Volume 10 Issue 2 February 1960

The Battle of Guise, August 1914

The successful Battle of Guise, fought by the French Fifth Army, among many misunderstandings with their Allies and between their own commanders, was an essential prelude to the Battle of the Marne, on which the fortunes of the First World War so largely turned. By John Terraine.

The Great Elector

After a reign of forty-eight years, Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, left behind him in 1688 a military and bureaucratic system that endured until 1945. F.L. Carsten describes how it was the army he had founded that accomplished, in 1871, the triumphant unification of the German Empire and fought the battles of the Third Reich.

Solway Moss and the Death of James V

What can explain the Scottish King's rash challenge to his uncle of England, Henry VIII, in 1542? In that year, writes Albert Makinson, a Scots army was destroyed on the borders of Cumberland, and James's throne passed to his daughter, Mary, before whom lay a tragic destiny.

The Texan War of 1835-1836

In 1836, after a short but violent struggle, conspicuously mismanaged on both sides, Texas wrested its independence from Mexico, which had itself secured its independence from Spain only fifteen years earlier.

Parry’s Second Voyage

In square-rigged, wooden-hulled ships, without engines or modern steel plate, an early 19th-century navigator set out to solve the problem of the Northwest Passage. Captain Parry failed to reach the Pacific; but his courageous attempt remains 'one of the best-planned and most skilfully executed northern explorations' of the age in which he lived.

Trebizond: the Last Byzantine Empire

When the rapacious warriors of the Fourth Crusade seized Constantinople at the beginning of the thirteenth century, two Byzantine princes set up an empire-in-exile stretching from Georgia along the Black Sea coast. This new empire outlived the parent city. Until 1461, writes Anthony Bryer, it remained an unconquered outpost of Greek-Christian civilization.

Archaeology and the Concept of Progress

Jacquetta Hawkes describes how archaeological discoveries have had a profound effect on modern views of human progress. While archaeology has been helping to build the edifice of materialist and progressive history, at the same time it has been working to undermine its foundations.