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”

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”

Last stand at Gandamak, 13th January 1842

The First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-42) saw forces of the British Army and East India Company support former ruler Shah Shuja Durrani, in the hopes of curbing Russian expansion towards India. Whilst they had successfully completed their objectives and reached Kabul by 1840, constant rebellions forced them and their camp followers to retreat from Kabul toContinue reading “Last stand at Gandamak, 13th January 1842”

Mughal heavy cavalryman and war elephant, 17th-18th centuries

The Mughal dynasty of Indian rulers has its origins in the 16th century; its founder, Babur, was of Turco-Mongol heritage, and expanded out from Central Asia. Islam had a presence in India long before Babur’s capture of Delhi in 1526, but Islamic rule gradually stretched across all of India, introducing a unique culture and strongContinue reading “Mughal heavy cavalryman and war elephant, 17th-18th centuries”

Japanese attack on Russian defenders, 1904

The Russo-Japanese War was a major conflict between two emerging powers in the Far East; Russian rail and trade expansions would have to contend with Japanese imperial ambitions in Manchuria and the Liaodong Peninsula . Despite wielding the largest military in the world, Imperial Russia’s poorly-led and ill-disciplined army lost several major engagements, while itsContinue reading “Japanese attack on Russian defenders, 1904”