The Cenotaph on Whitehall in London is designated as the United Kingdom’s primary war memorial. It commemorates the end of World War One.

How shall we remember them?

In 1919, London hosted a Victory Parade that marked a unique moment of national rejoicing, mourning and catharsis. The Parade, also known as the London Peace Parade, saw returning troops march through packed streets in the capital. The city’s iconic monuments were momentarily joined by a series of temporary structures erected to mark the march. One of these, a plain but elegant wood and plaster cenotaph erected on Whitehall, would strike such […]

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Carl Pietzner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The United States of Greater Austria

As the world tumbled into the chasm of conflict in the early years of the twentieth century, one European country carried a light for tolerance, federalism, peace and prosperity. The United States of Greater Austria had been forged from an amalgam of nationalities, linguistic and ethnic groups. Nationalistic conflict, partisan politics, ethnic tensions and division were replaced with co-operation and federalism. The Empire of Austria had become an empire of the people […]


A thoroughly middle-class emperor

Russia’s Tsars typically surrounded themselves with the opulence they felt befitted their status as the autocratic rulers of the world’s largest country. Their palaces were sumptuous and vast, ornate gilded statements of power and wealth. But not every occupant of the throne was as enamoured with what had developed as the imperial style. The last Tsar, Nicholas II, had tastes that to many seemed downright bourgeois.     In 1895, the Tsar […]

Prominent nationalists at the Sivas congress. Left to right: Muzaffer Kılıç, Rauf (Orbay), Bekir Sami (Kunduh), Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk), Ruşen Eşref (Ünaydın), Cemil Cahit (Toydemir), Cevat Abbas (Gürer) See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A slice of Turkey

The Paris Peace Conference was tasked with setting the peace terms for the Central Powers after their defeat in the First World War. The Treaty of Versailles dealt with the principal belligerent, Germany. It was, however, accompanied by four less well known treaties dealing with the other countries. The Treaty of Sèvres was drawn up to deal with the Ottoman Empire but, by the time it came to be signed, the Sick […]

British 55th (West Lancashire) Division troops blinded by tear gas await treatment at an Advanced Dressing Station near Bethune during the Battle of Estaires, 10 April 1918, part of the German offensive in Flanders By Thomas Keith Aitken (Second Lieutenant) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Unleashing the suffocating cloud

The Second Battle of Ypres (1915) is the conventional starting point for the terrible chemical warfare that would characterize the middle years of conflict on the Western Front. It was indeed the first battle in which poisonous gas attacks played a part in the western theatre. But it was not the first time chemical weapons were used in the war. That dubious distinction goes to the Battle of Bolomov, a skirmish between the Germans and […]

Ganz Deutschland hört den Führer mit dem Volksempfänger - All of Germany hears the Fuhrer on the People's Sender - propaganda poster c. 1933

Achtung, achtung!

In George Orwell’s 1984, the complete dominance of the dystopian dictatorship is reinforced by the unavoidable presence of telescreens.  Ubiquitous and without an off button, they ensured that Big Brother was not only watching you, but speaking to you at all times. Nazi Germany investigated the possibility of a radio equivalent, which, if implemented, would have taken the Third Reich even closer to mirroring the fictional account it partially inspired. The Nazi […]

George Cruikshank's cartoon of Little Boney gone to Pot depicting Bonaparte on Elba

History Carnival 134

The History Carnival is coming to town! And what it lacks in coconut shies, tombolas and carousels it more than makes up for in fascinating new history blogging. This month, the Carnival features a rich smorgasbord of delights, with everything from Victorian diagnosis of mental illness to heliocentric heresy and a dollop of early modern surgical implements and economic history making this a particularly mouthwatering post.  For those new to the History Carnival, it is a monthly round […]