Military History

Bernard Cornwell on Waterloo

May 26, 2015

Bernard Cornwell writes historical fiction.  Really vivid, well-researched historical fiction with a military bent and complicated main characters. Now Cornwell makes his first foray into historical nonfiction with Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles. Published in time for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Cornwell’s account features the […]

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Went The Day Well? Witnessing Waterloo

May 15, 2015

In case you’ve missed it, the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo is nigh.  As is always the case with major historical anniversaries, major historical hoopla has begun. The first commemorative articles have already appeared. Reenactment groups are preparing a grand scale reenactment–5000 reeanctors, 300 horses, 100 cannons, a gazillion spectators.* And new books on […]

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On The Shores of Tripoli

April 10, 2015

In my seventh grade music class, we regularly sang the anthems of the various branches of the United States’ armed services.*  Three days a week, the caissons rolled, bones sank to Davy Jones, planes sailed into the wild blue yonder, and the Marines fought from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.  It […]

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Word With A Past: Pyrrhic Victory

March 31, 2015

Pyrrhus (319 to 272 BCE),  king  of the Greek city-state  Epirus, was a second cousin of Alexander the Great.  He earned a reputation as a successful general in the political chaos of the successor kingdoms that arose from the ruins of his famous cousin’s empire.  A hundred years after Pyrrhus’s death, Hannibal, famous for crossing […]

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The Fall of the Ottomans

March 24, 2015

Last year I spent a lot of time and virtual ink on books about World War I. When the year came to an end, I had to take a breather. But this one was too good to let pass: Western histories of the First World War often focus on the trench warfare on the Western […]

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The End of French Algeria

February 21, 2015

The Algerian Revolution, which lasted from 1954 to 1962, was one of the bloodiest of the anti-colonial wars that broke out in Asia and Africa after the end of World War II. * Algerian resistance against colonial rule in Algeria was nothing new. Abd al-Qadir fought against French expansion in North Africa for fifteen years […]

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In These Times: Living in Britain Through Napoleon’s Wars

February 3, 2015

Even the most eclectic history buff has periods that draw her back time and time again. if you’ve spent much time here at the Margins you know the late eighteenth century is one of those times for me. Regency England and Revolutionary France, colonial expansion in India and losses in North American, Enlightenment thought and […]

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Abd al-Qadir Fights Back

January 20, 2015

  If the French hadn’t invaded Algeria in 1830, Algerian emir Abd al-Qadir would probably have been content to follow his grandfather and father as the spiritual leader of the Qadiriyah Sufi order. In the fall of 1832, when the French began to expand their control into the Algerian interior, the Arab tribes of Oran […]

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The Incident of the Flyswatter

January 13, 2015

Yesterday I received an e-mail from a friend and regular reader of History in the Margins suggesting I write a post about the long, complex, and often difficult relationship between France and its Muslim citizens, hoping it would give her/you a context for the Charlie Hebdo killings and their aftermath. I will admit that I […]

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100 Years Later: The Christmas Truce of 1914

December 25, 2014

I’ve run this post before, but I don’t think there is any historical Christmas story more appropriate to tell this year. A hundred years ago, men on the Western Front stopped fighting and celebrated the holiday together. For most of us, the most vivid images of World War I are the trenches on the Western […]

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