Graham Goodlad and I have teamed up in previous issues to discuss the military achievements of some of the great British admirals of the late 18th century – Hawke, Rodney, and Howe. The culmination of their revolution in naval tactics was, of course, Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar.
This issue, we look at Nelson’s career in general and also analyse his greatest battle. What we find is less a model for all time than an extraordinary coincidence of man, moment, and military system.
How do you get rid of awkward generals? Not that simple, Nigel Jones discovers, reviewing the extended tussle between President Lincoln and General George B McClellan in the first year of the American Civil War. In a follow-up piece, he will look at Churchill’s clash with ‘the men of 1940’.
Patrick Mercer’s ‘forgotten battle’ this issue is a vicious close-quarters struggle between two elites – the hardened Nazis of the Waffen SS and Britain’s Scots Guards – on the Gothic Line in the mountains of Italy in late 1944.
Joseph O’Neill, meantime, lifts the lid on the brutality of German POW camps during the First World War, while Robert Holmes transports us back to 11th-century Sicily for an epic confrontation between Norman chivalry and Saracen resistance – a confrontation that ended two centuries of Muslim rule in the island.