Somerset’s last stand, 22nd May 1455

In 1455, tensions between the rival houses of York and Lancaster for control over the English government led to violence at the town of St. Albans – the first of many battles in the prolonged Wars of the Roses. Eventually, the conflict became a matter of claiming the throne itself, culminating in the death ofContinue reading “Somerset’s last stand, 22nd May 1455”

Jitra, 12th December 1941

Japan, eager to acquire raw materials and maintain economic self-sufficiency amidst various embargos, targeted key American, British and Dutch positions in the Far East in December 1941. Among the targets were Malaya and Singapore – Britain’s strategic military centre in the region and home to lucrative tin and rubber plantations. Although outnumbered, the Japanese advancedContinue reading “Jitra, 12th December 1941”

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”

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”

Italian colonial forces, 1890s

Italy, united as one nation relatively recently in 1861, hoped to arouse genuine feelings of patriotism and national identity, and saw acquiring colonies along the Red Sea in East Africa as the best way of doing so. In 1883 the government purchased land from an Italian firm, eventually expanding out to form colonies in modern-dayContinue reading “Italian colonial forces, 1890s”

Elite guardsmen, 5th century BC – present day

From left to right: Persian Immortal, 5th century BC The Immortals were among the finest warriors in the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire during its invasions of Greece. This elite corps numbered around 10,000 men; if a soldier was put out of action, he would quickly be replaced to keep the number of men the same. ThisContinue reading “Elite guardsmen, 5th century BC – present day”

The Eight-Nation Alliance, Boxer Rebellion, 1900

In the 19th century, China suffered at the hands of Western powers, with numerous wars and internal insurgencies plunging the once-mighty Qing Dynasty into decline. In 1899 a secret society- yi-he quan, ‘Boxers United in Righteousness’ – began attacks on foreigners and Christian missionaries who they felt had tarnished their nation’s dignity. By 1900 theseContinue reading “The Eight-Nation Alliance, Boxer Rebellion, 1900”