Paris Abandoned: The Realities of Armistice During World War II

by Anne Sebba

Slowly, the terms of the armistice began to sink in. The French had to pay for the 300,000-strong German Army of Occupation, amounting to twenty million Reichsmarks per day, paid at the artificial exchange rate. This was fifty times the actual costs of the occupation garrison. The French government was also made responsible for preventing citizens from fleeing into exile. Germany took almost two million French soldiers as prisoners of war – one of whom was Jean Herz, son of Bernard – and sent them to work in Germany. In Paris itself it took little time for new, bold black German signage to appear, with enormous swastikas displayed on the grand boulevards as well as flying from key public buildings such as the Chambre des Députés and the Sénat. On the streets German soldiers patrolling with bulldogs replaced elegant ladies window-shopping with poodles, while the best hotels and houses were swiftly requisitioned and thousands of hotel and restaurant staff were suddenly required to serve Germans.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Modern History

The History behind the Mystery: Death in St. Petersburg

by Tasha Alexander

While the principal characters in Death in St. Petersburg are fictional, there are a handful in supporting roles (beyond Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra) who were real.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Modern History

Owen Boyd’s Escape From Vincigliata Castle

Owen Boyd

by Mark Felton

John Leeming reflected on the journey that had landed him unexpectedly in the hands of the enemy. They had taken off from RAF Stradishall near Haverhill in Suffolk on 19 November 1940 bound for Cairo via the airfield at Luqa in Malta. Once in Egypt, the 51-year-old Owen Boyd was to assume deputy command of Allied air forces under Air Chief Marshal Longmore. The appointment of the energetic Owen Boyd to the Middle East came at a time when Britain was struggling to maintain its position in Egypt against a huge Italian assault. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Contemporary History, Military History

The True Story of Marine Special Operations Team 8222

by Michael Golembesky

The unforgiving Afghan winter has settled upon the twenty-two men of Marine Special Operations Team 8222, call sign Dagger 22, in the remote and hostile river valley of Bala Murghab, Afghanistan. The Taliban fighters in the region would have liked nothing more than to once again go dormant and rest until the new spring fighting season began. No chance of that—this winter would be different…

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Military History, Modern History

The Brutal Struggle for American Independence

by Bill O’Reilly

Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
February 16, 1778
Mid-morning

George Washington’s army is desperate.

It has been a miserable winter, with rebel troops camped just eighteen miles away from the British Army, which is comfortably housed in Philadelphia. While the English are enjoying the luxuries of a big city, Washington’s men are suffering grievously.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Contemporary History, Military History
CLOSE SIGN UP

Sign up for The History Reader Newsletter!

By submitting this form, I agree to receive updates from The History Reader and other communications from Macmillan and its related companies.