The Gallipoli Landings – Lest We Forget – ANZAC Day

The legend of the ANZAC was born from the courage and bloodshed of brave young men from Australia and New Zealand on the shores, steep cliffs, ravines and hills of Gallipoli in 1915. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) along with British and French forces faced stiff opposition from the Turkish troops of the Ottoman Empire during…

The Dreaded Gas Warfare of World War One

Enemy artillery shells come screaming in and crashing about, bringing a thunderous nightmare! Soon an eerie great cloud drifts slowly towards the trenches. The call to don a mask is roared out along the line, “It’s the dreaded gas boys!“. Blinding, gaseous poison that could burn the skin whilst destroying lungs in a single breath, leading to a slow,…

Mephisto – The Last German A7V Sturmpanzerwagen

I recently revisited the always impressive Australian War Memorial in Canberra, which is currently exhibiting an interesting and very rare piece of World War One history. Wander into the ground floor of the large ANZAC Hall and you will be confronted by the mighty Mephisto, the only surviving A7V Sturmpanzerwagen (armoured assault vehicle) Imperial German World War One tank…

Snapshots of Europe: Predjama Castle, Slovenia

Predjama Castle sits majestically in the middle of a 123 metre high cliff,  deep in the south-western country side of Slovenia. In the valley below, the River Lokva disappears beneath the castle and deep underground. A winding country road makes its way through the hills to the small village of Predjama and the castle which in one…

Snapshots of Europe: Graz, Austria – The Styrian Armoury

Graz in the Styria region of southern Austria is a city full of ye olde world charm. It goes way back and became the capital of the Duchy of Styria in 1180. There are plenty of impressive old buildings and structures including cathedrals and castles. The Clock Tower of Graz, high on the overlooking hill is one…

An Icelandic Aviation Journey

As originally posted on my aviation blog Aces Flying High: I have nothing but praise for the Icelandic airlines I flew on in January 2015. Icelandair (international) and Air Iceland (domestic) were on time, comfortable, offered great service and provided even greater views of the arctic north. The flights were an added bonus to a…

Tanks, Roll Out!

At the recent Flying Heritage Collection Skyfair 2014 at Paine Field in Everett, Washington they had a little diversion from the aviation displays. A part of their collection includes World War Two tanks and on this event they were driving around their American M4A1 Sherman and Soviet era KMDB (Main Design Bureau) T-34/85 medium tanks….

Lest We Forget 2014

The Ode They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.

The Siegfried Line

In 2012 whilst touring World War Two battlefield sites of the Battle of the Bulge (Germany’s last major western front offensive of the 1944/45 winter) in the Ardennes region of Belgium and Luxembourg I realised I was very close to the German border and also the remnants of the old Siegfried Line. I knew it would be the perfect bookend…

Warsaw: Visions of the Past

Much like Berlin in Germany, by the end of World War Two the city of Warsaw, Poland lay in ruins. While Berlin was turned to rubble from round the clock Allied bombing and fighting, much of the damage in Warsaw was done by the Germans themselves. Firstly during the invasion of Poland in September 1939 that started the war, then during…

Canadian War Museum – Part II: LeBreton Gallery

The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Canada is a must see for anyone interested in military history. The displays of equipment and vehicles is impressive and covers the entire scope of Canada’s military history from the First Nations and Colonial times to the modern age. My previous blog covered the majority of the display halls, but my favourite part of the…