Today, 25 April, is New Zealand’s memorial day – Anzac Day. It’s the day when we remember all our war dead, more than half of whom died in just one campaign, the Western Front. Here is a short extract from my new book, The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front, pondering the … More Lest we forget: Gallipoli, the Western Front and war memory
Last week I retrieved the last of my publishing licenses from Penguin Random House. Yeah, I know. Most authors crawl over broken glass to get a contract with PRH or one of the other big houses. Me? I’ve been asking for my contracts back. I had over thirty of them, all for out-of-print books which, … More Hot titles from my writing past – and they’re baaaaack!
It’s 75 years since Japanese aircraft attacked the US Navy at Pearl Harbor – triggering the Pacific war that finally ended in August 1945 after the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Where does the time go? For all the infamy of the moment, it wasn’t quite a total surprise. Relations between Japan and the … More Incredibly, it’s 75 years since Pearl Harbor and war in the Pacific
It is 77 years since the Second World War broke out – a succession of anniversaries starting on 1 September with the German invasion of Poland, and continuing two days later, 3 September, when the French, the British – and their Empire – declared war on Germany in response. It was a case of political … More The Second World War began 77 years ago this week
I pointed out in an earlier post that a German victory in 1918 would have always been marginal because by then all combatants had been run down by the strains of war. Revolution simmered in Germany and the chances of Ludendorff’s military junta continuing to rule without compromise or change afterwards seem slim. What of … More What if Germany had won the First World War in autumn 1914?
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
My visit last year to Sir Peter Jackson’s amazing ‘Knights of the Sky’ exhibition at the Omaka Aviation Heritage centre – one of the best air museums on the planet – raised all sort of questions for me as a historian. The point of difference about this exhibition – and, for that matter, about Jackson’s … More History is more than the sum of its parts