History of War

IS THERE EVER A ‘GOOD WAR’?

It is only possible to pretend that one war is good until the next war comes along. I still treasure my great uncle’s 1914-1918 medal (he was at Jutland) inscribed with the words, “The Great War for Civilisation”. In more elevated moments, those who survived it liked to dignify the Flanders slaughter as ‘The war to end war’. After all, if it really had ended war, then it might just have been worth it.

But how quickly all that came apart. As a child, I used to love the terse, graphic stories of ‘Gun Buster’ about the British Expeditionary Force’s retreat to Dunkirk. This

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