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Military

Allegory of the Siege of Paris, 1870,  by Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier © Bridgeman Images.

The conflict that broke out between France and an ambitious new German state 150 years ago can lay claim to be the first modern war.

Troop formations from Precetti Militari by Francesco Marzioli, 1670 © akg-images.

The mobilisation of economic, diplomatic and military resources.

American military base in South Vietnam, 2 November 1968 © Getty Images.

The need to preserve alliances was a compelling reason not to use nuclear weapons in Vietnam.

US Marines evacuating wounded comrades, Kut al-Amara, 3 April 2003. (Gilles Bassignac/Gamma-Rapho, Paris)

Two imperial ventures, in the same Middle East town a century apart, reveal the similarities – and differences – in the exercise of power.

The slave-warriors of medieval Islam overthrew their masters, defeated the Mongols and the Crusaders and established a dynasty that lasted 300 years.

‘Much like a diving falcon’: the prototype Kettering Bug, c.1918.

There is nothing new about uncrewed aircraft.

European powers sought to colonise the world. They could not do so without the support of indigenous peoples.

The work of military nurses at Passchendaele transformed the perception of women’s war service, showing they could perform life-saving work and risk their lives at the front.

Mortar unit of the US 2nd Brigade Combat team, Iraq, 2007.  © Alamy/The Guardian

Since the Iliad, war has inspired stories – mixing fact and fiction – which reveal as much, if not more, about the realities of conflict as academic studies. John E. Talbott examines writing about ‘the human condition at its most extreme’.

Men of the German Fifth Army march in the direction of Verdun

The epic German offensive to take the strategically crucial fortress in north-east France reached its bloody end in September 1916. Robert Foley looks at how and why Erich von Falkenhayn, the Chief of the German General Staff, sought to break the deadlock on the Western Front.