History Today eBook: The Second World War

Volume 9 Issue 1 January 1959

In 1772 partition had been declared imperative as the only means of saving Poland from anarchy; twenty-one years later, she was punished with partition for having tried to set her house in order. Here was tragic mockery indeed, writes L.R. Lewitter.

On March 19th, 1942, a British officer, riding the “best polo pony in Burma,” launched a headlong charge against a Japanese machine-gun emplacement. He died as he would probably have chosen to die; and with his death, writes James Lunt, concluded a long and distinguished chapter in the history of the British Army.

Proud, wayward, immensely rich, with romantic good looks and an explosive temper, John Lambton was one of those natural rebels who turn their rebellious energies to constructive purposes. Both at home and abroad, writes George Woodcock, he became a powerful exponent of the early nineteenth-century liberal spirit.

By occupying Syria and the Holy Places of the Hijaz, Ali Bey sought to make Egypt the dominant power in the 18th-century Arab world. P.M. Holt suggests that his policy of expansion, which included an alliance with Russia, has some interesting modern parallels.

On August 2nd, 1100, the harsh, violent, cynical ruler, who was the second Norman King of England, mysteriously met his death while hunting in the New Forest. W.L. Warren asks: was it by accident or conspiratorial design, or was he the victim of a pagan fertility cult?

E. Badian introduces Cicero, the master of Latin rhetoric, who long strove to preserve the traditional Republican oligarchy, but who perished at the orders of a military triumvirate that came to represent “the reality of power” in Rome.