Category Archives: War

Football as a metaphor for everything

‘And probably mixed feelings for Tony Blair there,’ said the commentator. ‘Being reminded, perhaps, that sometimes, winning is the easy bit, it’s the aftermath that is the real challenge.’ ‘Very much so, Barry. And that’s as true in football as … Continue reading

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Painless Warfare: for the rich

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A Good Nazi: Denmark 1943

On September 28, 1943, a high-level Nazi attaché serving in Copenhagen, Denmark wrote these words in his diary as he made the boldest decision of his entire life. Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz had served the Third Reich in its occupation of … Continue reading

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Anthony Eden’s Mental Map: the Suez Canal Débâcle, 1956

Napoleon commented, “to understand the man you have to know what was happening in the world when he was twenty.1 Background As a young officer, Eden aged 18, led troops in the battle of the Somme, 1916. This vicious battle … Continue reading

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Ever met one like this?

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The Political Education of Cassius Clay

Cassius Clay lived in segregated Kentucky during his boyhood. Segregation is, quite simply, institutional racism. He became Olympic champion in 1960 in Rome aged 18, where he defeated white men. On his return, the grim reality of segregated Kentucky became … Continue reading

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The Unflappable Harold MacMillan: Athens 1944

“MacMillan seems to have taken the daily risks with a mixture of unflappability and almost enjoyment. He and the Ambassador insisted, as a matter of principle, on using the official study, remarking in his memoirs only that ‘bullets came through … Continue reading

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Coco Chanel: Nazi Collaborator

Chanel1 had always had a series of influential lovers of various nationalities, so it was natural that during the German occupation the lover should be German: Baron Hans Günther von Dincklage, a diplomat with intelligence connections. After the war, Chanel, … Continue reading

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Winston Churchill advocates the ‘United States of Europe’

With this plea for a United States of Europe, Churchill was one of the first to advocate European integration to prevent the atrocities of two world wars from ever happening again, calling for the creation of a Council of Europe … Continue reading

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Blackadder: The First World War

Edmund:* We’ve been sitting here since Christmas 1914, during which time millions of men have died, and we’ve advanced no further than an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping. *Edmund Blackadder the recurring character in this series

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