The First World War is a byword for mud, blood and slaughter on a huge mechanised scale. Men living in squalid trenches only tens of yards apart from each other would daily tear each other to pieces if they got the chance. So then, it is no wonder that the Christmas truce is one of the best-known moments of the WWI. Amid the industrial slaughter, here was a reminder of simple human decency.
Around midnight on Sunday 29 December 1672 the Governor of Guernsey, Viscount Christopher Hatton, was suddenly awoken – by hailstones on his face. His mother lay dead beneath the remains of a ceiling and his house lay in ruins around him. This was the night that Castle Cornet literally exploded around its’ occupants.
World War I was supposed to be the “war to end all wars”. It was the first ‘modern mechanised war’ and a lot of myths about it have been built up over the years often by revisionist historians using ‘hind-sight’. Some of these so called “facts” are blinding us to the reality and we are in danger of belittling the experience of soldiers and civilians in this conflict. In this article we look at some of the bigee “facts” that are just plain wrong.
The British have always been an innovative and inventive nation. Just how inventive may surprise you. In this article we look at just four of the inventions that Britons have made without which, life today would be very different indeed : The Reflecting Telescope; The Passenger Railway; The Tank and Stainless Steel
The British ‘Tommy’ going over the top to battle the evil Hun is synonymous with World War I and World War II but this slang term for the British soldier originated much earlier than this and is credited as being coined by one of Britain’s most famous Generals
There are some events in history upon which turn the fate of nations. A point at which history can go either way. Battles have always played a part in defining what Britain is. Here we look at The Battles of Mons; Battle of Britain; & D-Day.
Nothing epitomizes the First World War more than the trench. Trench warfare prevailed on the Western Front from 16 Sept 1914 up until the Germans launched their Spring Offensive on 21 March 1918, a staggering 4 and half years in which deadly, grinding attrition became the norm. Trenches stretched from the Franco-Swiss frontier in the south to the Flanders coast in the north, a distance of over 450 miles. But how did this situation come about?
The Battle of Mons marked the first battle between the British & German Armies in the First World War. It was a titanic struggle that threatened to completely overwhelm the small professional British Army in the hot summer of 1914.
The immediate trigger that led to the start of the Great War (or First World War as it was subsequently known) was, relatively, innocuous enough – another assassination in the volatile Balkans. However what followed quickly resolved itself into a direct causal sequence of mobilisations & declarations of war by all the major European countries in turn – like a line of toppling dominoes.
We like to think of the Royal Navy, led by the likes of Drake & Raleigh, as plucky little fighters whittling down the Spanish leviathan as it chugged up the English Channel on its inexorable path of conquest. However the truth is a little different and if it weren’t for some key items of luck, 1066 wouldn’t be the date that British schoolchildren remember as the last time England was invaded but 1588 (and we’d all probably be speaking Spanish as well).
The 6th of June 1944 is one of those pivotal dates in History that will always be remembered as a turning point in human history. 2014 will be the 70th anniversary of this “day of days”. In this article we look at some D-Day Factoids.
April 28th 1943 – The Start of the most important WW2 battle you’ve probably never heard of: Atlantic convoy ONS 5
On April 28th 1943 one of the greatest Atlantic convoy battles of the Second World War tool place. It was a pivotal moment on the road to allied victory and one of the important WW2 battles that you’ve probably never heard of.
There are some events in history upon which turn the fate of nations. A point at which history can go either way. Battles have always played a part in defining what Britain is. Here we look at The Battles of Hastings; Agincourt ; The Spanish Armada & Waterloo.
Guernsey and Jersey, along with the other Channel Islands lived, for hundreds of years right on the front line of conflict between Britain and France. Islanders had to train and be ready to fight to defend their homes at a moments notice. On 6th January 1781 this threat went from ‘potential’ to ‘actual’ when a French force landed undetected in Jersey. The ensuing conflict became known as “The Battle of Jersey”.