War and Conflict

Feeding a Nation During Wartime
18 October 2019

The newly published Food and Drink in History: Module I is a real treasure trove of content for students and researchers, from a vast range of cookbooks, to documents charting the development and influence of staple brands, to anthropological research into African food cultures. A highlight that I’ve found particularly fascinating to delve into is the collection of MAF files (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries – then known as Ministry of Food) sourced from The National Archives, UK.

Why then are we in Uniform? American race relations during the Second World War
13 September 2019

Yank, the Army Weekly now available via the second module of Adam Matthew Digital’s Service Newspapers of World War Two, offers today’s researchers an insight into the life of the serving American between 1942 and 1945. The magazine’s different editions, New York, British and Far East reveal shared experiences, as well as those unique to the different theatres of war.

Short snorters: Write on the money
23 August 2019

What on earth is a 'short snorter'? Assessing material for our newly released resource America in World War Two several years ago, I found myself faced with the archival catalogue of the National WWII Museum in New Orleans and this very question.

Taxis to Hell: Landing on the D-Day Beaches
19 July 2019

On the chilly morning of 6 June, 1944 – D-Day – massed Allied forces attacked the Nazi-occupied coast of Normandy. It was the largest seaborne invasion in history and a pivotal moment of World War Two.

The Treaty of Versailles: differing perspectives
28 June 2019

One hundred years ago today and after six months of protracted negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference, the Treaty of Versailles was signed. 

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima
28 May 2019

The Battle of Iwo Jima was one of the deadliest battles of the War in the Pacific. Whilst only a small island, it held great significance to both sides. For the United States, it offered a position to advance an aerial campaign towards Tokyo. For the Japanese, Iwo Jima had a symbolic meaning, as it was the first Japanese national soil to face foreign invasion.

Skating away from war: The Four Hollywood Blondes tour Europe, 1939-40
17 May 2019

Although the outbreak of hostilities in Europe in September 1939 led the United States’ diplomatic mission to organise an evacuation of American citizens from Germany, the Four Hollywood Blondes, a rollerskating troupe on a tour of Europe, were among those who stayed, owing to contractual obligations with Berlin theatres. Their tour took in performances in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, before a refugee ship brought them home to the United States.

Salvage for Victory: Lessons on Recycling and Waste Reduction from Wartime America
15 May 2019

We all seem to have plastic on our minds. The recent growth of public interest in waste reduction is unmistakeable, and as someone who has long been concerned about the impact of our throwaway culture on the environment, it’s encouraging to see. However, while one might be forgiven for thinking this was a recent phenomenon, the concepts of waste management and recycling are anything but new.

Looking for Cognac and someone to kiss: Celebrating VE Day
10 May 2019

This week saw the 74th anniversary of VE Day, the formal acceptance by the Allies of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender. Famous photographed moments live on in public memory; a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square and soldiers dancing in London conjure up an image of all out celebration. For millions of people around the world, this was the case, but as documents from the newly published America in World War Two: Oral Histories and Personal Accounts reveal, reactions to victory in Europe were more nuanced than this.

No Front Line in Sight: Reporting on Merrill's Marauders
12 April 2019

With the upcoming publication of the second module of Service Newspapers of World War Two, we find a report in Yank: The Army Newspaper from Sgt. Dave Richardson. Richardson spent over three months in the dense Burmese jungle fighting alongside men of the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional).

News out of Nothing: POW Newspapers
29 March 2019

I think most would agree whatever the world’s current problems, a lack of news is not one of them.

12 March 2019

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the third battle of Monte Cassino; the battle which marked the penultimate stage in the Allies’ attempts to break through the German stronghold in the Gustav line and proceed to Rome.

The Fate of a Nation, on a Single Page
16 January 2019

Upon the conclusion of the First World War, the victorious countries convened for the Paris Peace Conference. At the conference, peace terms were stipulated for the defeated Central Powers. One of the major discussion points was the confiscation of the Central Powers overseas territories.

An emperor in exile: Napoleon in St Helena
11 January 2019

Before its airport opened in 2016, St Helena was accessible only by a five-day voyage by Royal Mail ship from Cape Town, making it a candidate, given its position in the middle of the Atlantic between Brazil and Angola, for the most isolated inhabited place on earth.

Another Christmas in the Trenches
07 December 2018

For some, the festive season is marked by traditional fare – carol singing, sleigh rides, chestnuts roasting on an open fire. For others, however, nothing heralds the arrival of Christmas like Hans Gruber prowling about Nakatomi Plaza or Elton John hawking pianos for an ad-obsessed department store. Inevitably, watching the crooner transported through Christmases past, my thoughts turned to famous festive stories throughout time; Washington and his troops fording the Delaware, Cromwell – that classic panto villain – cancelling Christmas, and, of course, the famed football match of 1914. 

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