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We host talks each month from September to April, on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7:30pm, at Zion Church, Woodend Rd.

Talks are free for members.  Guests are always welcome, just bring £5 per person. 

To join, see our Memberships page.

Wednesday 17th January 2024:
Dr Jonathan Harlow on Bristol and the Civil War

More information here when we get it.

King St Stux Pixabay.jpg

Wednesday 21st February 2024:
Professor Alan Jocelyn on the Bristol Riots

Don't miss this fascinating talk on the Bristol Riots of 1831.  For four days in October, Bristol burned and no one seemed in control.  Copy cat riots began to spread across the country.  Bristol rioters burned down the jail in an action which must have reminded authorities of the Bastille.  Find out what the issue was, how it all got so badly out of control, and how it was resolved. 

Wednesday 20th March 2024: Mike Walsh on Operation Barbarossa - Hitler's invasion of Russia.

Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union on 22nd June 1941 was the biggest, bloodiest and most barbarous military operation in the history of warfare.  Had Hitler achieved his objective – the destruction of the Soviet Union – he would have been master of Europe’s destiny.  Many historians regard the Eastern front as the pivotal campaign in the Second World War and its defining conflict.  It was certainly a campaign that saw some of the most brutal and inhumane warfare in all human history, in both its scale and intensity. 

Mike Walsh will analyse and explain the background to, and the reasons for, Hitler’s greatest gamble, including:

  • The strategic situation and background to Germany’s ‘Operation Barbarossa’

  • Why Hitler and his generals believed they could defeat the Soviet Union

  • Why Stalin was caught off guard

  • Staggering initial German success and catastrophic Soviet defeats

  • The German pause to replenish and the battle of Kiev

  • Attrition and logistics – the bleeding of the Wehrmacht

  • Operation Typhoon – the drive to Moscow

  • The domes of the Kremlin sighted – and German offensive strength exhausted

  • The Soviet winter counter-attack

  • Final thoughts and Q&A 

About the speaker

Mike Walsh was commissioned into the Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regiment in 1971, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1992 after commanding an infantry battalion, instructing at the Army Staff College and a staff posting in the MoD with responsibility for urgent operational requirements for Special Forces, Northern Ireland and the first Gulf war.  After retiring from the Army Mike worked for the NHS as a manager before joining the Big Lottery Fund (now the National Lottery Community Fund) as Deputy Director for Wales.  His  last appointment before retiring from full-time employment in 2018 was as Chief Executive of City Hospice in Cardiff.


Wednesday 17th April 2024: AGM

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