jump to navigation

D’Annunzio Over Vienna August 15, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
D'Annunzio Over Vienna

Gabrielle D’Annunzio – poet, fighter and proto-fascist – is one of the few individuals in Beachcombing’s reference cabinet to have a file all to himself: he started his life in ‘Italian Eccentrics’ but there was just so much material that he was shunted out into a manila folder of his own. In the many foolscap […]

The Emu War of 1932 July 18, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Emu War of 1932

In the aftermath of the First World War different countries wrestled with the problem of how to reintegrate their veterans into society. In Britain houses were built ‘fit for heroes’, in Italy soldiers coming home were invited to beat up socialists and in Australia veterans from that country  were given land to farm. These Australian […]

Air Mines on the Salonika Front May 22, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Air Mines on the Salonika Front

It has been a while since Beachcombing has added anything to his weird wars tag – though past ww posts including Bats Fight Japan, the Last Scalping in History and the Soccer War of 1969 have been among his most popular. Today, in any case, he thought he would pay tribute to the balloonatics, the […]

The Football Charge of the Somme April 21, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Football Charge of the Somme

Beachcombing found himself thinking about sport and war last night. Polo teams racing at machine guns came flitting into his mind. Then there were the cinematic surfing scenes from Apocalypse Now, Empire thugs walking around ‘taming’ the natives with cricket bats (there was a post-war comic strip), the Central American Soccer War, British bill boards […]

Toasting Poland February 26, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Toasting Poland

  Beachcombing has always had a bit of a thing about the Poles: a nation of warriors and survivors. It is difficult not to get a little teary-eyed then when, in 1918, Poland officially becomes, after 120 years of dreaming, a nation again. Unlike Italy’s pretend risorgimento – to have a ‘resurrection’ you need to […]

Epiphany Gift: War In Dollyland January 6, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Epiphany Gift: War In Dollyland

As Beachcombing noted yesterday (click here, if you dare, for Beachcombian reflections) he has prepared a gift for the WWW this snowy epiphany: War in Dollyland in all its glory. Textual notes: the following was copied from the 1915 original with some care leaving eccentric or antiquated spellings in place. The only change that Beachcombing has made is […]

Prelude to Epiphany: Fitzgerald in the Trenches January 5, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Prelude to Epiphany: Fitzgerald in the Trenches

For Beachcombing a canonical text on the First World War is chapter thirteen of Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. Here FSF gets as close as anyone ever has to explaining why European civilisation committed suicide in 1915 and 1916. Dick and his party, including the vapid Rosemary have come to visit the First World War […]

Germans Pay for the Sins of Their Great, Great, Great Grandfathers October 6, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Germans Pay for the Sins of Their Great, Great, Great Grandfathers

Beachcombing often misses major historical anniversaries on his blog or only cottons on a couple of days too late. Certainly he is off in raising the white flag to celebrate the last German payment of First World War reparations. For, yes, so it was that, on Sunday, 3rd October 2010, the German government put its […]

Those Nice Austro-Hungarian Machine Gunners October 2, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Those Nice Austro-Hungarian Machine Gunners

Beachcombing recently found himself marveling over a passage in Mark Thompson’s The White War on Italy’s dreadful First World War campaigns. Italy it must be remembered was fighting, for the most part, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Peacock Imperial Throne of central Europe. Another kind of collusion was so rare that very few instances were recorded […]

The Battle of the Somme in London August 4, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Battle of the Somme in London

                  Britain historically – before that dread day in 1973 when the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Rome – prided itself on its splendid isolation. But simple geography meant that Britain was far closer to Continental Europe than Japan, say, was to Asia. And no amount of […]

False Armistice: the Cable that Lied to a Nation July 28, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
False Armistice: the Cable that Lied to a Nation

          A story of misplaced joy with, Beachcombing promises, no elephants. In a world of instant communication it is all too easy to forget how long it once took to get a message from one side of the world to another. Think of the months needed for a seventeenth-century Spanish governor in […]

The Last Cavalry Charge in History? June 16, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Last Cavalry Charge in History?

                    It is a long ago Sunday and Beachcombing, aged ten, is playing with his plastic Napoleonic soldiers. In walks Beachcombing’s father with his dangerous pacifist tendencies and pointing to a group of charging cavalry observes: ‘They must have suffered terribly when their horses were shot […]

Page 3 of 3123