Britain at War - August 2016

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Gas! A Deadly Weapon?
John Ash analyses the origins, usage and effectiveness of arguably one of the most defining weapons of the First World War – Poison Gas.

'Reach for the Sky' - Myth and Reality
Seventy-five years ago Wing Commander Douglas Bader abandoned his stricken Spitfire over occupied France - an episode made famous in the book ‘Reach For The Sky’ and through the film of the same name. But what really happened on 9 August 1941? Andy Saunders investigates.

At the Gates of Tobruk
In the first of a three-part epic, Imperial War Museum historian Peter Hart takes up the story of the South Notts Hussars, Royal Artillery, as they lend their mighty guns to the defence of Tobruk.

The Otranto Straits Affair
Steve Snelling plots the course of a forgotten Great War ‘David verses Goliath’ naval battle in the Adriatic Sea which gave rise to courage and, allegedly, cowardice.

The Rolls Royce ‘Kifaru’
Kevin Patience explores the remarkable story of a fleet of Rolls Royce armoured cars seeing constant action in the perceived backwater theatre which was Great War East Africa.

Brighton Pavilion’s Indians
As the wounded from the largest part of the British Empire flooded into Southern England, Alexandra Churchill tells the story of the palace converted to care for these injured troops and the townsfolk who generously welcomed them.

A Cold War - Churchill’s Falklands Fear
Steve Taylor examines the counter to two planned invasions of the Falkland Islands in the Second World War which had some striking parallels to the real invasion four decades later.

Battles Over the Barents
The early Arctic convoys battled the elements as much as the enemy and Andrew Thomas explains the difference that limited air cover available to these vital ships could sometimes have.


Chilcot Report: Analysis
John Ash presents the key points from the long-awaited Chilcot Report into British involvement in the Second Gulf War in Iraq.


News, restorations, discoveries and events from around the World.

War Posters
Phil Jarman analyses another iconic wartime poster, this time a Great War recruitment poster designed by Boer War Hero and founder of the Boy Scouts movement, Robert Baden-Powell.

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First World War Diary
Our monthly look at the Great War’s key events reaches August. The Battles of the Somme and Verdun continue to rage, a new ally enters the war and a large Ottoman force is defeated near the Suez Canal.

Recon Report
Our team continues to scout out the latest historical titles, including our ‘Book of the Month’, a seminal work on the conflict archaeology surrounding the Battle of Jutland.

Great War Gallantry
Our monthly look at gallantry awards as announced in The London Gazette continues, with another ‘Hero of the Month’ selected by Lord Ashcroft.

The First World War in Objects
A shell fragment, known to have claimed a life, is this month’s object from the Great War.