british military history

British Naval Disaster at Coronel

By John Protasio

When World War I broke out in August 1914, the captains of the various German warships called their men together to give three cheers for the Kaiser. Read more

british military history

Grand Mufti al-Husseini: Britain’s Deadliest Enemy?

By Blaine Taylor

Like all Palestinians and most Arabs, Haj Amin al-Hussaini not only looked forward to an Axis Pact victory in World War II but also saw it as a means of defeating what he believed was a joint British-Jewish conspiracy to foist an Israelite homeland on the Middle East that would be to the detriment of his own people. Read more

General George Washington rallies his Continental Army during the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778 in a 19th-century painting by Emanuel Leutze. Maj. Gen. Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben’s relentless drilling of Washington’s soldiers at Valley Forge the previous winter enabled them to fight the British Army to a draw that day.

british military history

Monmouth: Longest Battle of the American Revolution

By Eric Niderost

On June 19, 1778, Continental soldiers marched out of Valley Forge, happy to leave the rough wooden cabins where they had spent a miserable winter; cold, hunger, and disease had been their constant companions. Read more

british military history

The Glorious First of June

By David A. Norris

British Admiral Lord Richard Howe, standing on the quarterdeck of his 100-gun ship of the line Queen Charlotte, snapped his signal book shut on the morning of June 1, 1794. Read more

british military history

Black Day at Magersfontein

By Kelly Bell

During the third week in November 1899, British forces under the overall command of General Sir Redvers Buller were marching northward across South Africa’s Orange Free State in a campaign to relieve the strategically vital railroad center of Kimberley. Read more

british military history

Means of Grace, Hope of Glory

By Robert Barr Smith

They carried no weapons, only holy books and rudimentary vestments, a crucifix or a Star of David and sometimes a little Communion kit. Read more

british military history

Seizure of the Surcouf

By Christopher Miskimon

When built, the French Surcouf was the largest submarine in the world. She was named for Robert Surcouf, the famed French privateer who waged successful economic warfare against England during the Napoleonic era. Read more

German soldiers operate an Enigma machine, sending classified information encoded through a system of rotor settings that were believed to be virtually impossible to crack. However, Allied cryptanalysts at Bletchley Park were reading top secret German communications for some time during World War II.

british military history

The Miracle of Bletchley Park

By Hervie Haufler

Great Britain’s military intelligence leaders learned from their experience in World War I that the kinds of minds capable of breaking codes are a rare commodity and are often not likely to blossom in a military atmosphere. Read more

Wearing distinctive pith helmets, British soldiers assume prone positions as their commander scans the horizon for enemy activity. These troops were photographed near Ramadi, Iraq, as the British attempted to secure Middle Eastern oil reserves.

british military history

Auchinleck of the Indian Army

By Jon Diamond

Many students of World War II history know General Sir Claude Auchinleck as the Commander-in-Chief Middle East, who, after taking over for General Sir Archibald Wavell in late June 1941, oversaw the fluctuating fate of Britain’s Eighth Army while combating German General Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps during Operations Crusader and Gazala. Read more

british military history

Capturing the Rock: Gibraltar 1704

By Arnold Blumberg

As Spanish king Charles II lay dying in Madrid in the autumn of 1700, worried diplomats in other European capitals brooded day and night over who would succeed the childless monarch. Read more

british military history

Balkan Bedlam: Special Forces in WWII Albania

By John W. Osborn, Jr.

When British Prime Minister Winston Churchill created the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to organize guerrilla resistance against the Nazis, he famously ordered it to set Europe on fire. Read more

british military history

Pegasus Bridge: Operation Deadstick’s Glider Assault

By Christopher Miskimon

On a darkened airfield at 2230 hours on June 5, 1944, a reinforced company of British gliderborne infantry, D Company of the Second Battalion, Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Ox & Bucks), boarded gliders, prepared to start the invasion of France. Read more

british military history

Slugfest at Eutaw Springs

By John Pezzola

In the early morning hours of September 8, 1781, drums rolled and fifes played in Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene’s camp in the High Hills of southeastern South Carolina. Read more