Last Friday Osprey were asked by More 4 news to comment on a piece they were running on why, despite it receding from living memory, was World War II more popular than ever, in books, films, TV and games?

So I rushed over to Foyles in London to stand in front of their fantastic military history section and answer the question. I suggested several possible reasons:

  • Firstly because of the recent upsurge of interest in Family History as people look to discover the incredible contributions their parents and grandparents made. 
  • Second, I suggested that for men who grew up in the sixties and seventies there is a degree of nostalgia associated with it, because as Harry Pearson writes in Achtung Schweinehund, we grew up playing the Second World War in our living rooms and gardens with plastic or tin soldiers, Action Men and toy guns.
  • Third that this particular war had an appeal because of its clear moral reasons. Ignoring for a minute the contributions of Stalin there was, in this age of morally ambigious wars, a clear reason to defeat Hitler.
  • Finally that the campaigns, personalities and technologies have a fascination in their own right.

Of course this was all edited down to 10 seconds in a four minute piece but if you are interested it can be found here.