Britain’s armed forces no longer have the resources for a major war

7 November 2015 9:00 am

Our armed forces have been cut too far to fight a meaningful war – and the coming defence review looks unlikely to change that


If Putin comes, the Poles are waiting - a report from Nato's new frontline

4 July 2015 9:00 am

Nato’s beefed-up military exercises are impressive – and ominous


Without Scotland, England will be a weedy laughing stock

5 July 2014 9:00 am

If Scotland votes for independence, Britain will be left weaker than anyone yet realises


The one good thing we're leaving in Afghanistan

2 November 2013 9:00 am

Afghanistan’s new, British-led military academy may prove our most lasting legacy

A patrol of allied forces in Northern Burma in 1944. Image: Getty

Griff Rhys Jones: Burma, My Father and the Forgotten Army

2 March 2013 9:00 am

Burma, My Father and the Forgotten Army, with Griff Rhys Jones, is on BBC2 at 9pm on Sunday, 7th July.…

The enemy within

3 September 2011 12:00 am

The most telling figure in Carey Schofield’s book on the Pakistan army is Faisal Alavi, a major general who was murdered in November 2008.

Patience v. panache

18 June 2011 12:00 am

The square jaw and steely gaze are deceptive.


At war with the Greeks

8 January 2011 12:00 am

America’s love of the ancient republics has had military consequences in the present

Bearing the brunt

6 November 2010 12:00 am

Ostensibly this small book is a jolly and true story (illustrated with some charming black-and-white snapshots) about the military experiences of Wojtek (pronounced Voycheck), the bear who, bought as a cub by Polish soldiers in Persia, earned name, rank and number as the mascot of the 22nd Company of the Artillery Supply Command, 2nd Polish Corps.


Mud, blood and jungle rot

31 July 2010 12:00 am

The Matterhorn, at 14,679 feet in the Alps, is said to be very difficult to climb.


Might and wrong

30 June 2010 12:00 am

‘Was all this the realisation of our war aims?’, Malcolm Muggeridge asked as he surveyed the desolation of Berlin in May 1945.


Aces high

23 June 2010 12:00 am

Seventy years after the RAF repelled the Luftwaffe, the Battle of Britain continues to have a powerful resonance.


The map turns red

21 April 2010 12:00 am

Norman Stone forsook the chair of modern history at Oxford university for Ankara after realising that the ‘conversation at high tables would generally have made the exchanges in the bus- stop in the rain outside seem exhilarating’.


Progress at a price

7 April 2010 12:00 am

I was sitting recently with a former US marine by one of the huge open windows on the top floor of the Caravelle Hotel in Saigon.


Triumph of the will

7 April 2010 12:00 am

Alistair Urquhart describes himself as ‘a lucky man as well as an angry man’.


Annals of war

24 March 2010 12:00 am

‘I was not an enthusiast about getting US forces and going into Iraq,’ Dick Cheney said in 1997, looking back on the First Gulf War.


The stuff of legend

10 March 2010 12:00 am

This book could have been a classic.


A dangerous fellow

10 February 2010 12:00 am

Do we need another huge life of Arthur Koestler? He wrote a great deal about himself, including three autobiographical works: Spanish Testament (1937), describing his experience as a death-row prisoner of General Franco, Arrow in the Blue (1952) and The Invisible Writing (1954).


A society celebrating itself

27 January 2010 12:00 am

The years between the middle of the 18th century and the middle of the 19th century, argues Holger Hoock, ‘saw Britain evolve from a substantial international power yet relative artistic backwater into a global naval, commercial and imperial superpower as well as a leading cultural power in Europe.


Macabre success story

20 January 2010 12:00 am

Ben Macintyre has taken a well-known story of wartime deception, embellished it, and shown that it was even more ingenious and even more risky than we had all supposed.


Elder, but no better

20 January 2010 12:00 am

William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham was hailed by Victorian schoolboys as the man who made England great.

Poisonous relations

30 December 2009 12:00 am

‘The Axis powers and France,’ declared Marshall Pétain and Hitler at Montoire in October 1940, ‘have a common interest in the defeat of England as soon as possible.’ Why this should have been so is one of the many interesting questions to which this book offers no satisfactory answer.

Sideshow on the lake

14 December 2009 12:00 am

During the night of 9 February 1916, two men were sitting on opposing shores of Lake Tanganyika.

When words were scarce

11 November 2009 12:00 am

Most of us are brought up not badly, but wrongly.