It is 83 years this weekend since Europe crashed into war, beginning a global struggle that did not end until 1945 and which resulted in estimated deaths topping 75 million, many of them civilians. The Second World War was the largest conflict yet seen in the history of humanity, the most lethal, and the most … More The world at war – again
It’s Anzac Day: memorial day in New Zealand and Australia when we remember the dead of all our wars. Why choose then, and not 11 November, to mark all war dead? For both Australia and New Zealand the emotional power of the Gallipoli campaign was enormous: after the war, this became the moment when both … More Lest we forget: a reminder of the folly of war
The spectre of armoured vehicles (not all of them are ‘tanks’) grinding across the roads of Europe to prosecute a hot war, of refugees carrying their belongings with them along roads jammed with civilian vehicles, seems somehow out of date to me, echoing grainy monochrome newsreel footage from another century. And yet, here it is. … More The tragedy of the war in Ukraine
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 since a friend of my family looked into the sky above his village in England and saw a cloud of aircraft fly over. And over. And over. The sky was filled with aircraft, and they were all going one way – to France. It was D-day, the first day of Operation … More Seventy years since the battle that shaped our world