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Face-off at Fashoda: How Close Did Britain and France Come to War in 1898?

Face-off at Fashoda: How Close Did Britain and France Come to War in 1898?

On 2 September 1898, Major-General Horatio Herbert Kitchener fought his most famous action of his military career, the Battle of Omdurman. It was the finale of a long campaign against the Mahdists of Sudan, and the even longer awaited avenging of General Charles Gordon’s killing over a decade earlier. Thousands of fanatical Islamic warriors lay…

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Sonderkommando Arājs: Latvia’s Nazi Collaborators and Their Role in the Holocaust

Sonderkommando Arājs: Latvia’s Nazi Collaborators and Their Role in the Holocaust

On 1 July 1941, during Operation Barbarossa, German troops entered the Latvian capital city of Riga. In their wake followed a unit of the notorious Einsatzgruppen, Himmler’s infamous mobile killing squads tasked with the mass murder of Jews and others in eastern Europe. From the outset, these masters of death sought to enlist the help…

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Kraków-Płaszów: The Real Story of Amon Göth’s Notorious Death Camp

Kraków-Płaszów: The Real Story of Amon Göth’s Notorious Death Camp

Before the publication of Thomas Keneally’s 1982 historical novel, Schindler’s Ark, and Spielberg’s subsequent 1993 movie, relatively few had heard of the infamous Płaszów concentration camp. Yet despite these high-profile productions, the actual history of the camp, including its murderous SS staff and their thousands of Jewish victims, continues to remain unknown to many. Construction…

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Book Review | Hitler’s Scapegoat: The Boy Assassin and the Holocaust by Stephen Koch

Book Review | Hitler’s Scapegoat: The Boy Assassin and the Holocaust by Stephen Koch

Most historians of Third Reich Germany will know the story of the killing of Ernst vom Rath, a German diplomat in Paris who died of an assassination attempt in November 1938. His death is said to have provided the pretext for the infamous Kristallnacht, or ‘The Night of Broken Glass’, a violent pogrom against Jews…

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Mass Murder at Kamianets-Podilskyi

Mass Murder at Kamianets-Podilskyi

Overshadowed by the massacres at Babi Yar near Kiev and Rumbula near Riga, the mass murder of Jews at Kamianets-Podilskyi is less well-known in Holocaust history. Yet, it remains one of the largest single actions carried out by the infamous Einsatzgruppen during their murderous operations in eastern Europe. In just two days, the Nazi killing…

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Hunting Chui-A-poo: The Royal Navy’s Suppression of Piracy in the South China Seas, 1849

Hunting Chui-A-poo: The Royal Navy’s Suppression of Piracy in the South China Seas, 1849

During the 1840s and 1850s, the recently acquired British colony of Hong Kong became a centre for piracy in the South China Seas. Here the Chinese pirates would off-load their booty to shopkeepers and other merchants who would then sell on the stolen goods to their eager European and Chinese customers. The pirates also targeted…

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Arthur Dodd: A British Soldier in Auschwitz

Arthur Dodd: A British Soldier in Auschwitz

Few today will not have heard of Auschwitz. A mere mention of its name conjures up horrific images of evil, suffering and death. It is estimated that 1.1 million people were murdered in the camp, around 90% of who were Jews. Others included Poles, Romani and Sinti, Soviet prisoners of war, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals and…

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Hero of Chitral: Sir George Scott Robertson

Hero of Chitral: Sir George Scott Robertson

Army surgeon, explorer, administrator, author and member of parliament, Sir George Scott Robertson was viewed as a true hero during the late Victorian era. He had extensively travelled through rugged Kafiristan (modern day Nuristan Province in Afghanistan), took part in the military expedition against Hunza–Nagar, and commanded the difficult yet successful defence of Chitral during…

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The Sinking of HMS Ark Royal

The Sinking of HMS Ark Royal

Launched in 1937, the British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal would see much distinguished service during the Second World War. She found herself involved in some of the earliest sinkings of German U-boats, supporting operations in Norway and the hunt for the mighty German battleship Bismarck. As the war progressed, she took part in the…

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