This week in history: Jutland and my great uncle’s navy mess fork

It’s the anniversary of the Battle of Jutland this week – the clash of British and German fleets on 31 May-1 June 1916 – and one of the tangible connections I have to it, aside from my professional historical work, is through my great uncle’s old navy mess fork. It was issued to him when … More This week in history: Jutland and my great uncle’s navy mess fork

Echoes of the guns of August – why we remember the First World War so poignantly

It is 104 years since the First War began, this month – and a century, this year, since it ended. The nations involved in it had all variously been involved in longer wars before. And the main combatants fought a longer war later: the Second World War, which pitted the same major nations against each … More Echoes of the guns of August – why we remember the First World War so poignantly

‘Blowing’ Messines ridge – a century ago today

It’s a century, this June 7, since the British blew up Messines Ridge, part of the front line of the Ypres salient where they had been wedged against the Germans since the end of 1914. The blast involved most of the 1,307,800 pounds of ammonal, dynamite, gun cotton and blasting gelatine TNT, amatol and other explosives … More ‘Blowing’ Messines ridge – a century ago today

Latest news about ‘The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front’

It’s always a bit nerve-racking when a book’s released: will it do well? How will it be reviewed? My book The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front has been out a couple of weeks. It’s been published and is being sold old-school style – in print, through the brick-and-mortar physical channels of … More Latest news about ‘The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front’

The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front

Exciting news folks – my book The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front is being released today. It’s my first military title in years. In it, I ask one question: what did New Zealand’s two biggest campaigns of the First World War do to those who fought them? Exploring that answer spans … More The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front

It’s a century since Britain’s advance on the Somme

A century ago – 1 July 1916 – British soldiers climbed out of their trenches on the Somme front and began advancing towards trenches held by the German Fourth Army. So opened the huge Somme offensive, a combined British-French effort to break the German lines and push through into open country beyond. The plan seemed … More It’s a century since Britain’s advance on the Somme