* Read about the blunder that made Canada an easy target for invasion from the United States - Undefended Border

** Read about the Second World War's  Lord McHaw Haw                                                 

*** Serious questionmarks over the official version of one the British Army's most dearly held legends - The Real Mackay?

**** Read about the veterans of Wellington's Army lured into misery in the Canadian Wilderness in a new article called  Pension Misery

***** It's been a while since I posted a new article. This one's called Temptation

****** Read about how the most Highland of the Highland regiments during the Second World War fared in the Canadian Rockies - Drug Store Commandos.

******* January 2016 marks the centenary of Winston Churchill taking command of 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers on the Western Front. How did the man who sacked so many British generals during the Second World War make out in his own most senior battlefield command? Find out by having a look at Churchill in the Trenches .  

******** We now have a  Guide to Scottish military museums on this site.  

********* Just weeks before the outbreak of the First World War one of Britain's most bitter enemies walked free from a Canadian jail  - Dynamite Dillon

********** Click to read - - Victoria's Royal Canadians - about one of the more unusual of the British regiments.

*********** Read an article about the Royal Scots and their desperate fight against the Bolsheviks on Armistice Day 1918 - Forgotten War

************ The 2016 Book of the Year Award has just been announced. See Book of the Year

*************No-one has got back to me with a German source for the claim that the kilties during the First World War were known as The Ladies from Hell . See My Challenge to You

************* *A map showing the old Scottish regimental recruiting districts can now be seen by clicking Recruiting Area Map .

*************** The Fighting Men 1746  article now includes the estimated strengths of the Jacobite clan regiments which marched into England in 1745 See Clan Strengths

************** ** I've posted a fresh article - Scotland’s Forgotten Regiments. Guess what it's about.  

**************** The High Court Hearing in London in May 2012 attracted a lot of visitors to this site. So, I've decided to keep the link to my latest article on the massacre in the Blog section. See Batang Kali Revisited

The British Empire
The British Empire had been reduced to a couple of islands by the time I was old enough to pay much attention to it. But having watched a television series about it fronted by Jeremy Paxman, I can only conclude that it was a Bad Thing. It wasn't what Mr Paxman or the people he spoke to said that led me to this conclusion. It was Paxman himself. It struck me that if Paxman had been born 50 or 60 years earlier than he was, he is, just the sort of person who would get a job with the Colonial Office. Just the sort of chap who would thrive in a seedy British colonial administration in say Malaya or Kenya. I would not want to live a country ruled by the likes of Paxman. The colonies may have gone, but the grandchildren, great-great grandchildren and even great-great-great grandchildren of the old British administrators still roam the earth supposedly helping those people not lucky enough to have been born English. Only now this happy privileged few are working for a charity during their "gap year". Some of them even return to the Non-Governmental Organisation industry after they graduate. Even such a respected NGO as Oxfam, which does actually sometimes genuinely make things better for people, is not without its problems. Did the old British administrators in Malaya or Kenya indulge in the same sexual exploitation as their spiritual, if not literal, descendants working for Oxfam did in Haiti? Oh, when I refer to English, I include those born in Scotland whose parents chose to ape their masters by sending the kids to private schools. 

Shameless Plug #9 - With Wellington was among the books recommended as an excellent Christmas present by the prestigious The Society for Army Historical Research.  There was another mysterious surge in sales of With Wellington last summer. At the end of May it was the third best selling book about the Peninsular War on the website of one of Britain's biggest booksellers and Number Eighteen in the table for all Napoleonic books.  Last December's  sales surge turned out to be a combination of the venerable Scots Magazine declaring it Book of the Month in its January 2015 edition and a highly  favourable review in the Napoleonic Association's newsletter. Scots Magazine's reviewer, nature writer and author, Jim Crumley, declared "I don't much care for military memoirs, but I could not put this one down". Other reviewers have been equally enthusiastic - "If you are interested in the memoirs of British soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars this book is a MUST!... You don't get many Napoleonic memoirs as good as this" and "It is the most candid memoir of the British Army I have ever read... does not pull any punches ... highly entertaining, but also thought provoking..." To have a look at the full reviews check out more about With Wellington  

What do you think? Please feel free to Comment 

No Neutrals
For a while now I've been intrigued by a radio programme put out by BBC Ulster. It involves two historians, one Catholic and the other Protestant, looking in various controversial aspects of Ireland's past. Apparently, they usually have different takes on events. Sadly, the episode I heard, on the Irish Republic's neutrality in the Second World War (and, yes, I know it was called Eire at the time) they agreed. They agreed that neutrality was the wisest course. But the programme did a very very poor job of examining the issues. Yes, thousands of Irishmen fought for Allies. But there was no mention of the decades of official persecution the 5,000 men who absented themselves from the Irish armed forces to fight the Nazis faced from the Irish government after the war. Yes, Eire exported food to the United Kingdom. But it was the only export market they had and they didn't exactly sell the food cheaply. Yes, folk in Donegal did help build the new Royal Navy facilities on Loch Foyle, but again they didn't do it for free. And it would have saved a lot of time and money if the De Valera government had allowed the Allies to use Irish ports during the Battle of the Atlantic. It was not mentioned that more than half of Eire's population wanted Hitler to win or were certain he would until far into the war. The arguments for Irish Neutrality could equally well be used to justify a British surrender in 1940. As the war went on, Eire's neutrality tilted in favour of the British. But then even the De Valera government knew which country was in the best position to invade them. The Irish Republic deserves no more praise for its application of neutrality than the Swedes and Swiss deserve blame for their pro-German stance in the early years of the war. And lets not go into whether De Valera's official condolences to Germany on Hitler's death in 1945 could be justified as simply diplomatic protocol - other European leader felt the same obligation. I can only think that this sad attempt at history on the wireless was somehow down to some politically inspired desire not to rock the boat in the Northern Ireland of 2018.

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