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Second World War

(1939-45) The most widescale military conflict in the history of the world began as a European war when Germany invaded Poland. Germany, impoverished and humiliated by the Treaty of Versailles... read more

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John D. Pelzer shows the connections between Jazz, Youth and the German Occupation.

The suffering of prisoners of war at the hands of the Japanese during the Second World War has coloured the British view of the conflict in the Far East. Clare Makepeace highlights a little known aspect of the captives’ story: their quest for compensation.

Volume: 64 Issue: 4 2014

William Brooke Joyce took to the airwaves on September 14th, 1939.

Volume: 64 Issue: 9 2014

Roger Moorhouse tells the story of the Lützow, a partly built German cruiser delivered to the Soviet Union in 1940 and renamed the Petropavlovsk, following the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939.

Volume: 64 Issue: 9 2014

According to western stereotype, the Japanese at the time of the Second World War were passive and obedient automatons. Yet the realities of daily life in imperial Japan were complex and politically charged, argues Christopher Harding.

Volume: 64 Issue: 11 2014

The court martial and acquittal of a senior British Intelligence officer accused of presiding over abuses of German prisoners during the Second World War highlights failings in intelligence policy and accountability, says Simona Tobia.

Volume: 64 Issue: 1 2014

Seventy years ago this month a Nazi train was stopped by resisters as it travelled from Flanders to Auschwitz. Althea Williams tells the story of a survivor.

Volume: 63 Issue: 4 2013

Marseille is the 2013 European Capital of Culture – time to recall the heroics of Varian Fry, a US citizen who lived there during the Second World War. Markus Bauer reports.

Volume: 63 Issue: 9 2013

The issues raised by Philip Morgan in a 2007 article on Italian Fascism have been rekindled, says Christopher Duggan.

Volume: 63 Issue: 12 2013

The indiscriminate use of ‘Nazi’ to describe anything to do with German institutions and policies during Hitler’s dictatorship creates a false historical understanding, says Richard Overy.

Volume: 63 Issue: 5 2013

Benjamin Ziemann examines the enigma of Karl Mayr, the reclusive army officer who nurtured Adolf Hitler’s early political career and participated in the Kapp Putsch of 1920, only to join the Reichsbanner,  the million-strong social democrat group devoted to defending the Weimar Republic.

Volume: 63 Issue: 1 2013

Roger Hudson explains a moment of panic on the streets of the newly liberated French capital.

Volume: 63 Issue: 4 2013

Benn Steil argues that John Maynard Keynes had an astute grasp of Britain’s debt situation in 1944 and how it might recover from ‘financial Dunkirk’. Yet his arrogance and ineptitude in negotiating with the Americans at Bretton Woods cost Britain dear and has had repercussions to this day.

Volume: 63 Issue: 6 2013

To be present where so many are now absent offers students a profound insight into the realities of history, argues Tom Jackson.

Volume: 63 Issue: 12 2013

Daniel Snowman surveys four recent books that look at the impact of antisemitism on Jewish cultural identity during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Volume: 63 Issue: 8 2013

Britain’s loss of Singapore in February 1942 was a terrible blow. But Japan failed to make the most of its prize, says Malcolm Murfett.

Volume: 63 Issue: 5 2013

October 2013 marks the 70th anniversary of the mass breakout from Sobibór death camp. Althea Williams recalls an extraordinary event that is today largely forgotten.

Volume: 63 Issue: 10 2013

Australia and the US were allies during the Second World War, though that wasn’t always apparent in the relationship between GIs and Diggers. This is the story of one especially bitter encounter.

Volume: 63 Issue: 11 2013

The Dambusters Raid is one of the best known operations of the Second World War. But, as James Holland explains, the development of the ‘bouncing bomb’ took place against a background of bitter rivalry between the armed services.

Volume: 63 Issue: 6 2013

Peter Mandler explains how the anthropologist Margaret Mead, author of best-selling studies of ‘primitive’ peoples, became a major influence on US military thinking during the Second World War.

Volume: 63 Issue: 3 2013

Rowena Hammal examines the evidence to assess civilian reactions to war in Britain from 1940 to 1945.

Issue: 72 2012

James Barker describes the impact of an SOE mission in wartime Greece 70 years ago this month to demolish the Gorgopotamos railway bridge.

Volume: 62 Issue: 11 2012

Roger Hudson sheds light on a haunting photograph from the Greek Civil War.

Volume: 62 Issue: 10 2012

Antony Beevor, author of a new account of the Second World War, talks to Roger Moorhouse about the importance of narrative and why he thinks new technology is not the future for history in a post-literate age.

Volume: 62 Issue: 7 2012

During the Second World War many cities were bombed from the air. However Rome, the centre of Christendom but also the capital of Fascism, was left untouched by the Allies until July 1943. Claudia Baldoli looks at the reasons why and examines the views of Italians towards the city.

Volume: 62 Issue: 5 2012

Churchill’s four-year quest to sink Hitler’s capital ship Tirpitz saw Allied airmen and sailors run risks that would be hard to justify today, says Patrick Bishop.

Volume: 62 Issue: 3 2012

Albert Speer’s plan to transform Berlin into the capital of a 1,000-year Reich would have created a vast monument to misanthropy, as Roger Moorhouse explains.

Volume: 62 Issue: 3 2012

Italian Fascist scouts meet a member of the Hitler Youth in Padua, October 1940: a picture explained by Roger Hudson.

Volume: 62 Issue: 1 2012

As a boy growing up in Munich Edgar Feuchtwanger witnessed the rise of Germany’s dictator at extraordinarily close range.

Volume: 62 Issue: 6 2012

A public spat between a historian and a writer shows why some subject matter deserves special reverence, says Tim Stanley.

Volume: 62 Issue: 6 2012

Colin Smith recounts the Allied invasion of French North Africa, which commenced on November 8th, 1942.

Volume: 62 Issue: 11 2012

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