Britain at War - April 2017

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Who Killed Michael Wittmann?
In our lead story this month, military historian Lt. Col. Brian Reid (retd) analyses an engagement which took place near St Aignan de Cramesnil, and, looking at the evidence and alternative claims, offers his interpretation of who killed Tiger tank ‘ace’ Michael Wittmann.

Tiger 131
In the first of his features this issue, John Ash looks at the first encounters with Tiger tanks and the clashes leading up to the capture of Tiger 131 – the world’s last remaining operable Tiger tank.

The Cult of the ‘Tiger Ace’
In the second of his features, John Ash explores the phenomena of ‘tank aces’ and asks if the frenzied and much told stories of such tanking legends is justified.

The Price of Valour
Steve Snelling reveals the story of Q-Ship captain and New Zealand naval hero Willie Sanders, and his nerve-jangling war against the Great War U-Boat menace.

The Myth of ‘Bloody April’
Great War historian Peter Hart critically examines the brutal reality of the war in the skies over the battlefields of Arras a century ago.

Witch’s Cauldron
Chris Goss speculates on when and how the unexploded German bombs recently uncovered in Portsmouth Harbour may have got there, and tells the story of one German air crew who may have been responsible.

Churchill’s Messerschmitt
Andy Saunders discovers the fate of a pilot shot down in the Battle of Britain, whose demise was witnessed by then Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.

The Scourge of 20 Squadron
In the second of his pieces for Britain at War this issue, Chris Goss highlights the story of the German Ace who scored seven of his 20 victories against one unfortunate RFC squadron in 1917.

WIN! Enter our competition to win 6 copies of 'The Tank Book’

In an exclusive to Britain at War, Lord Ashcroft tells the story of one New Zealand fighter pilot who was downed behind Japanese lines, and of his astonishing tale of extreme survival as a captive of the Japanese Army.


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First World War Diary
America enters the war! Our monthly analysis of the key events of the Great War arrives at April 1917 and sees a major French offensive, the British clashing with the Germans at Arras and the might of America coming into the conflict.

Image of War
Our spotlight this month focuses on a Canadian machine gun team caught up in the Battle for Vimy Ridge.

Recon Report
The monthly look at books and products by the editorial team includes our Book of the Month, Michael Ashcroft’s Victoria Cross Heroes, Vol 2, and a stunning cast model of Michael Wittman’s Tiger tank.

Great War Gallantry
Our series looking at some of the awards as listed in the London Gazette continues into April 1917, and Lord Ashcroft selects his ‘Hero of the Month’.

Militaria Monthly – The Iron Cross
Regular Britain at War contributor, Robin Schaefer, looks at these iconic and well-recognised decorations of the First World War in our regular series covering aspects of militaria collecting.

War Artists
Phil Jarman tells the story of Sir Muirhead Bone, the first painter to become an official British War Artist.

First World War in Objects
Our object this month is a small fragment of the iconic medieval Cloth Hall in Ypres, salvaged by a young British Corporal after the building had been destroyed by lengthy shelling.