Almost History archives

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Vengeance denied

Few spy thrillers have plots that are as implausible as the reality presented to French military intelligence in 1904. A German officer presented himself and offered to sell top secret war plans. He called himself “The Avenger” and met his handlers with his face entirely wrapped in bandages. […]

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Iron Barons

The creation of the UK railway network in the nineteenth century saw the equivalent of billions, if not trillions, of pounds invested in infrastructure. In five years alone, 5,000 miles of track were laid as the nation succumbed to railway mania. As with any such boom there were […]

Opening the Peace Palace on the eve of war

In the heart of the Dutch capital stands a gothic wonder set in immaculate grounds. It has the lofty bell tower and intricate brickwork that conjures images of the handsome guild houses and town halls of the prosperous trading centres of the low countries. But this is not […]

Why was Kyoto removed as the prime target for the A-Bomb?

Hiroshima and Nagasaki conjure images of lightning flashes and mushroom clouds; the terrifying power of atomic weapons and of once great cities reduced to smoking ash, twisted steel and molten corpses. Survival in the radioactive aftermath was, in many cases, a curse as Japan struggled to come to […]

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