The Largest Self-Built Castles in the World

The Bory Castle In August 2019, so before the entire Covid-pandemic kind of ruined any plans for travel throughout Europe, I visited the Hungarian city of Székesfehérvár. This city, beautiful as it was, really sprung out to me because of a castle that was hidden quite a bit outside the city centre. Anyway, that castleContinue reading “The Largest Self-Built Castles in the World”

The Largest Axis POW Escape on American Soil: The Great Papago Escape

Captain Jürgen Wattenberg, a German submarine, U-boat commander, had quite the adventurous experience during the Second World War, even though he spent most of it interred. Well, being interred was a large part of the adventure.  At the outbreak of the war, he was the German armoured battleship Admiral Graf Spee’s navigation officer. After theContinue reading “The Largest Axis POW Escape on American Soil: The Great Papago Escape”

The Swingjugend: Pacifistic Youth Resistance in Nazi Germany

There were several youth movements that resisted the ever-increasing totalitarian nature of Nazi Germany during the 1930s. One of the most significant groups were the so-called Edelweiss Pirates. These working-class youths had no distinctive political ideology. Still, they simply opposed the dogmas and lack of freedom in Nazi Germany and especially the Hitlerjugend, the officialContinue reading “The Swingjugend: Pacifistic Youth Resistance in Nazi Germany”

Hobart’s Funnies: World War 2 Specialist Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Allied “Secret Weapons”

The Allies used them for the first time during the landings in Normandy: the Duplex Drive Tanks. Duplex drives weren’t traditional armoured fighting vehicles. This particular kind of tank was a Sherman tank, tweaked to float on water thanks to a canvas flotation screen around the vehicle. Thanks to two propellers the tank engine wasContinue reading “Hobart’s Funnies: World War 2 Specialist Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Allied “Secret Weapons””

Isoroku Yamamoto: Japan’s Admiral and Mastermind behind the Pearl Harbor Attack

Isoroku Yamamoto was the commander-in-chief of the Japanese Imperial Navy during the Second World War. He was a veteran of the Russo-Japanese war of 1905 and commanded the attacking fleet during the, for the Japanese disastrous, Battle of Midway and the Guadalcanal Campaign. But that’s not necessarily what he’s remembered for. Yamamoto was the mastermindContinue reading “Isoroku Yamamoto: Japan’s Admiral and Mastermind behind the Pearl Harbor Attack”

Asia’s Stalingrad and Britain’s Greatest Battle: the Siege of Kohima

One of Japan’s last offensives during the Second World War was Operation U-Go. In March 1944, over 80.000 Japanese soldiers under the extremely aggressive general Renya Mutaguchi crossed the border with India. It really says something when you’re considered to be extremely aggressive as a Japanese general during the Second World War, to be fair.Continue reading “Asia’s Stalingrad and Britain’s Greatest Battle: the Siege of Kohima”

History of the Iron Cross and Order of Louise

After Prussia’s crushing defeat at Jena during the Napoleonic wars, its King issued some drastic military reforms. One of the most crucial reforms was the fact that individual merit was valued much more than social status and whether someone was of noble descent or not. An order by the Prussian King from 1806 encapsulated thisContinue reading “History of the Iron Cross and Order of Louise”

The Battle for Remagen Bridge (March, 1945)

By the beginning of March 1945 the Western Allies, advancing on a broad front, were closing up on the River Rhine, the last great natural barrier between them and Germany’s heartland. Up until that point, the Germans had destroyed all the River’s bridges the Americans came across. Yet on March 7, at the small GermanContinue reading “The Battle for Remagen Bridge (March, 1945)”

Has anyone seen the Mona Lisa?

The Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, could easily be the most famous painting ever. Nowadays, almost everyone knows the famous smile of the mysterious women dressed in her day’s Florentine fashion. Enormous quantities of ink and effort have been spent over the decades to unravel the mysteries behind this painting. The painting’s historyContinue reading “Has anyone seen the Mona Lisa?”

The Discovery of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Warriors

China enjoys an incredibly rich and interesting history. Yet, when in March 1974 the Chinese farmer Yang Zhifa dug water well, in rural Shaanxi, he probably didn’t expect that he would find any remnants of that history. Let alone anything that was over 2000 years old. But he did, he dug up some ancient terracottaContinue reading “The Discovery of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Warriors”