Britain at War - March 2018

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‘All To Little Purpose’
Throughout 1941, RAF Fighter Command went onto the offensive in operations over France and Belgium, escorting small bomber formations in order to bait the Luftwaffe into combat. It was a flawed and extremely costly policy which gained little or no military advantage, as Andy Saunders explains.

‘Crossy’ VC
The story of extraordinary and single-handed courage by a machine gunner on the Western Front during 1918 saw the richly deserved award of a Victoria Cross for outstanding valour. Steve Snelling charts the remarkable story of Harry Cross VC.

The Flag
The touching story of a Great War Padre, the flag he used to drape the coffins of soldiers he buried on the Western Front and how his experiences led to the idea of The Tomb of The Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey is related by Andy Richards.

We Also Served
Often referred to as ‘The Animal’s VC’, the PDSA’s Dickin Medal has been awarded since the Second World War to animals who have performed deeds of bravery whilst serving with the armed forces or civil defence organisations. Gail Ramsey tells the touchingly poignant story of animals at war.

Beached At Dunkirk
The extraordinary tale of a paddle steamer which rescued hundreds of troops at Dunkirk, a vessel which had been impressed into Royal Navy service as HMS Oriole, is told through the ship’s official record, and by using the words of those who were there, by Martin Mace.

Alex Churchill relates the incredible story of how the precious stones from Britain's Crown Jewels were hidden in a biscuit tin and jam jar to conceal them in the event of German invasion.


Cold War Spying Missions
During the Cold War, the RAF flew regular spying missions along the air corridors in and out of West Berlin using DH Chipmunk trainers fitted with a variety of fixed and hand-held cameras as unlikely spy ‘planes. Andy Thomas tells the remarkable hush-hush story.


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

Image Of War
In this month’s image, a sailor carries a child ashore in Operation Open Door, January 1945, when civilians were besieged on Sørøya Island, between German and Soviet lines, and were rescued by the Royal Navy.

Real To Reel
This month, Phil Jarman looks at the iconic war film ‘The Wooden Horse’, a classic tale of escape by British prisoners from a German POW camp.

Readers’ letters, views and feedback.

Recon Report
We take our monthly look at new military history books and our Book of the Month on the ‘endgame’ battles of the First World War.

First World War Diary
Our ‘at-a-glance’ monthly analysis follows the progress of the Great War, 100 years ago, during March 1918.

Militaria Collecting
Continuing this popular collecting series, Austin J Ruddy looks at the fascinatingly diverse area of Home Guard collectables.

Great War Gallantry
We look at awards listed in the London Gazette during March 1918 and include Lord Ashcroft’s regular ‘Hero of the Month’.

Battle Of Britain In Colour
This month we feature an image of a Dornier 17-Z shot down into a Kent hop garden during July 1940.

First World War in Objects
We look at a log book belonging to a Royal Flying Corps pilot which reveals the fascinating and yet tragic tale of its owner.