Runrig Loch Lomond
The Runrig farming system was once common system of land tenure across Scotland, especially in the Highlands. It was a fair system that sustained large populations in an adverse climate. So why did it end? By James McKean Runrig, sometimes referred to as rig-a-rendal, was a form of rotational land tenure that once dominated farmlands in the Scottish Highlands and Islands,...
Gay DDR
East Germany forged an infamous reputation. With overpowering displays of totalitarianism, the German Democratic Republic employed it’s secretive State Police Agency, the Stasi, ruthlessly and overzealously. Yet LGBT freedoms eventually rivalled, and even surpassed many other countries. But what was behind the Stasi’s pro-LGBT policies?  By Andrew Cook November 9th, 1989. The Berlin Wall came crashing down. After 40 years of...
SS Richard Montgomery
The American ship SS Richard Montgomery sank and split in two off the coast of Sheerness in August 1944 with around 1,400 tonnes of explosives on board. The munitions were never removed meaning that they could still potentially explode. If that were to happen, Sheerness and much of coastal Medway would be devastated. By Angus Wright During World War Two several...
Hanns Scharff
The Nazis had a well-deserved reputation for brutality but one officer Hanns Scharff seems to have taken the opposite approach to interrogations – baking for Pows and inviting them to go on country walks. His approach was successful – and emulated by the CIA. Who was Hanns Scharff, how did his techniques work, and what is his legacy? By James...
Potato Famine memorial
An Gorta Mór, or The Great Hunger, was a time of tragedy, famine, and death for Ireland, however less mentioned is the Gaiseadh a’ bhuntàta. The blight reigned down death and destruction upon the Highlands, but paved the way for a new era in Scotland’s future. By Andrew Cook 18th and 19th Century Scotland was an era of struggle. The Jacobites...
President Abraham Lincoln is known for many things such as his signature stovepipe hat, his great height, and the Emancipation Proclamation,. But his early life as a champion wrestler comes as a surprise to many - he is even honoured in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame! By Phil Taylor Abraham Lincoln might be known for being one the greatest Presidents...
According to the Tale of Ragnar Lodbrok, Ivar's bonelessness was the result of a curse. But he was not an imaginary character in a viking saga; he was a real man who won real battles. History Channel's 'Vikings' recently portrayed him as a cruel, disabled leader. What is myth and what is truth in the tale of Ivar the...
It is one of the most iconic photos of the Pacific War. But the identity of the 'naked gunner' remains a mystery to this day. By Bev Cleary He put his own life on the line to save fellow servicemen from the blazing waters of Papua New Guinea but, it seems, the identity of the ‘Naked Gunner’, may never be known. A...
The unbelievable story of how Pepsi Cola once owned the 6th Largest Navy, but failed to win the cola wars in Eastern Europe. by James McKean During the reign of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Union existed almost entirely free of western influence. Stalin’s U.S.S.R strove for self-sufficiency, meaning minimum effort was put into forming trade relationships with other states. The Soviet Union’s...
The date of France’s last ever public execution of a prisoner by guillotine will surprise you. The last ever prison execution even more so. This article contains subject-matter and historical footage some readers may find upsetting. By Angus Wright When conversations, books or films move towards medieval ages, it is only a matter of time before capital punishment and the guillotine...