21 December, 2014
EVERY DEC. 24 FOR THE PAST 35 YEARS, Canada's CBC Radio One has broadcast a reading of the Frederick Forsyth short story The Shepherd.
It's a fictional tale of a young RAF pilot speeding home from West Germany on Christmas Eve. All alone and out over the North Sea, the young flier's De Havilland Vampire jet suffers a massive malfunction leaving him fighting for his very life. That’s when something, shall we say, miraculous happens.
Forsyth, the author of bestsellers like the The Read more [...]
19 December, 2014
Story Courtesy GermanWarMachine.com
IN DECEMBER 1940, the Allies chased the Italian army out of Egypt and back into Libya. Operation Compass was a brilliantly executed Blitzkrieg-style campaign spearheaded by the new British Matilda II tank.
Although not a particularly fast machine (its top speed was under 10 km/h), the Matilda’s 78 mm (3.1 inch) frontal armour was impervious to Italian anti-tank guns. Even Germany’s 37 mm and 50 mm anti-tank weapons couldn’t penetrate the exterior Read more [...]
17 December, 2014
IT’S BEEN SEVEN YEARS since best-selling novelist Bernard Cornwell retired his most famous character, Richard Sharpe of the 95th Rifles. Yet the British-born writer and celebrated godfather of historical fiction is still riding high.
September saw the release of his first non-fiction title, Waterloo: The True Story of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles. The book, a critical and commercial success in the U.K., will hit American shelves in the spring.
And next month, the eighth Read more [...]
15 December, 2014
THE TWITTERVERSE IS LIGHTING UP like a Christmas tree in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the yuletide truce between British and German soldiers in 1914. The impromptu ceasefires that took hold all along the Western Front during the Great War’s first December have long fascinated the public. In recent years, the story of how the violence took a break for the holidays has spawned everything from music videos and books to entire feature films. And now with the First World War Centenary Read more [...]
12 December, 2014
NEXT WEDNESDAY MARKS THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF one of the worst atrocities committed against American troops in the Second World War – the Malmedy Massacre.
On Dec. 17, 1944, elements of the 1st SS Panzer Division’s Kampfgruppe Peiper netted more than 120 American prisoners after punching through the Allied lines in the opening 24 hours of Hitler’s famous Ardennes Offensive. Unwilling slow his column’s advance, a 29-year-old German colonel named Joachim Peiper ordered his men assemble the Read more [...]
10 December, 2014
THE FIRST WORLD WAR WAS WELL INTO ITS THIRD YEAR when the U.S. Congress finally voted to enter the conflict on April 6, 1917.
But even before the first doughboy marched off to fight, Washington found itself embroiled in an even more crucial battle: the campaign for American public opinion.
Despite a litany of provocations on the part of Imperial Germany, including the sinking of the Lusitania and the Zimmerman Telegram, isolationism still ran deep in America.
Songs like I Didn’t Read more [...]