Category Archives: War

The War Magician

Susanna Clarke’s 2004 novel Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell is set in an alternate Georgian-era Britain at a time when magic has fallen into disuse. The two eponymous characters resurrect the art, becoming the first practising magicians in centuries, and … Continue reading

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Operation GARBO

Juan Pujol was, like Eddie Chapman, a British double agent during the Second World War but was his antithesis in almost every other respect. Unlike the flamboyant, womanising former criminal Chapman, Pujol was an unassuming, bespectacled businessman and a loyal … Continue reading

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Double-agents, spies ostensibly acting for one intelligence organisation while in fact working for the enemy, place themselves in a highly vulnerable position. They need to not only provide a credible service to their cover organisation, they must also continually prove … Continue reading

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Witchcraft and Crosswords in WWII

In 1941, medium Helen Duncan conducted a séance in which she revealed that the battleship HMS Barham had been sunk, which was true – it had been torpedoed by a U-boat earlier that year. The problem was that the public … Continue reading

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The Long and Short of War

Although Second World War hostilities in Europe ended in 1945, peace was not formally established between Germany and the Allies until September 12, 1990. On that date in Moscow the foreign ministers of East and West Germany and those of … Continue reading

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Lost Templars, Missing Soldiers and the Nazi Spy of Labrador

In 1340, German pilgrim Ludolph of Sudheim met two elderly men on the shores of the Dead Sea. He was surprised to hear them speaking fluent French since Europe had withdrawn from the Holy Land half a century earlier. The … Continue reading

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Carrots, Bananas and Breadfruit

In the 1930s, Britain feared that Germany was nearing completion of a death ray, an electromagnetic weapon that could kill at long-range. In attempting to create their own death ray, British scientists instead developed a technology that came to be … Continue reading

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