Category Archives: War

The problem of being a dictator

In the span of a couple of weeks, Vladimir Putin….managed to revitalize NATO, unify a splintered West, turn Ukraine’s little-known president into a global hero, wreck Russia’s economy, and solidify his legacy as a murderous war criminal. How did he … Continue reading

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Book Review: Viet Thanh Nguyen ~ The Sympathizer (2015)

This superb book won the USA’s Pulitzer Prize. Nguyen is brilliant and the real thing: a great author. Opening sentences are important, I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces.1 The unnamed hero/anti-hero is a … Continue reading

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Thirteen Ships and Thirty-six Admirals: The Royal Navy, 2022

“Rule, Britannia! Britannia rule the waves:“Britons never will be slaves.”1 The Royal Navy guaranteed British independence for centuries. The last successful invasion of Britain was in 1688 by the Dutch, who’d made sure they got a good reception when they … Continue reading

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Three German Generals, 1906-16

During the Great European Peace, 1871-14, German generals were redundant. There hadn’t been a German army on a battlefield since 1871. To compound their misery, German society was militaristic. Kaiser Wilhelm II wore full military uniform on every occasion. He … Continue reading

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Religion, Politics and the Execution of Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell: died 3rd September, 1658; executed 30th January, 1661 “…while the clergy offered prayers for the king in churches across the land, the coffins were taken to the Red Lion Inn in Holborn. Carters then carried the rotting bodies … Continue reading

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Maynard Keynes’s* view of the First World War

“If the European Civil War is to end with France and Italy abusing their momentary victorious power to destroy Germany and Austria-Hungary now prostrate, they invite their own destruction also, being so deeply and inextricably intertwined with their victims by … Continue reading

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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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