Category Archives: Book

This week in the War, 28 Dec 1942–3 Jan 1943: New Year’s Day & the Diary of Helene Pitrou

“The New Year is starting well: People are talking about a possible landing by the Allies.” So begins the entry for New Year’s day in Dans Paris occupé: Journal d’Hélène Pitrou—the fictional diary of the fictional French schoolgirl, created by … Continue reading

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This week in the War, 31 Aug–6 Sept 1942: The Battle of Alam Halfa

The Battle of Alam Halfa was fought in the Egyptian desert between 31 August and 6 September 1942. This was a defensive battle designed to blunt Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps offensive and to prepare the way for the British Eighth … Continue reading

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Vignette: D-Day—seventy years after

Today is the seventieth anniversary of D-Day, of the 6 June 1944 Allied invasion of Normandy. ‘D-Day’—which is military slang for the starting day of any operation—has come to mean the D-Day, the greatest amphibious invasion in history. It will … Continue reading

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This week in the War, 25–31 May 1942: Cologne—the thousand-bomber raid

This week in the war, at midnight on the night of 30/31 May 1942, Churchill announced to his dinner guests at Chequers that the RAF was, at that very moment, striking Cologne with over a thousand bombers. The guests included … Continue reading

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This week in the War, 19–25 January 1942: The Wannsee Conference

On 20 January 1942, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich chaired one of the most infamous meeting in the history of the world: the conference held at an elegant lake-side villa in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee. Those present included Gestapo Chief Heinrich … Continue reading

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This week in the War, 17–23 November 1941: Get Rommel

This week in the war, at midnight on 17 November 1941, Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey Keyes of the British SAS was overpowering one of the German guards at the headquarters of Lieutenant-General Erwin Rommel in Libya, North Africa. Keyes was leader of … Continue reading

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Vignette: Les amants de Carcassonne—The Lovers of Carcassonne

If your taste in poetry is inclined towards the pure and noble, but at the same time, tragic, you need look no further than France’s Joë Bousquet (1897–1950). He was born in Narbonne, in the land of the Cathars and … Continue reading

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