Ethiopian call to arms, 1896

On this day in history – 1st March 1896 – the Battle of Adowa was fought, the result of colonial tensions between Italy and Ethiopian emperor Menelik II. Italian forces under Major-General Oreste Baratieri were defeated by Menelik’s sizeable and well-armed army in what would become one of the costliest defeats ever suffered by aContinue reading “Ethiopian call to arms, 1896”

Tank charge at Beda Fomm, 7th February 1941

On this day in history: The Battle of Beda Fomm (5th-7th Feb 1941) draws to a close, with British forces successfully cutting off a retreating Italian column 62 miles south of Benghazi. This would be the last major engagement of Operation Compass, which saw British forces under Lt General Richard O’Connor successfully advance 500 milesContinue reading “Tank charge at Beda Fomm, 7th February 1941”

Battle of Falkirk, 17th January 1746

The second major engagement of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion to restore the Stuart monarchy, Falkirk was yet another swift success for the rebel Highlanders against Hanoverian government forces under Lt Gen Henry Hawley. Depicted above is a scene from the opening phase of the battle. The government forces, having marched uphill in wet and windyContinue reading “Battle of Falkirk, 17th January 1746”

Japanese 28cm howitzer, 1904-05

On this day in history – 2nd February 1905 – the garrison at Port Arthur (modern Lushunkou) surrenders to Japanese forces after a lengthy siege, in one of the pivotal moments of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05). The conflict, initially a power struggle between Imperial Russia and Japan over control of the Manchurian region, ushered inContinue reading “Japanese 28cm howitzer, 1904-05”

Rearguard retreat at Culloden, 16th April 1746

The movement to restore the Stuart line of monarchs – known as Jacobitism – was first assembled in 1689 after the ‘Glorious Revolution’ had removed James II from power. The rebel leaders sought manpower wherever they could find it, but perhaps their most famous source was from the Highlands of Scotland – the House ofContinue reading “Rearguard retreat at Culloden, 16th April 1746”

Defending the Ochota suburbs, 8th September 1939

A week after the start of the Polish campaign (1st Sept-6th Oct 1939), elements of the 4th Panzer Division had exploited a gap in Polish defences and quickly reached the outskirts of Warsaw. Breaking into the Ochota suburbs southwest of the city, the 4th Panzer Division would face a staunch resistance by Polish units thatContinue reading “Defending the Ochota suburbs, 8th September 1939”

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”

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”