Play out famous battles and follow the front lines: Best apps for military history fans

If you are a military history fan eager to learn more, your phone or tablet is a great place to start. Browse timelines and take charge of the troops with these apps.

Smartphones might be a thoroughly modern invention, but they're also a great window to the past.

Whether you’re interested in following the timeline of the Great War, or are hoping to relive key strategies, we'll show you five military history apps that will sate your appetite.

[Read more: 8 websites for military history fans]

Explore the timeline of the Great War: Timeline WW1 with Dan Snow

Timeline WW1 with Dan Snow

Price: Free (full app £7.99)

Operating system: Apple iPad

This iPad app is a cornucopia of knowledge for those interested in learning about the Great War.

It offers 1,500 events, 100 pieces of British Pathe archive film from around the world with commentary by Dan Snow, and 500 images - all presented in an expansive and interactive timeline.  There are also animated maps, and diary entries from soldiers, as well as poetry of the time.

The free version of the app enables you to peruse the first four months of the war, while unlocking the full version will give you everything from 1914-1918.

If you like this app (and what’s not to like?), there are others on WWII, the American Civil War and Lord Nelson.

See what happened on this day in history: Military History

Military History app

Price: 79p

Operating system: Apple

This is a neat little app which offers you a snapshot of significant happenings on every day of the calendar year.

There are over 1,200 specific entries detailing significant battles, key dates and military anniversaries. All of the entries, spanning global conflicts, are easily shareable via social media.

If you like what you see here, the same developer also offers individual apps on battle procedures, military terms and acronyms, and famous quotes from military history.

Get suited and booted: 20th Century Military Uniforms

20th Century Military Uniforms app

Price: £2.63

Operating system: Android

Whether you want to research the attire of a First Lieutenant of the Reconnaissance Unit of the Danish Air Force circa 1940 or a General at the Ministry of Defence in Czechoslovakia in 1945, this app has you covered.

From military history author Chris McNab, the app serves up over 300 uniforms, spanning a century, allowing you to browse by country or rank.

Each of the uniforms is beautifully illustrated and all data is stored offline, so you can use it without an internet connection.

If you enjoy this app, developer Jourist has plenty of like-minded apps spanning submarines to warplanes.

Follow the front line: Battlefield mApps: Battle of the Bulge

Battlefield mApps

Price: £2.99

Operating system: Apple

One of the most famous World War II battles was the German offensive through the forests of the Ardennes region in France, Belgium and Luxembourg in late 1944 to early 1945.

This app offers interactive Allied maps and enables you to chronicle the battles through clear and concise text. There’s also the chance to follow the movement of the front line.

Take charge yourself: D-Day 1944 (Conflict-series)

D-Day 1944 Conflict Series app

Price: Free (full app £3.99)

Operating system: Android

Military strategy buffs often theorise about the critical masterstrokes or mistakes made during storied battles. With John Nuutien’s turn-based ‘Conflict-Series’ strategy games for Android, you get the chance to make those crucial decisions yourself.

The developer recommends starting with the D-Day title, which sees you take over from Eisenhower and lead the bid to liberate Nazi-occupied France.

The free 15-turn version will give you a sense of the action, and then, if you like it, you can pay to get the full game. There are lots of other battles you can play out, including the American Civil War and the War of Independence.

[Read more: From HMS Victory to Pearl Harbour: How to explore wartime sites using Google]

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