Britain at War - February 2018

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Fortresses Against The U-Boats
In 1943 the efforts of Coastal Command reached a new crescendo of activity as it sought to counter the ever-growing U-boat menace. It was a successful battle, and one which was also fought using RAF operated B-17 aircraft, as Chris Goss explains.

The Merchant Gunners
The need to protect merchant shipping with defensive weapons against air or surface attack led to the Admiralty setting up the DEMS organisation in 1940. It was almost a rag-tag band of seamen, complemented by Royal Artillery soldiers, and equipped with a motley selection of weaponry, as David J B Smith describes.

Flashing The D-Day Weather
A humble lighthouse and its stalwart keeper, situated at Blacksod on the west coast of the Irish Republic, unwittingly played a key role in forecasting the weather for Operation Overlord and the launch of the D-Day invasion. Robin J Brooks explains.

Ambush At Champion Lines
Towards the end of the British presence in Aden, a deadly ambush took place against soldiers of the Royal Corps of Transport as they went about their daily routines. Former Army Intelligence Officer, Nick Van Der Bijl, relates the unfortunate saga.

The Road To Spanish Farm
Ralph Hale Mottram’s Spanish Farm trilogy was hailed as a classic of war literature and was the product of a self-confessed ‘misfit’ who served during the Great War, and drew upon his experiences to create his remarkable books. Steve Snelling outlines the story.

Reputations: Father Of The RAF, Hugh Trenchard
A divisive and sometimes controversial figure, Hugh Trenchard is nevertheless regarded as the ‘father’ of the Royal Air Force. Great War historian, Peter Hart, examines Trenchard’s reputation and his enduring legacy in the service he helped to shape.


A Rough Day
With conflict archaeology now an accepted mainstream academic discipline, we start a new occasional series on the subject with an examination by Mark Khan of an investigation undertaken by an official US Government team at a Sussex crash site.


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

Readers’ letters, views and feedback.

Image Of War
This month’s classic image of war comes from the days of the ‘Phoney War’ during April 1940, but could so easily have been taken in the trenches during the Great War.

Militaria Collecting
Continuing our popular militaria series, Mark Khan looks at the wide-ranging area of collecting military paperwork from combatant nations across both the First and Second World Wars.

Real To Reel
We look at the classic war film ‘Reach For The Sky’, the biographic story of the legendary RAF fighter pilot, Douglas Bader.

First World War Diary
Our ‘at-a-glance’ monthly analysis follows the progress of the Great War as we reach February 1918.

Recon Report
We look at what's new in the world of military history books, including a publication on 100 objects from Hitler’s Third Reich.

Great War Gallantry
The continuation of our look at the awards listed in the London Gazette reaches February 1918 and includes Lord Ashcroft’s regular ‘Hero of the Month’.

Battle Of Britain In Colour
We feature a Me 109 downed following its clash with a Hurricane.

First World War in Objects
This month, the aviator’s certificate awarded as a pilot’s licence and proof of competency in the controlled piloting of an aircraft.