Aerial Reconnaissance, 23rd October 1911

Eager to create a cohesive national identity, the young nation of Italy looked to invade the lightly-defended Ottoman territory of Libya in 1911; strategically overlooking the central Mediterranean, sparsely-populated, and only 300 miles south from home, a decidedly short colonial conflict with the Ottoman Empire could solve internal problems among Italy’s impoverished rural population andContinue reading “Aerial Reconnaissance, 23rd October 1911”

Lepanto, 7th October 1571

This picture depicts the final moments of resistance aboard the Ottoman flagship Sultana at the closing stages of the Battle of Lepanto between the Ottoman Empire and the Catholic Holy League, which included Venice, Spain, and the Papacy. The last major engagement between oar-powered galleys in history, this Mediterranean encounter was to be a defeatContinue reading “Lepanto, 7th October 1571”

St Nazaire Raid, 28th March 1942

On this day in history, a team of 611 British Army Commandos and Royal Navy personnel arrived at the French port of St Nazaire to destroy its dry-dock, the largest of its kind on the Atlantic coast capable of accommodating the colossal German battleship Tirpitz. Without the dry-dock, Tirpitz would no longer pose a significantContinue reading “St Nazaire Raid, 28th March 1942”

Polish Cavalry, 1939

Poland’s cavalry brigades were considered the elite by the time of the Nazi invasion in September 1939, relying on their horses for battlefield mobility and infantry support. Known as uhlans or lancers, they were trained to dismount and fight on foot if necessary. During the 1939 Polish Campaign, a prevailing myth emerged of a suicidalContinue reading “Polish Cavalry, 1939”

Port Said, 6th November 1956

This painting depicts men of the 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment during Operation Musketeer, the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt in response to President Nasser’s nationalisation of the Suez Canal. Having been dropped into action at El Gamil airfield on 5th November, 3 PARA advanced towards Port Said, engaging Egyptian forces along the coast. Lt Col PaulContinue reading “Port Said, 6th November 1956”

On the March, Libyan Desert 1941

Infantry of the Afrika Korps make their way across Cyrenaica in the Libyan desert in the early stage of the North African campaign; having arrived in February 1941 to bolster the weakened Italian forces in the region, the Afrika Korps would receive its first experience of desert warfare in Libya. The relatively new M1940 oliveContinue reading “On the March, Libyan Desert 1941”

The Tangier Regiment, late 17th century

In 1661, King Charles II’s marriage to the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza granted England access to Tangier, a small coastal city in North Africa which controlled access to the Mediterranean and was a key commercial hub. Its defence was organised by the Earl of Peterborough, who raised the ‘Tangier Regiment’ at Putney Heath. UponContinue reading “The Tangier Regiment, late 17th century”