It’s seventy nine years this week since the battle for Crete reached its bitter end with the defeat of an ad-hoc force of British, Australian, New Zealand and Greek troops at the hands of crack German paratroopers. Exactly how and why the island fell has been subject to a good deal of historical debate, not … More Remembering the battle for Crete
WordPress reminded me that I’ve been blogging for ten years this week. I don’t know where the time has gone. It’s been a tumultous decade. In that time I have made some wonderful blogging friends, some of whom have been around since early in my blogging career, and who I’m still in contact with, including … More Ten years of blogging – and a big thank you to my readers
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
It’s 78 years this week since the battlecruiser HMS Hood went down in the Denmark Strait while fighting the German battleship Bismarck. At about 6.00 am on 24 May 1941, around eight minutes after the battle began, she exploded in a massive ball of fire and smoke as her two after magazines, X and Y, … More This week in history: the loss of HMS Hood
It is 49 years, this weekend, since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped on the Moon. And it was an incredible achievement – not just for the United States, but for humanity as a whole. For the first time in the history of the world, we had left it – and stepped on another celestial … More Thoughts on the future of humanity, 49 years on from Apollo 11
It’s eight years this week since I started blogging. It’s been a blast. I’ve been blown away by the scale of readership, which I never expected when I started. That’s been helped by the fact that my blog was ‘Freshly Pressed’ by WordPress.com in 2013, and was then hit by a ‘Redditlanche’ in 2015, which … More Eight years of blogging – let’s party!
Do you remember what you were doing at the precise moment when you heard about the 11 September 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington? I do – and I’m not American. I’m a Kiwi. But I remember. Here in New Zealand, on the other side of the date-line, initial news broke in the early … More Can we view 9/11 as history? A Hobsbawmian perspective.
It is seventy years, this month, since Operation SQUAREPEG – the New Zealand assault on Nissan Island, the largest atoll in the Green Islands Group, west of the Solomons. The island was needed as an air base for operations against the main Japanese naval bases at Rabaul, but it’s become one of the forgotten sidelines … More When a US President came under New Zealand command