Britain at War - October 2016

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Monsters on the Front
The first of our Tank 100 special features rolls out with Peter Hart’s fascinating analysis of initial use of British tanks at Flers- Courcelette.

The British Tank at 100
Continuing our Tank 100 themed content, British Army Challenger  veteran Steve Saunders tells of his experiences inside the type and compares them with what it felt like inside a Great War Mark IV tank.

Leicester’s Baptism of Fire
Austin Ruddy details the devastating effect a pre-Blitz strike had on the civilian infrastructure and population of Leicester in the East Midlands during the early days of the Battle of Britain.

Reputations – Maj-Gen. Percy Hobart
To conclude our Tank centenary coverage, John Ash looks into the troubled career of tank pioneer Percy Hobart and assesses his impact and that of his specialist division, the 79th, on a successful Normandy Invasion.

Banff Strike Wing
The difficulties and dangers of Coastal Command’s vital antishipping strikes, and the courage they required, is the subject of David Smith’s feature as he details the operations undertaken by Banff’s Beaufighter and Mosquito crews.

Relief has come! Or has it? Peter Hart concludes his trilogy on the South Nottinghamshire Hussars and their support of a breakout attempt from the now infamous port city of Tobruk.

Defending the Realm
Alexandra Churchill returns with the story of the forgotten Great War ‘army’; the millions involved in protecting the Realm through the support of the armed services and Police along with other essential war work on the home front.

These Gallant Little Ships
The Royal New Zealand Navy’s Michael Wynd tells how a pair of tiny corvettes, the first new-build ships to enter service with the Royal New Zealand Navy, fresh from the yard of a Scottish shipbuilder, bravely took on a Japanese submarine more than twice their size.

Mud, Blood and Shelling
Steve Snelling relates the poignant story of the little known ‘TAK’ Cubitt, a young and brave soldier-poet who became tragically caught up in the hell of the Somme’s muddy battlefield. A sad tale of devotion to duty amongst mud, carnage and incessant gunfire.


Tiger Killer Restored to Glory
Carry Harts reports on the astounding nine-month restoration of the A34 Comet tank ‘Celerity’, expertly undertaken by the Dutch company BAIV B.V., and tells of the tank’s reunion with veteran crew.


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

War Posters
Continuing our series looking at wartime propaganda posters, Phil Jarman discusses how the work of Savile Lumley successfully used guilt as a motivator for recruitment.

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First World War Diary
Our month-by-month analysis of the key events of the Great War reaches October, where the ongoing Somme battle increases in ferocity and German U-Boats log some easy, but controversial, victories.

Image of War
The subject of the remarkable photograph in this issue is the burnt out and skeletal remains of Zeppelin L.33, dwarfing the nearby buildings in the village of Little Wigborough 100 years ago.

Recon Report
Our team continues to review the latest military history titles, including our Book of the Month – a ground breaking study of the air war over the Mediterranean.

Great War Gallantry
We look at the gallantry awards announced in the London Gazette of October 1916 and examine another ‘Hero of the Month’ selected by Lord Ashcroft.

The First World War in Objects
This month’s object from the Great War is a British soldier’s bible, recovered from battle in 1917 by a German soldier which was returned long after the event and on the very eve of the next world war.