I mentioned in my post yesterday that at some point I would like to publish what I have written. To do this I would need to expand the scope of the work but this is not some that is problematic as there were several areas that due to time and space just had to be left. From my introduction I made these observations as to the limitations of my thesis:
Despite the scope of research undertaken there are several areas that, because of limitations of time and the span of the work, have been avoided due to the focus on operational and tactical issues. First, strategic level discussions surrounding the RAF’s role, in particular the argument that the RAF were not interested due to its desire to prosecute the strategic bomber offensive, though by default this thesis does show that this is not a clear as some historians have argued. Second, it does not explore the importance of radar to JUBILEE as John Campbell in Dieppe Revisited has dealt with this effectively. Research also opened several areas that could not be explored but to the word limit; this included the use of balloons in Combined Operations and the RAF’s participation in providing meteorological advice for Combined Operations. If this work were expanded, it would be envisaged that the scope of archival sources would be increased to include various personal papers at assorted institutions and to expand the German perspective using the Bundesarchiv at Freiburg.
Thus, there are several distinct areas where I could bulk out a work such as this and because of the nature of my thesis I have not really described the air action of Dieppe, this having been done very well by Norman Franks in his work The Greatest Air Battle. However, it would be useful to include more of this to give a feel of the nature of operations during the raid.
However, I feel this is a few years off doing as I intend to start my PhD and so time will be precious. However, for financial reasons I intend to start my PhD in 2010 so in the mean time I have been giving some thought as to what can be effectively ‘cut out’ of my thesis and published as articles. This is a discussion I have already had with my supervisor, Professor Gary Sheffield. We have discussed distilling the key points from the thesis into one article and I feel this is a good idea but the thought of cutting 40,000 words into 10-15,000 sounds a bit daunting but a challenge I will enjoy. I do think that if done right this will add to the scholarship of Dieppe.
Another shorter article I have been thinking of playing with is statistical analysis of the losses suffered at Dieppe. This is one element of my final chapter but I feel that it could be taken further and is useful in explaining the nature of air power during Combined Operations and also disproving the normal arguments about the RAF at Dieppe i.e. they suffer more losses than the Luftwaffe, therefore, they must be bad. This to me is rubbish as offensive forces always suffers more proportionally. It is the nature of offensive warfare. It may well be use to link this to Lanchester’s Laws.
Another article, this time moving away from Dieppe, would be on the RAF and Combined Operations Doctrine. My research has highlighted that the orthodox argument of the RAF being fixated on strategic bombing have little basis in records. Actually recent scholarship, in particular David Ian Hall’s work on tactical air power, has started to show that the RAF views were much more nuanced and complex than hitherto assumed. This is certainly true of Combined Operations and an exploration of the RAF’s view and contribution may well be useful.
Most of these seem doable to me and is one of the reasons for me not starting my PhD as soon as I had planned, though I will be spending my time reading up on Leadership theory. I think, considering that eventually I would like to work in academia, that writing these papers and trying to get them published would be advantageous. I suppose a question for all you academics out there is which is more important; published works or qualifications? It always astounds me when I look at a job and they ask for a PhD but what if you have been published. Does this not count for anything?