Diplomatic and Miltary Background

Morgan-Owen, D. (2017) The Fear of Invasion

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David Morgan-Owen , The Fear of Invasion: Strategy, Politics, and British War Planning, 1880-1914, OUP 2017 The Fear of Invasion presents a new interpretation of British preparation for War before 1914. It argues that protecting the British Isles from invasion was the foundation upon which all other plans for the defence of the Empire were […]

Diplomatic and Miltary Background

The First Battle of Ironclads – 1862

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A portent of future naval warfare: The first battle between ironclads: CSS Virginia (ex-USS Merrimac) (left) vs. USS Monitor, in 1862 at the Battle of Hampton Roads: First Battle of Iron Ships of War by Henry Bill. Shown are the USS Monitor, CSS Virginia, USS Cumberland, CSS Jamestown, USS Congress, and USS Minnesota: More at […]

Diplomatic and Miltary Background

The Fenian Ram

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The Fenian Ram was an early submarine developed by John Holland in the United States for the Fenian Brotherhood foe use by the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Description from Wikipedia: Fenian Ram is a submarine designed by John Philip Holland for use by the Fenian Brotherhood, American counterpart to the Irish Republican Brotherhood, against the British. […]

Contemporary Publications

Parliamentary Debates & Reports (1871-1914)

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The following extracts of parliamentary business are taken from Hansard and other public records. [Extracts contain Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v3.0.] House Commons Debate, 14th May 1901. ARMY ORGANISATION Sir John Colomb: I hope the House will appreciate the difficulty in which this ruling of the Chair has placed me. This […]

Diplomatic and Miltary Background

Libya 1911 – The first air raid?

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The first use of aeroplanes for reconnaissance and bombing occurred in the Italian-Turkish war in 1911. On October 23, 1911, an Italian pilot, Captain Carlo Piazza, flew over Turkish lines on the world’s first aerial reconnaissance mission, and on November 1, the first ever aerial bomb was dropped by Sottotenente Giulio Gavotti, on Turkish troops […]

Diplomatic and Miltary Background

Freeman, R. (2009) The Great Edwardian Naval Feud

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ichard Freeman (2009) The Great Edwardian Naval Feud: Beresford’s Vendetta Against ‘Jackie’ Fisher Interesting background to the period when Britain was building up its naval capabilities. This is the story of the clash between two gigantic personalities in the early years of the twentieth century.On one side was Admiral Lord Charles Beresford. Physically strong, courageous […]

Contemporary Publications

Conan Doyle, A. (1913) Great Britain and the Next War

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Arthur Conan Doyle (1913) Great Britain and the Next War – published in Fortnightly Review, February 1913. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the few major authors of the time who clearly foresaw the impending dangers. Now known mainly for his Sherlock Holmes stories, he was also an expert in military affairs, bluff, and […]

Contemporary Publications

Burnaby, F. (1876) A Ride to Khiva

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Fred Burnaby (1876) A Ride to Khiva It is 1875, the time of the ‘Great Game’, when the British and Russian Empires are vying for power in central Asia. A British officer rides for Khiva, a Russian city closed to European travellers. He is on a dangerous mission, to learn if Russia plans to invade […]

Contemporary Publications

Burnaby, F. (1877) On Horseback through Asia Minor

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Frederick Burnaby (1877) On Horseback through Asia Minor, London; Sampson Low and Co A follow-up to A Ride to Khiva. “On Horseback Through Asia Minor” details how the brave Burnaby set off in the winter of 1876, convinced he could once again outwit the Czar’s secret police. This time Burnaby determined to ride 2,000 miles […]

Diplomatic and Miltary Background

The Airship Scare of 1909

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There was a rash of scares reported in the press during 1909. This has been documented by: Alfred M. Gollin, ‘England Is No Longer an Island: The Phantom Airship Scare of 1909’, Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Spring, 1981), pp. 43-57  [Jstor] David Clarke in an article ‘Scareships […]