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Imperial War Museum

Books of the year 2013: War

Private Alex Stringer, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was 20 when he was blown up in Afghanistan: "The reason I lost my left leg so high up is because the burning paint cooked my left leg all the way down to the bone. But if I hadn't set myself on fire, I would have bled out and died – as a result of it, all the arteries became cauterised".

Daddy, what did we do in the war?

Children's novels about conflict are enduringly popular and, as Paul Bignell discovers, they ask increasingly difficult questions

Verily Anderson: Writer of humorous, optimistic children's books and

Verily Anderson was the author of more than 30 books and she died, aged 95, the day after finishing her latest, at her home in Norfolk. Her amusing autobiographies about bringing up five children on a shoestring included Spam Tomorrow, Daughters of Divinity and Beware of Children. "She has one practically unknown gift," wrote the novelist Elizabeth Bowen, "she can write what might seem a sustained tall story and at the same time make it convincing; at times grimly so."

Military operations: Calling the shots

Panther's Claw. Desert Storm. Overlord. Frequent Wind? As the Iraq war is given a 'rebrand', Rob Sharp explains how the military top brass name their operations

The art of diary writing

January signals not only the arrival of a new year – for many, it will also open another chapter of obsessive diary-writing. What drives these solitary scribblers? Tim Walker delves into their secret world

Manchester and Liverpool: A different dimension

Manchester and Liverpool comprise a pair of contrasting cities. But they are linked by striking architecture, cultural clout – and a certain Ship Canal. Simon Calder goes west, slowly