Europe

From the fall of Napoleon to Revolution in Russia and from the rise of Hitler to the fall of the Berlin Wall this period is one of major upheaval in Europe. We see the collapse of monarchies and empires and the changing status of women and working men. This is a time that witnesses the mass displacement of peoples and genocide on a scale never seen before it is also a time that sees changes in medicine and technology that make fundamental changes to our everyday lives. Read more

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  • On Black Lives Matter

    Article

    2020 has been an interesting year in many ways – both as a year to make history and one that has sought to tackle many representations of the past. The Black Lives Matter campaign that has taken on new energy across the globe in response to the killing of a...

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  • Exploring Twentieth-Century History

    Article

    For a long time, history curricula on the 20th century prioritised the narrative of a slide from World War I to World War II and fascism above many other topics. But the history of the 20th century is both far more complicated and far more interesting than that. For the historians writing here, the...

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  • Rome: City in Terror – The Nazi Occupation 1943-44

    Article

    Rome: City in Terror – The Nazi Occupation 1943-44, Victor Failmezger; Osprey Publishing, 2020, 496 pp, £25.00ISBN 978-1-4728-4128-5  Victor Failmezger has written a thorough and detailed narrative of the appalling conditions that existed in Rome in the period from the first Allied bombing of Rome in July 1943 to its liberation on...

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  • How is the source base of the twentieth century different from that of earlier periods?

    Article

    Historians often debate when, exactly, the twentieth century began; that is, when the themes and trends that we have come to understand as defining this tumultuous, rapidly changing period first started, and when they ended. One place we can look to answer this question is the available primary resources that help...

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  • What is interesting about the Cold War?

    Article

    Almost 30 years after the end of the Cold War, diversity is suddenly galvanising the field of scholarly research into the Cold War. As the historian Federico Romero has argued, older, simpler interpretations ‘seem to be giving way to a looser understanding of the Cold War as an era that encompassed...

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  • The Devil’s Bridge: The German Victory at Arnhem, 1944

    Article

    The Devil’s Bridge: The German Victory at Arnhem, 1944, Anthony Tucker-Jones, Osprey Publishing, 2020, 304p, £20-00. ISBN 978-1-4728-3986-2 The British view the events surrounding the bridge across the River Rhine at Arnhem in 1944 as an heroic attempt to accelerate the defeat of Nazi Germany, a view exaggerated in popular...

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  • Migration into the UK in the early twenty-first century

    Article

    Sam Scott and Lucy Clarke explore the data covering more recent migration to the United Kingdom, most especially from the EU. They discover that since 2000 migrant destinations have changed. No longer do migrants head exclusively to the big cities and industrial areas, but to rural areas, like Boston in...

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  • Immigration and the making of British food

    Article

    Panikos Panayi explores the way in which immigration has transformed British eating habits over the last two centuries, whether through the rise of the restaurant and the development of eating out, or the culinary revolution at home. Those people who voted to leave the European Union in 2016 because of...

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  • When was the post-war?

    Article

    There is a peculiar tension at the heart of scholarship about the years and decades after the Second World War. On the one hand, the political developments following the breakdown of the war-time alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union have spawned an enormous literature, in parts as old...

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  • What is interesting about the interwar period?

    Article

    The years between the Armistice of November 1918 and the German attack on Poland in September 1939 were undoubtedly a period of massive transformations. Public appetite to learn about specific aspects of this era remains strong. The making of communist rule in revolutionary Russia, the tribulations of Weimar Germany, the rise...

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  • Poland and the Second World War 1938-48

    Article

    Poland and the Second World War 1938-48, Evan McGilvray, Pen and Sword, 2019, 344p, £25-00. ISBN 9781473834101. For those of us who understood that the Polish Partitions of the 18th Century had removed the reality of a Polish state from the map of Europe and that at the end of the...

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  • What is interesting about the world wars?

    Article

    In the past, the two world wars have been mainly studied as military history, focused on armies, campaigns and battles. Historians have concentrated on wars in Europe and in particular on the Western Front in 1914–18 and on the war with Nazi Germany in the west. This has given rise...

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  • Film: Veteran Mervyn Kersh Talks about his experience of World War II

    Multipage Article

    Mervyn Kersh was a young man from South London whose army service included arriving into Normandy in the first few days of the invasion, crossing the Rhine and being a British Jewish serviceman in Germany when the war ended. In this film released to commemorate VE Day Mervyn describes his...

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  • British-Army camp followers in the Peninsular War

    Article

    Charles J. Esdaile throws light on a vital part of a field army that receives little study, the ‘baggage train’. The subject of the involvement of women’s involvement in warfare is one that over the past 20 years has become increasingly fashionable, and there is, therefore, a growing literature on...

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  • Losing sight of the glory: five centuries of combat surgery

    Article

    Michael Crumplin traces developments in surgery that can be directly attributed to changes in the conduct of war. Little doubt exists that war accelerates and innovates medical care. Today, our armed services can rely upon sound medical treatment if they are sick or wounded, with survival rates of above 90%. This...

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  • The changing shapes of Europe’s twentieth century

    Article

    In this discussion of the twentieth century, Martin Conway considers the implications of linking notions of military conflict and division with the emergence of modernity. The idea of World War II as the distinct dividing line between the present and past, and the ways in which it began a time...

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  • Holocaust Memorial Day 2020

    2nd January 2020

    2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps and death camps (those that had not already been destroyed by fleeing Nazis). The horror and devastation that greeted the liberators of the different camps could hardly be described nor quite believed even when witnessing it. While the killing...

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  • ‘You are Legend’: The Welsh Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War

    Article

    ‘You are Legend’: The Welsh Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, Graham Davies, Welsh Academic Press, 2018, 224p, £19-99. ISBN 978-1-86057-1305 ‘You are legend’ is a phrase from the farewell speech by La Pasionaria in 1938 when the International Brigade withdrew from the Spanish Civil War. Amongst the British contingent...

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  • Lecture: German Jews and the First World War

    Article

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  • Do historical anniversaries matter? Case study: Arnhem 1944

    Article

    2019 has been quite a year for historical anniversaries – Peterloo 200, D-Day 75, Monte Cassino 75, Women MPs 100 years, Apollo Moon Landings 50 years and all following on the tail of four years of the First World War centenary – and that is not counting the anniversaries that...

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