History of War Issue 66

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Published 21st March 

Seventy-five years ago, the struggle to expel Axis forces from the Italian peninsula was coming to a brutal crescendo, as German Fallschirmjäger units dug in to blunt the Allied advance. The focus of this uphill struggle soon became Monte Cassino, a 6th century monastery perched in the Abruzzo mountains, and a strongpoint in the German defensive lines. 

Among the Allied assaults on this position was the Polish II Corps. Known as Anders’ Army, these soldiers had travelled from the USSR, across the Middle East, and through the Desert Rat frontline in North Africa. In the Italian Campaign, the Poles faced their greatest challenge yet, and a chance to strike back at their enemy.

This month, documentary filmmaker Marianna Bukowski spoke with Anders’ Army veteran Otton Hulacki, who reveals not only his grueling journey from captivity in the Soviet Union, but also his part in the perilous offensives at Monte Cassino. 

Elsewhere, in this month’s Great Battles you will find a blow-by-blow account of medieval Japan’s most iconic battles, as rival warlords deploy their samurai ranks in the struggle to control the main island Honshu.

Features Editor Tom Garner spoke with Royal Artillery veteran Tom Martin discusses the important but unsung role of the artillery in the battle to re-take the Falkland Islands from Argentina. This issue Tom also spoke with historian Adam Zamoyski, whose new book re-examines the myth of Napoleon Bonaparte.