020 9:00 am

In tough times, people often discover their dauntlessness

Riveting documentary about a remarkable man: Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War reviewed

28 March 2020 9:00 am

First shown on BBC Scotland, Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War (BBC4, Wednesday) was the documentary equivalent of…

Did Britain commit a war crime in Dresden? A conversation

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

A conversation between Sinclair McKay and A.N. Wilson

Understated, unashamedly patriotic and heartbreaking: The Windermere Children reviewed

1 February 2020 9:00 am

One of the many astonishing things about the BBC2 drama The Windermere Children (Monday) was that the real-life story it…

Two books that made me forget everything else

18 January 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad I’ve been hitting the books rather hard lately, the ritzy-glitzy crowd having gone the way of natural snow. There’s…

A soldier’s legacy: how a baby’s cry saved a family

21 December 2019 9:00 am

It was early evening on Sunday 6 August 1944. The Allies’ bloody struggle to liberate Normandy from the Nazis had…

A solid costume drama but Dame Helen has been miscast: Catherine the Great reviewed

5 October 2019 9:00 am

It’s possibly not a great sign of a Britain at ease with itself that the historical character most likely to…

Enjoyably contrived: BBC1’s Baptiste reviewed

23 February 2019 9:00 am

What’s the best way to start a six-part thriller? The answer, it seems, is to have a bloke of a…

Atravesty: Sky Atlantic's remake of Das Boot. Photo: Sky Germany / Nik Konietzny / Bavaria Fiction GmbH

Like getting Banksy to repaint the Sistine Chapel: Sky Atlantic’s Das Boot reviewed

16 February 2019 9:00 am

‘I know, let’s repaint the Sistine Chapel. But this time we’ll get it done by Banksy.’ Perhaps this wasn’t the…

The man who never cried

9 February 2019 9:00 am

It was odd listening to Jim Al-Khalili being interviewed on Radio 4 on Tuesday morning rather than the other way…

Joanna Murray-Smith as Patricia Highsmith in Switzerland at the Ambassadors Theatre. Photo: Robbie Jack/ Corbis via Getty Images

Intelligent, unfussy, literate – the West End needs more plays like this: Switzerland reviewed

1 December 2018 9:00 am

I know nothing about Patricia Highsmith. The acclaimed American author wrote the kind of Sunday-night crime thrillers that put me…

French President Emmanuel Macron during a wreath laying ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on November 11, 2017 during the Armistice Day commemorations marking the end of the first world war

France’s second world war shame

17 November 2018 9:00 am

The monument to this French village’s war dead is a plain white stone block with the head of a grizzled…

Colonel Claus Schenk Count von Stauffenberg

Hitler’s would-be assassins were, themselves, Nazi war criminals. Why celebrate them?

21 July 2018 9:00 am

On 20 July, Germany’s political elite recalls the day in 1944 when Colonel Claus Schenk Count von Stauffenberg exploded a…

The dumbing down of the Reith Lectures

30 June 2018 9:00 am

It’s been a heavyweight week on Radio 4 with the start of the annual series of Reith Lectures and a…

Were all those young lives lost at Normandy in vain?

2 June 2018 9:00 am

I’m back in New York and digesting the five glorious days spent in Normandy. What was the fighting all about,…