Britain at War - May 2016

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From Peace to War
Launching our Hood and Bismarck anniversary special section, Bruce Taylor details the origins of HMS Hood, charting her pre-war days with the Royal Navy.

Baptism of Fire
In the second of his features in this supplement, Bruce Taylor continues the story of the ‘Mighty Hood’, relating her involvement in Britain’s darkest days of July 1940 and the Royal Navy’s attack on the French Fleet.

Pride of the Kriegsmarine
The origins and early days of the legendary battleship Bismarck are analysed by John Ash.

Fleet Review
John Ash offers a graphical study of the major ships involved in the great hunt for Bismarck.

Clash of the Titans
In our flagship piece, Professor of Naval History, Eric Grove, shares his detailed and vivid account of Hood’s battle with Bismarck, offering his own interpretation on the fate of a British icon.

Hunting the Bismarck
Andy Thomas highlights the vital role played by air power in the chase for Bismarck and its part in securing her fate.

‘Sink the Bismarck!’
Phil Jarman looks at the message behind the classic 1960 British war film: ‘Sink the Bismarck!’

John Ash signs off our special supplement with a tribute to the men of Hood and Bismarck, leaving the last word to those who were there.


The Strange Case of Albert Horn
Andy Saunders takes up the story of a lone German Aircraft which crashed in rural Scotland. Its sole occupant at first claimed he was somebody else but was, in fact, Rudolf Hess.

‘Quite The Best…’
Stuart Hadaway looks at the unusual career of an unusual man, John Thearsby Bankes-Price, an American volunteer flying with the Royal Naval Air Service.

Cold War Watchers
The transition from ‘hot’ war to the Cold War saw the Royal Observer Corps move from plotting aircraft to the monitoring of atomic bomb bursts and radioactive fallout in the nuclear age.

The Boy VC
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland we look at the unusual back-story to the battle’s most famous VC, awarded to Jack Cornwell, the Boy Sailor.

‘Circumstances of Exceptional Danger’
In an exclusive feature for Britain at War, Lord Ashcroft tells the remarkable story of courage displayed by the man awarded the first George Cross.

The Trick Rider’s Greatest Feat
The heroic feats of George Gristock are related by Steve Snelling in the story of a man caught in a desperate armed struggle against the odds.


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

War Memorials
We take a look at the Sedgeberrow War Memorial.

Your letters, input and feedback.

First World War Diary
Our monthly look at the First World War’s key events continues, arriving at May 1916. A Kentish town is rocked by an aerial attacker, the north of England and Scotland are targets in the most northerly Zeppelin raid so far and the infamous Battle of Jutland takes place.

Recon Report
Our editors review a new book on The Battle of Jutland.

Image of War
A Polish Spitfire makes it home after sustaining some staggering battle damage over France.

Great War Gallantry
We continue our monthly look at some of the Great War’s gallantry awards, this time covering May 1916. Lord Ashcroft also selects his ‘Hero of the Month’.

The First World War in Objects
When a German Zeppelin airship was shot down over Hertfordshire it was souvenired on a grand scale, with parts sold in their many thousands in order to aid charity.


Lawrence of Arabia's Bullet Found?
Andy Brockman delves into an Arabian mystery; has a bullet fired by Lawrence of Arabia been found during an archaeological expedition?