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Military History

Land, naval & air warfare from ancient times to the late 20th century. Military History is the nation’s oldest and most popular magazine devoted to the history of warfare. Each issue contains incisive accounts from top writers and historians who take a fresh look at the commanders, campaigns, battles, and weapons that made history.




  • Military History

    Queen’s Ransom

    How Hawaii’s indebted last queen lost her throne to sugar barons and the American rush to empire...

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    Hallowed Ground: Fort Monroe, Virginia

    Coastal Virginia is seamed by tidal rivers, marshes and creeks that feed into and are fed by Chesapeake Bay, which in turn flows into the Atlantic Ocean. One fragile spit of land sits at the crossroads of this watery world—Old Point...

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    The Prophet of Sea Power

    In 1890 Alfred Thayer Mahan published a book that transformed naval theory—and unleashed the world’s great fleets. Democracies are good at war for many of the same reasons they are good at capitalism and at the enhancement of the human...

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    A Day of Blizzard and Blood

    The crown was at stake when, on a late winter day in 1461, two rival armies clashed in the bloodies battle on English soil. England’s Wars of the Roses were two struggles in one. The first was a feud between the houses of Lancaster...

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    The U.S. Marines’ Mythic Fight at Belleau Wood

    Piercing the fog of war to separate legend from fact. Many historians consider the June 1918 Battle of Belleau Wood the defining event in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. As the Corps’ first large-scale engagement, this World War I...

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    Napoléon: What Made Him Great?

    A talented combat leader, the diminutive emperor was also a shrewd judge of human nature. President Harry S. Truman once defined a leader as “a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don’t want to do, and like...

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    Decisions: Napoléon’s Dash to Jena

    No general in history has a greater reputation for decisiveness than Napoléon Bonaparte. As a military leader he was the consummate man of action. He outthought contemporaries, not just in breadth of knowledge but by the lightning...

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    What We Learned: from the Italo-Ethiopian War

    Conventional wisdom holds that the Spanish Civil War was the dress rehearsal for World War II, yet a far more important, earlier and lesser-known conflict (it had no Picasso to paint a Guernica) was the Italo-Ethiopian War of 1935–36....

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    Valor: Bravery Over Belgium

    Robert Guy Robinson U.S. Marine Corps Medal of Honor Pitthem, Belgium Oct. 14, 1918 On Oct. 14, 1918, U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Robert Guy Robinson was grievously injured, with more than a dozen bullet wounds to his chest, leg and abdomen...

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    Hallowed Ground: Oriskany, New York

    On Aug. 6, 1777, Brig. Gen. Nicholas Herkimer, 800 Tryon County militiamen and several dozen Indian scouts stood on an old military road at the edge of a dark forest six miles east of Fort Stanwix (near present-day Oriskany, N.Y.). In...

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    India’s Blitzkrieg

    India’s army dished out its own style of ‘Lightning War’ to free a nation. When we think about modern war, we tend to think of the Western world. After all, modern wars require global reach, mass armies and high technology, and only...

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    Nelson: What Made Him Great?

    Boldness, genius and a rare willingness to risk all in pursuit of victory. Few would disagree that Great Britain’s Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson (1758–1805) was a great naval leader. Indeed, many historians consider him the...

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    The Balkanized War

    In World War II Yugoslavia the Axis invasion unleashed age-old hatreds and sparked brutal internecine strife. In January 1943 the German army launched a major offensive, codenamed Fall Weiss (“Case White”), to encircle an area in...

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    Decisions: Roman Folly at Edessa

    Treachery has often had a decisive impact on military operations. Great generals have founded tactical and even strategic plans upon it—and with good reason. Assassinations, betrayals and defections, if timed properly, can turn the...

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    What We Learned: from the Falklands War

    It was a brief but violent war that baffled Americans, drove Britons to an ecstasy of patriotism and totally blindsided the Argentines. For 150 years Argentina and Great Britain had contested sovereignty over the Falklands and South...

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    Valor: The Normandy Ranger

    Leonard G. Lomell U.S. Army Distinguished Service Cross Pointe du Hoc, France June 6, 1944 Leonard G. ‘Bud’ Lomell is a leg- end among U.S. Army Rangers. Inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame in 1994, he is one of the key heroes of the...