The birth of Ravenser Odd

Reading time: 8 minutes
In 1290 there was an investigation into their complaint and the records of that investigation still survive. The people of Grimsby told the king’s investigators that in the time of King Henry III ‘a certain small island was born’, the distance of ‘one tide’ from Grimsby, and fishermen began to dry their nets there. One day a ship was wrecked on the island, and someone made a cabin from the wreckage and began to live there. That man, the first permanent resident of this new land, began to sell food and drink to passing sailors.

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How the British defeated Napoleon with citrus fruit

Reading time: 5 minutes
Everyone knows that Britain’s conclusive victory over Napoleon was at Waterloo. The story of that day – the squares of infantry repulsing cavalry charges, the Imperial Guard retreating under murderous musket fire delivered by a red line of soliders, the just-in-time arrival of Field Marshal Blücher’s Prussian army – is one of excitement, horror and heroism. However, Britain’s biggest contribution to Napoleon’s defeat was much less romantic. It involved the first randomised controlled trial.

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In their own words: letters from ANZACs during the Gallipoli evacuation

Just five days before Christmas, in the early hours of Monday December 20, 1915, the last Anzac troops left Gallipoli in what Australian historian Joan Beaumont called an “elaborate game of deception”. Self-firing guns were rigged to take pot-shots and camp fires lit to give the impression of there being more soldiers than there were. The Australians […]

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Virginia Hall, SOE Agent to CIA Pioneer

Reading time: 10 minutes

Virginia Hall (1906–1982) was an American woman who served with the British Special Operations Executive in France in 1941–1942. She then joined its US equivalent, the Office of Strategic Services, and became a founding member of the Central Intelligence Agency.

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Earning the Enemy’s Respect: Victoria Cross Recommendations from the Other Side

Reading time: 7 minutes
Many readers will be familiar with the 1964 epic movie Zulu, which depicts the 1879 landmark Battle of Rorke’s Drift in the Anglo-Zulu War. In the film, perhaps the most iconic scene takes place at the end of the movie, whereby the Zulu warriors chant in respectful salutation towards the British soldiers before withdrawing after the battle. Moving, cinematic, and honourable, it’s clear why the scene lives so memorably in the hearts of fans today.

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History’s Greatest Nicknames

Reading time: 7 minutes
A browse through any military history book will no doubt bring up titles of famous officers, often bearing unusual, surprising, or sometimes downright hilarious nicknames. In many cases, it’s clear where the sobriquet originated, while other examples hold a less-obvious significance.

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Ireland and the Battle of The Somme

Reading time: 8 minutes
The Somme was the first great action by a British Army on a continental scale. It was the longest, bloodiest battle of World War One, a campaign lasting four and a half months, and fought over a twenty-mile front near the Somme. In February 1916 Allied commanders had decided to launch an infantry offensive there,

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