First World War

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
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 […]

A slice of Turkey  

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
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 […]

Unleashing the suffocating cloud  

The United States of America has only officially declared war on five occasions in over two centuries of its existence. Formal declarations were made by Congress in 1812, 1846, 1898, 1917 and 1941. So does this mean the US has spent most of its history at peace? And what about […]

America’s official wars

Cartoon against drink by Arthur Johnson in German-language publication Kladderadatsche (1914)
During the darkest days of the First World War, the British Government feared a domestic enemy almost as much as the hated Hun. As men were slaughtered in the churning quagmires of the trenches, the demon drink stalked in the homes and factories of the home front. The restrictions and […]

Fighting spirits (and beer, cider and wine)

Who was Britain’s greatest ever foe? The contest, run by the National Army Museum, lends itself to controversy and debate. And that is exactly what the museum encouraged by hosting a day long event with presentations on behlf of five leading contendors followed by questions, discussion and a secret ballot.   […]

Britain’s fiercest of foes

The red poppy is the ubiquitous symbol of remembrance throughout the UK and much of the Commonwealth.Its counterpart in France is another wild flower that was found in Flanders Fields – the blue cornflower or the Bleuet de France. Since 1933 there has also been a White Poppy sold by […]

Red poppies and blue cornflowers