BBC History UK – Christmas 2021
English | 102 pages | pdf | 78.71 MB

What was the turning point of the Second World War? Argu-ments have been made for a number of episodes, ranging from the defeat of the Luftwaffe at the Battle of Britain to the Soviet victory at Stalingrad. Yet many historians point to a crucial few days in December 1941. That was when the German assault on Moscow stalled and Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor brought the industrial behemoth of the US into war with the Axis. In this month’s issue we reflect on this pivotal period, as we reach the 80th anniversary.
On page 42, Christopher Harding takes a long view of Japan’s history to explain why the country decided to launch its aircraft against Hawaii. Then, on page 50, Klaus Schmider seeks to understand what’s often been viewed as Hitler’s greatest miscalculation: the decision to declare war on the US and join Japan in a seemingly unwinnable conflict.
By the time you’re reading this, I expect some of you will already be planning for this year’s Christmas dinner. Turkeys tend to be the focus of the modern meal (for non-vegetarians, at least), but had you been living centuries ago you might have been tucking into beef, goose or even peacock. As Annie Gray reveals in her piece on page 30, some of our Christmas dining traditions aren’t that traditional at all.
And as this is our Christmas issue, you’ll also find our annual Christmas quiz and prize crossword, as well as our books of the year roundup, where experts select some of their favourite titles of 2021.
I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.
Rob Attar Editor

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