(Clockwise from left): American civil war soldier Frances Hook; 19th century Dahomey women soldiers; defending a besieged German city in 1615; 18th century British soldier Hannah Snell and Union soldier Frances Clayton. Sources:
Wikimedia Commons, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbuettel
Fighting in sieges, an army of crack female troops, cross-dressing as male soldiers: women have survived and thrived as part of the war machine. But they’re rarely included in military histories.
The late Yvonne Fox dressed as legendary pitchforked Welshwoman, Jemima Nicholas.
Nancy Hoyt Belcher/Alamy
The last invasion of Britain involved bungled military plans, sozzled soldiers and a legendary Welshwoman wielding a pitchfork.
A Russian citizen being called up for duty.
Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A historian looks back at the success – and failure – of mass mobilization efforts by Russia and the Soviet Union.
A publicity still from The Woman King, about the “amazons” of Dahomey.
Image courtesy Ilze Kitshoff/Sony Pictures Entertainment/Tiff
From Lovecraft Country to Black Panther to a statue in Benin, the “amazons” of Dahomey continue to trend in global popular culture.
National Service recruits in the RAF.
Imperial War Museum / Non Commercial License
An expert who has spoken with ex-national servicemen explains what they think about bringing it back today.
Bianca Di Marchi/AAP
In finding new ways to commemorate Anzac Day, we should learn a lesson from the rise of the Gallipoli pilgrimage.
Ancient military innovations – like the bit and bridle that enabled mounted horseback riding – changed the course of history.
Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin/British Museum via WikimediaCommons
Did ancient technological advancements drive social innovation, or vice versa? Studying cause and effect in the ancient world may seem like a fool’s errand, but researchers built a database to do just that.
Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ (Tiaki reference number 1/4-009458-G)
Anzac soldiers wrote poetry about body lice, shared treatment tips and experimented with new ways of bathing.
Every March 27, the Myanmar military celebrates its anniversary with a parade. The day of the 2021 parade, soldiers killed at least 90 pro-democracy protesters.
Xinhua/Zhang Dongqiang via Getty Images
What began in the 1940s as a revolutionary army created to liberate Myanmar from British colonial rule soon turned repressive. The country has been a military dictatorship on and off since 1962.
Virginia National Guard troops in front of the U.S. Capitol building, Feb. 5, 2021.
Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Some 5,000 National Guardsmen will stay in Washington to protect the Capitol into March, according to the Pentagon. The Guard is seen as a reliable peacekeeping force – but it wasn’t always that way.
Fort Drummond at Mount Saint Thomas, NSW.
Some of our coastal defences are in desperate need of preservation and could be transformed into tourist attractions.
A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask flashing a victory sign in Beirut in November 2019.
EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH
Wars don’t produce winners and losers – they never really did.
A British Pattern 1907 bayonet with leather scabbard.
There is no weapon more visceral than the bayonet. It encourages an intimate form of killing, and during WW1, Australia troops plunged, parried and stabbed with great vigour.
Members of the 1st Marine Division land on Guadalcanal on Aug. 7, 1942.
U.S. Marine Corps
A defender that can hold out while inflicting greater losses on its attacker can wear down an adversary – reducing the threat of additional attacks.
A copy of an engraving of Count Casimir Pulaski published in 1871.
New evidence suggests the 18th-century cavalry officer Casimir Pulaski was a woman or intersex. While we know little of intersex soldiers, there is a fascinating history of women dressing as men to fight.
German prisoners of war at Sutton Bonington during the period when it was a PoW Camp, 1916-19.
Courtesy of the University of Nottingham, Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections
In September 1917, 22 German World War I prisoners held at a camp just outside Nottingham, managed to escape.
A podcast on World War I – from a meeting between the three great war poets, to what happened to conscientious objectors in both Britain and Germany.
The Charge of the Light Brigade happened 163 years ago, but historians still debate who was to blame for the military fiasco.
The Charge of the Light Brigade was brave but fruitless. Could it have worked if the feuding British leaders had interpreted their orders differently?
Against the odds: French troops throw rocks at advancing German troops in the Vosges, 1916.
The French Army’s efforts in the world wars have long been maligned. Its soldiers deserve better.
French POWs being led away from the battlefield in May 1940.
How French memories of the Dunkirk evacuation differ from those of the British.