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”

Battle of Waterloo, 1815

On 18th June 1815, Emperor Napoleon I of France engaged forces of the British-led Seventh Coalition under Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, near Waterloo in modern-day Belgium. Having returned from exile in Elba, Napoleon had reinstated himself as emperor and reinvigorated France after its humiliating invasion of Russia in 1812. Despite strong actions throughoutContinue reading “Battle of Waterloo, 1815”

Engaging the Persian defence, early 5th century BC

The famous Greco-Persian Wars of the 5th century BC began with a revolt by Ionian Greeks in Persian-occupied Anatolia. Once this was suppressed, King Darius I turned his attention to mainland Greece, from which support had been sent to support the Ionian revolt. Greece at this time was a collection of city-states, which depended onContinue reading “Engaging the Persian defence, early 5th century BC”

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”

The Fall of France, May-June 1940

By 1940, The Second World War threatened to overwhelm the whole of Western Europe; after the quick victory achieved against Poland in September 1939, the Germans focused their attentions on France and the Low Countries; despite a brave and hard-fought defence, French troops were ultimately unprepared for the blitzkrieg tactics that came to define GermanContinue reading “The Fall of France, May-June 1940”

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”

The Siege of Malta, 1565

As part of a period of expansion in the Mediterranean, the powerful Ottoman Empire under Sultan Suleiman I (r. 1520-66) waged an epic siege on the island of Malta, guarded by a small force of Hospitaller knights and troops. With superior numbers, the Ottomans used their heavy cannons and siege towers, but were repulsed timeContinue reading “The Siege of Malta, 1565”