british military history

John Graves Simcoe: a Queen’s Ranger in the American Revolution

By Mike Phifer

British Army officer John Graves Simcoe wanted to command a corps of irregular troops. He believed that there were opportunities in “the service of a partisan” that taught a man habits of self-dependence and prompt decision making rarely found in the duties of a subordinate officer. Read more

british military history

WWI Author: The Writings of Wilfred Owen

By Philip Burton Morris

When news began to circulate through the city of Bordeaux, France, in August 1914 that war had broken out with Germany, 21-year-old Englishman Wilfred Owen was as surprised as most. Read more

british military history

Tank Attack at Cambrai

By Eric Niderost

British Brig. Gen. Hugh Elles walked past the Mark IV tanks of H Company, a solitary figure amid metal monsters that looked, according to one jaundiced observer, like giant toads. Read more

Boer Commandant-General Christiaan de Wet laid a clever trap for an unsuspecting British garrison in the Orange Free State.

british military history

The Weapons at Sannahs Post

By William Welsh

In the aftermath of the failed attempt by Dr. Leander Starr Jameson and his 600 horseman to overthrow the Traansvaal Republic’s government in January 1896, the Boers in both republics embarked on a spending spree to arm all able-bodied burghers with state-of-the-art rifles. Read more

Located at Helwan, Egypt, the Middle East Command Camouflage Development and Training Center was a think tank and laboratory for the deception efforts of A Force. Taken in 1941, this photo shows a British tank with its sunshield split during vehicle servicing on the workshop floor.

british military history

Magic in the Desert

By Jon Diamond

In July 1939, Archibald Wavell was named General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Middle East Command with the rank of full general in the British Army. Read more

british military history

Deep Strike on Augsburg

By Allyn Vannoy

In the spring of 1942, the Allies were hard pressed battling German U-boats in the Atlantic as Britain was struggling to feed its people. Read more

british military history

Royal Navy Destroyers

by Glenn Barnett

­­No class of ship in World War II saw more service than the destroyers of the Royal Navy. Read more

british military history

Battle at Bir el Gubi

By Arnold Blumberg

February 1941 saw the fortunes of war favor the British in the North African wasteland of Cyrenaica (modern Libya). Read more

british military history

The Generals’ Battle: British War Minister Leslie Hore-Belisha

By Jon Diamond

Lord John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort, Commander in Chief of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France in 1940, and his chief of staff, General Henry Pownall, have both been forever associated with the British Army’s greatest continental defeat; namely, the retreat through Flanders and eventual evacuation from the harbor and beaches of Dunkirk in May and June, after being engaged with the invading German Wehrmacht for only three weeks. Read more

british military history

Nomads of War: The Long Range Desert Group

By John W. Osborn, Jr.

“The problem,” a member said, “is to make yourself so much master over the appalling difficulties of nature—heat, thirst, cold, rain, fatigue—that, overcoming these you yet have physical energy and mental resilience to deal with the greater object, the winning of the war.” Read more

british military history

WWII Warplanes: The Superb Supermarine Spitfire

By Sam McGowan

In the annals of World War II, one of the most famous airplanes is the British-developed Supermarine Spitfire, an agile, elliptical-wing fighter that has become synonymous with the Royal Air Force victory in the Battle of Britain. Read more

british military history

Reginald Earnshaw: The Youngest British Casualty

By Michael E. Haskew

Duty in the British Merchant Navy was hazardous during World War II. Braving the stormy Atlantic, the expanse of the Pacific, and the daily rigors of life aboard ship were challenging enough during peacetime; however, during the dark days of the war a determined enemy, bent on bringing the island nation and its far-flung empire to their knees, unleashed a vicious campaign against Britain’s merchant lifeline. Read more