Britain at War - April 2011

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FEATURES

TV PRESENTER DAN SNOW - THE CONFUSION OF COMMAND
In 2008, a researcher working for a television documentary uncovered a manuscript written by TV presenter Dan Snow's great-grandfather, Lieutenant General Sir Thomas D'Oyly Snow. Previously unaware of the document's existence, Dan Snow found his ancestor's comments on the failures of the British commanders - his own colleagues - to be surprisingly frank, even brutal. As Dan explained to John Grehan, the situation the British generals found themselves faced with after the beginning of the First World War was beyond anything that which they had encountered before.

THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN: SOME "FACTS" ABOUT "THE FEW"
Following the recent disclosure that the official RAF Battle of Britain Roll of Honour has been revised and re-published, Geoff Simpson examines some of the unusual facts and figures concerning those entitled to wear the Battle of Britain Clasp.

THE ONLY BRITISH COASTAL BATTERY TO FIRE IN ANGER IN WW1: THE DAY IT RAINED SHELLS
It was Wednesday, 16 December 1914. Just after 08.00 hours that morning, the guns on three German battle cruisers opened fire and shells rained down on the streets of Hartlepool. Though the town's Heugh Battery returned fire - becoming the only coastal battery in England to fire its guns in anger during the First World War - the bombardment resulted in extensive damage and severe loss of life. This is the story of what happened that day.

WARTIME CRIME: THE "BLACKOUT RIPPER"
Margaret Lowe was known to the other working women in central London as "The Lady". Though she would have been aware of dangers inherent in her line of work, nothing could have prepared her for the savage attack which ended her life in the second week of February 1942. She was another victim of a serial killer that stalked the streets of wartime London.  

RED LETTER DAY: ONE SQUADRON'S 200th KILL
A remarkable series of images detailing 609 (West Riding) Squadron's 200th "kill" - a Junkers Ju 88 shot down on 5 October 1943.

WARTIME GOLD DISCOVERED: BOMBAY EXPLOSION 1944
Indian workers in Mumbai have discovered gold bars lost since the devastating "Bombay Explosion" of April 1944, an explosion which tore apart the port and in which twenty-eight ships were sunk or damaged. One of these had a cargo that included 124 gold ingots with a value of œ1m. It took 8,000 men seven months to clear the 500,000 tons of debris to get the docks working again, but much of the bullion was never seen again.

THE GESTAPO HUNTERS: TARGET TORTURE CASTLE
The village of Tarup, three miles north-west of Odense in Denmark, lies on the Island of Fyn. It was here during the Second World War, explains Ken Wright, that the Gestapo established a local headquarters in a former agricultural school. The name given to it by the Danes reveals its shocking purpose - they called it Torture Castle. What better target could there be for the de Havilland Mosquitoes of the RAF's 140 Wing?

REGULARS

RECONNAISSANCE REPORT
A look at some of the new publications and products that are available.

BRIEFING ROOM

News, Restorations, Discoveries and Events from around the UK.

FIELDPOST
Your letters.

NEWS FEATURE: BERLIN WAR CEMEMTERY DAMAGED
We reveal the unlikely cause behind the extensive damage caused to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. ALSO, we investigate the CWGC's work on a series of climate change trials.

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