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Denis Copping: a pilot and his Kitty Hawk

The World War 2 fighter aircraft had remained unremarked for 70 years in a remote part of the Western Desert, the wings burnished by the desert wind, the markings on the fuselage still clear, the glass of the cockpit unbroken, the instrument panel still intact. Even...

Keith Douglas: a war poet

As we approach the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein, we should turn to the poetry of a young soldier who fought there, Keith Douglas, for in poetry of startling verbal and rhythmic virtuosity, he moved beyond the rhetoric and the politics, beyond the...

Duncan MacIntyre: a highland piper

A sullen atmosphere pervades the battlefield of El Alamein, its empty wastes evoking little of the monstrous struggle that took place here 70 years ago. And though the sun still beats down and the nights chill you to the bone, the odd fly gives little idea of the...

Susan Travers: a war romance

In 1956, on a bitterly cold day, in front of Les Invalides in Paris, Susan Travers stood to attention in the uniform of the French Foreign Legion, the only woman every to have been accepted into the elite corps. A lone general, Marie-Pierre Koenig, strode across the...