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The German View of Dunkirk: 26th May 1940

On the morning of 26 May key commanders assembled at the fourth floor of the Calais Opera House, on the Boulevard Leon Gambetta. It provided excellent observation, completely overlooking Nicholson’s perimeter. They gathered amid an air of tense expectancy. At SaintPol airfield Messerschmitt fighter pilot Leutnant von Kageneck with Jägergeschwader I recalled, ‘we were waiting ready strapped into our cockpits as the bomb-laden Stukas crossed over’.

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An Untouched Trove

Although Italy was the smallest of the great powers fighting World War II, it still had colonies, settlements and interests from Africa to China and Latin America. As it was a co-belligerant state after the 1943 armistice (1), the Italian navy archives were not acquired by the Allies, nor by the Germans, as both the contemporary Rome Open City government and the later fascist Italian Social Republic were able to avoid these documents being seized or tampered with.

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Designing Artwork for Second Punic War in Iberia 220–206 BC

The first thing I do when receiving a commission is to read the brief from the author and any supplementary context from the editor. I check I have enough information on the topic and may conduct further research using previous publications and documentaries. I then make initial composition sketches (usually a few for each scene) and make sure to ask the author for any comments.

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Why isn’t 1217 as famous a year in English history as 1066?

At first glance, there are certainly similarities: a violent dispute over who should be wearing the English crown, and an invasion launched from France by a man who would be king. The main difference, and the reason for 1217’s relative obscurity, is that the earlier invasion was successful – a new king, William the Conqueror, sat on the English throne, and history was rewritten. But this was not the case a century and a half later, when the incursion of the putative Louis I of England was fought off. And the word ‘fought’ is very much the operative one, because it was a series of military engagements that stemmed and then turned a tide that had been very much in Louis’s favour.

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The Making of a Sailing Raider: SMS Seeadler

Dirk Nottelmann provides, as part of his wider study of cruisers of the Imperial German Navy, some fresh insights into the story of one of the most famous auxiliary warships in history: Seeadler – the only sail-powered commerce-raider. These focus on the ship’s ‘prehistory’ as told by archival sources, rather than the oft-cited, and sometimes unreliable memoirs of her commanding officer, Kapitänleutnant Count Felix von Luckner, and other later publications.

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