Euphemisms, acronyms and outright lies: The language of war

For decades, politicians referred to the Korean War as the ‘Korean Conflict,’ as if the soldiers who fought and died on the battlefields of the disputed peninsula were somehow less soldierly or less dead if killed by conflict rather than war. Some 2.5 million people died in the Koreas between 1950 and 1953, including...
  • Christmas at war: A cabin in the Hurtgen Forest

    December 12, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    It was Christmas Eve 1914. The Tommies of Britain’s Queen’s Westminster Regiment had returned to the frigid trenches the previous day, relieving regular troops after four days of rest. Suddenly, in the stillness and cold, the voice of a young farmer’s son, Edgar Aplin, rose...
  • Jaye Edwards: A woman pilot in wartime Britain

    December 5, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    As a child, Stella Joyce (Petersen) Edwards was always pushing boundaries. She grew up in Kent, England, the third daughter of an Australian trader, and whether it was scaling walls, climbing trees or riding her bicycle off into the countryside, Jaye, as she became known...
  • Citizens of War

    December 1, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
      The faces of the long-suffering people of Afghanistan reflect their resolve and resilience   Kabul, 2004. Afghan mothers comfort sick and dying children in a hospital all but void of equipment and medicine. Across the street, fathers, banned by convention from the wards, sleep...
  • Reginald Wise: Saviour of Easter Sunday, 1945

    November 28, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    It was Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day, 1945—the day that Corporal Reginald Wise, who was no fool and no martyr either, would cheat death. More than once. Wise and the rest of his Royal Marine commandos were advancing on a German position in Northern...
  • The seizing of Europe’s bells

    November 21, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    The bells that rang out across allied nations after the First World War ended what for many had been a four-year silence enforced by regulation in some places and imposed by confiscation in others. In Germany and across Europe, tens of thousands of bronze bells—some...
  • Inside Afghanistan: Politics, war and buzkashi

    November 14, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Few can claim a national game as violent or influential as Afghanistan has in buzkashi. The country in which Canadian soldiers fought for 13 years is home to a deceptively complex society. And buzkashi (pronounced ‘BOO-skeh-shee’), which dates to the times of Genghis Khan, is...
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