Seventy years ago this week British India was split in two, creating the nations of India and Pakistan, which have been at each other’s throats since.
The partition was carried out a little-known British civil servant, Cyril Radcliffe. A lawyer by training, Radcliffe was given the impossible task of dividing the subcontinent into Hindu- and Muslim-majority states. Read more
Octopuses are a popular trope in political art. They came in vogue in the 1870s, when Frederick W. Rose depicted Russia as a giant octopus lording over Eastern Europe. The sea monster was quickly given to Germany when it posed a bigger threat to peace in Europe. During the early Cold War, it was Russia’s turn again. The octopus was the perfect metaphor for spreading communism.
Here is a selection of the best and worst tentacled sea creatures. Read more
Atlantropa: The German Plan to Drain the Mediterranean
What would the map look like if the Axis powers had won the Second World War? The new season of The Man in the High Castle, which premiered on Amazon last week, gives us one possible answer.
Based on the 1963 alternate-history novel by Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle takes place in a world where Nazi Germany controls much of the Atlantic world and Imperial Japan has conquered the Pacific. Read more
Niemals Oder-Neisse: The Border Germany Refused to Accept for 45 Years
At a glance, this doesn’t look too different from your average Cold War map. Take a closer look, though, and you will notice some oddities. Half of Austria seems to be missing. East Germany is much bigger than it should be. Greece isn’t in NATO, but Sweden is.