How we mythologise the Second World War

8 May

When I was in sixth form, one of my masters was an enthusiastic collector and distributor of obituaries featuring notable persons from the Second World War. Two I remember in particular were both fighter aces: the Luftwaffe’s Adolf Galland and the RAF’s Air Vice Marshal “Johnnie” Johnson (not to be confused with Squadron Leader “Johnny” […]

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The truth about lockdown in Leningrad

31 Mar

A few years ago I wrote a book about the siege of Leningrad, a brutal chapter of World War II history. Sitting in my office, working my way through dozens of heart-wrenching siege diaries, the cheerful noise of children in the school playground opposite came as a blessed relief. Today I’m at my desk in […]

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It is time for an NHS National Service

26 Mar

As the coronavirus tragedy unfolds, placing great stress on health services around the globe, we are afforded a real-world, comparative study of the effectiveness of different forms of government in a moment of crisis. Like the coloured fluid run through water systems to find leaks and points of weakness, Covid-19 is coursing through the world’s […]

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