Transformation and Innovation in the British Military from 1642 to 1945

For the past couple of months I have been in the process of orgainsing a symposium with a couple of fellow research students at the University of Birmingham. It has been an interesting experience as we are getting closer to the event and are moving full steam ahead now. Here are the details of this event…

Centres for First and Second World War Studies

Transformation and Innovation in the British Military from 1642 to 1945

A Symposium for Postgraduate and Early Career Historians

This symposium, organised by the Centres for First and Second World War Studies at the University of Birmingham, intends to give postgraduate and early career historians the opportunity to examine the process of transformation and innovation in the British military as recent literature on the subject has highlighted a need to evaluate the process from 1642 to 1945. The symposium will be held at the Edgbaston campus of the University of Birmingham.

The symposium will also give delegates the opportunity to present aspects of their research to a wider audience and engage with the academic community in military history. The symposium programme is attached; it includes eighteen papers on aspects of transformation and innovation in the British military from the early modern period to the early twentieth century and from a range of perspectives. Professor John Buckley, Chair of Military History at the University of Wolverhampton, will deliver the keynote lecture. Professor Gary Sheffield, Chair of War Studies at the University of Birmingham, will deliver the symposium’s closing address.

The symposium fee, which includes tea & coffee and lunch on the day, is £10 for postgraduate students and Friends/Members of the Centres for First and Second World War Studies and £20 for other interested parties.

If you wish to attend the conference please print out and return this Symposium Booking Form and send it by Monday 4 April to:

Ross Mahoney

C/O School of History and Cultures

College of Arts and Law

University of Birmingham

Edgbaston

Birmingham

B15 2TT

For informal enquiries please email us at birminghamwarstudies@gmail.com

Symposium webpage – http://warstudies.wordpress.com/symposium

Symposium Timetable

8:45 – Registration

9:15 – Introduction and Welcome – Ross Mahoney, Stuart Mitchell and Michael LoCicero

9:30 – Panel 1: Transformation and Innovation in the Early Modern Era, 1642-1815

Chair: Victoria Henshaw (University of Birmingham)

Sara Regnier-Mckeller (University of Essex) – Honour and Manhood in the Armies of the British Civil Wars

Britt Zerbe (University of Exeter) – Amphibious Brotherhood: 1664 or 1755? What Foundation and Establishment mean to Marine Identity

11:00 – Tea

11:15 – Panel 2A: Transformation and Innovation in the 19th Century

Chair: Aimée Fox (University of Birmingham)

Peter Randall (University of Reading) – The Influence of the Napoleonic Wars upon the British Military, 1815-1854

Andrew Duncan (University of Birmingham) – British Army Medicine, 1854-1914: Resistance and Reform

Edward Gosling (University of Plymouth) – The Cardwell-Childers Reforms, 1868-1881

11:15 – Panel 2B: Transformation and Innovation at the Fin de Siècle

Chair: Michael LoCicero (University of Birmingham)

Dr Spencer Jones (University of Wolverhampton) – Countdown to the ‘Mad Minute’: The Reform of British Musketry, 1899-1914

Dr Peter Grant (Cass Business School, City University) – Learning to Manage the Army: The Army Administration Course at the London School of Economics

Martin Gibson (University of Glasgow) – The Royal Navy’s Conversion from Coal to Oil, 1900-1914

12:45 – Lunch

13:30 – Keynote Address by Professor John Buckley, Chair of Military History, University of Wolverhampton

14:30 – Panel 3A: Transformation and Innovation in the First World War

Chair: Stuart Mitchell (University of Birmingham)

Paul Harris (King’s College London) – Soldier Banker: Lieutenant-General Sir Herbert Lawrence as the BEF’s Chief of Staff in 1918

Simon Justice (University of Birmingham) – Vanishing Battalions: The Reorganisation of British Infantry prior to, and as a result of, the German Spring Offensives of 1918

Dr Jonathan Boff (King’s College London) – Innovation and Victory: The British Army during the Hundred Days Campaign, 1918

14:30 – Panel 3B: Transformation and Innovation in the Second World War

Chair: James Pugh (University of Birmingham)

Neal Dando (University of Plymouth) – From ‘Jock Column’ to Armoured Column: Transformation and Change in British and Commonwealth Unit Tactics in the Western Desert, January 1941 to November 1942

Sarah McCook (University of Durham) – Wartime Communications: British Dispatch Riders and the need for reliable communications during the Second World War

Dr Matthew Ford (University of Hull) – Learning the Lessons of Battle: Organisational Learning, Small Unit Tactics and the Problems with the Force Transformation Literature

16.00 – Coffee

16:15 – Panel 4: Transformation and Innovation in the Third Dimension

Chair: Ross Mahoney (University of Birmingham)

James Pugh (University of Birmingham) – Oil and Water: Military and Naval approaches to Air Power Doctrine and Technological Innovation, 1911-1914

John Alexander (University of Birmingham) – Transformation and Innovation in British Air Defence, 1922-1936

Richard Hammond (University of Exeter) – British Aero-Naval Co-Operation in the Mediterranean and the Formation of RAF No. 201 (Naval Co-Operation) Group

17:45 Closing Address by Professor Gary Sheffield, Chair of War Studies, University of Birmingham

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