Europeenses

Nevsky Prospekt: Part 2 – Obelisk to the Hero City Leningrad

Граждане! При артобстреле эта сторона улицы наиболее опасна Citizens! During shelling this side of the street is the most dangerous (Inscription stencilled on walls along Nevsky Prospekt during the Siege … Continue reading

May 28, 2019 · Leave a comment

Bergh’s, ‘Nordic Summer’s Evening’, 1899-1900

It all must be so beautiful in old Sweden now – Midsummer time – one almost chokes up thinking about the long, light nights; the still clear bays where birch … Continue reading

May 19, 2019 · Leave a comment

Beer, Bans, and Brennivin: Prohibition in Iceland

Late at night on May 10, 1988, and a dozen joyful Icelanders flash victory signs outside the Alþingi as the upper house votes to bring an end to a year long … Continue reading

October 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

The First Cod War

London, 1883, and the respected biologist Thomas Huxley rose to address the assembled delegates at the International Fisheries Exhibition government. Since 1858 Huxley had been closely involved with the British … Continue reading

May 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Soldier’s Wife by Jean Guthrie-Smith (1895-1949)

Jean Guthrie-Smith was 22 years old when she married the love of her life, Laurence Neal, on 1 May 1918. Her husband was wounded twice in the war, surviving a … Continue reading

March 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Belfast Outdoor Relief Strike of 1932

Yes! We have no bananas, We have no bananas today. We’ve string beans, and onions, Cabbages and scallions And all kind of fruit, and say, We have an old fashioned … Continue reading

January 21, 2015 · Leave a comment

To My Daughter Betty, The Gift of God, by Tom Kettle (1880-1916)

In 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Over 200,000 Irishmen fought in theatres across the … Continue reading

November 11, 2014 · 3 Comments

Miners, by Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

Wilfred Owen is rightly regarded as the leading poet of the First World War. Dulce et Decorum Est and Anthem for Doomed Youth have never been bettered as war poetry in … Continue reading

September 24, 2014 · 1 Comment

Donetsk, isn’t it Boyo!

I wonder how many Russian nationalists know of the Welsh heritage of the industrial city of Donetsk, birthplace of pole-vault legend Sergey Bubka, shoe banging Nikita Krushchev, and Yevgeny Khaldei, the photographer … Continue reading

September 20, 2014 · 1 Comment

Feuersturm: Hamburg under the bombs, 1943

On the night of July 27, 1943, the Royal Air Force carried out the second of three major raids against the city of Hamburg. In the space of fifty minutes … Continue reading

March 31, 2014 · Leave a comment

Mietskasernes: Working Class Berlin, 1871-1922

Following German unification in 1871 Berlin was transformed from a provincial city, capital of the Kings of Prussia, to an international, bustling, industrial metropolis in a few short decades. Its … Continue reading

March 19, 2014 · 4 Comments

The Bombing of Dresden: Morality and Air Power in World War Two

The primary object of your operations should now be focused on the morale of the enemy civil population, and in particular on the industrial workers. Air Staff Directive No. 22, … Continue reading

March 8, 2014 · 6 Comments

Galileo

At the moment when your satnav sends you up a cart track, into a river, or the wrong way up a one way street everyone can blame the USA, and … Continue reading

March 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Revolution: A short history of Prague

“I shall now set forth our plan for all to admire. Ultimate goal: overthrow Austria. First step: take Prague. Modus operandi: seize the citadel and lookout point on the promontory … Continue reading

March 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Good Soldier Švejk

Having drunk away a gift of 10 crowns instead of buying a railway ticket Private Josef Švejk, unscrupulous dog dealer, idiot savant, and thorn in the side of his superiors, … Continue reading

January 18, 2014 · 2 Comments

Leaping Lena

In 1954 a racing pigeon named Lena lost her sense of direction during a flight from Munich to her home in Klautzenbach and landed in Plzeň. She was found by … Continue reading

January 12, 2014 · Leave a comment

Europeenses part 3

Following the Second World War Europe found itself devastated. Thirty to forty million people had perished during the conflagration, cities lay in ruins, agricultural and industrial output was dramatically reduced, … Continue reading

January 2, 2014 · 1 Comment

Europeenses, part 2

The Duc de Sully’s ‘Great Design’ for an all-Christian universal republic not only excluded the Ottoman’s but also Russia, unless it converted to Catholicism, Lutheranism, or Calvinism. Less than a … Continue reading

December 21, 2013 · 1 Comment

Rhine

Der Rhein rises in two headstreams in the Swiss Alps, the Vorderrhein and the Hinterrhein, which meet at Reichenau above Chur. The river in its various guises as the Rhein, … Continue reading

December 19, 2013 · Leave a comment

Internationalen Preise

In addition to the Internationaler Karlspreis zu Aachen the good burghers of Aachen also present the annual Orden wider den tierischen Ernst, the “Medal for Combating Deadly Seriousness”. Its origins lie … Continue reading

December 17, 2013 · Leave a comment