New Research in Military History: A Conference for Postgraduate and Early-career Historians

18 November 2011

This conference, organised by the British Commission for Military History in association with the History of Warfare Research Group at King’s College London, intends to highlight the breadth and depth of research being undertaken by postgraduate and early career historians in the field of military history.

The British Commission for Military History’s New Research in Military History conference is a recently established forum for those are engaged in research in military history or related disciplines to meet other new and established scholars and to present a paper in a supportive environment. We aim to provide an opportunity for postgraduate and early-career historians to present their work to a wider audience of practising military historians. The British Commission for Military History is the pre-eminent association for professional military historians in the UK, dedicated to the promotion and discussion of military history in its broadest sense. This conference is designed to introduce younger scholars to the Commission, whose members will also be in attendance.

The conference will include a keynote lecture by Brian Holden Reid, Professor of American History and Military Institutions at King’s College London. It will take place at the Strand Campus of King’s College London, in the War Studies Department, King’s Building, room K6.07. Instruction on how to reach the campus and the War Studies department can be found at

The conference is free to members of the British Commission for Military History. For non-members and interested parties the fee is £10. The fee includes tea, coffee, and sandwich lunch on the day.

If you wish to attend the conference please print out and return the form below, and send it by Monday 14 November 2011 to the address below.

Conference Organisers

Paul Harris

Ross Mahoney

Conference Proceedings

08:45 – 09:15: Registration (Room K6.07, War Studies Department, King’s College London)

09:15 – 09:25: Welcome and Introduction by Professor William Philpott (King’s College London) Secretary General of the British Commission for Military History

09:30 – 10:50: Panel A1 – Ancient and Medieval Warfare

Ilya Berkovich (University of Cambridge) ‘The Use of Missile Weapons in the Manipular Legion’

Dr Laura Crombie (Independent Scholar) ‘A ‘French Armada’ or a ‘Brief flirtation’? French plans to invade England in 1385 and 1386’

Dr Robert Jones (University of Leeds) ‘Liveries, Ensigns and Russet-coated Captains: Military Revolution through the lens of Martial Display’

09:30 – 10:50: Panel B1 – The Writing of the History of Warfare

Grace Huxford (University of Warwick) ‘The Reality of Experience: Autobiography and Military History’

Julia Dawson (King’s College London) ‘More than Just Bombing: A Critical Examination of The Official History of the War in the Air 1917-1918’

Dr Lars Peder Haga (Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy) ‘Stalin’s Confused Conquerors: Two Soviet Soldier-Writers on Eastern Europe’

10:50 – 11:10: Coffee

11:10 – 12:30: Panel A2 – Warfare in the Early Modern Age

Marco Giani (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) ‘Venetian Warfare in the Age of Palmanova: Paolo Paruta’s Discorsi Politici (1599)’

Dr Adam Lyons (University of Birmingham) ‘Rankers for North America: Mass Promotion in the Army of Queen Anne’

Catherine Scheybeler (King’s College London) ‘Jorge Juan y Santacilia’s Mission to London: An example of Eighteenth-Century Naval Espionage’

11:10 – 12:30: Panel B2 – Warfare in the 19th Century

Richard Dunley (King’s College London) ‘The Royal Navy’s Coastal Assault Strategy during the 1878 Straits Crisis and the Development of Offensive Mine Warfare’

Edward Gosling (University of Plymouth) ‘The Advantages of the Army: A Revised Assessment of the Childers Reforms 1880 – c.1905’

Paul Ramsey (University of Calgary) ‘Spenser Wilkinson and British Strategy before the Boer War’

12:30 – 13:15: Lunch

13:15 – 14:35: Panel A3 – The First World War (I)

Jeff Cleverley (King’s College London) ‘Defeated before even a shot had been fired? The planning of the Suvla Bay landings at Gallipoli, August 1915’

Stuart Mitchell (University of Birmingham) ‘Constructive Disobedience: ‘Consent and Evade’ in the Great War’

Rob Schafer (Pennsylvania State University) ‘With Good Cheer and Chocolate: The Role of Everyday Stimulants Amongst Soldiers During the Great War’

13:15 – 14:35: Panel B3 – The Second World War

Benjamin Coombs (University of Kent) ‘“Tanks for Russia”, 1941-1945’

Iain Johnston (University of Cambridge) ‘The British Commonwealth Air Training Schemes in World War Two’

Dr Jonathan Fennell (King’s College London) ‘New Research on the British Army in the Second World War’

14:40 – 15:40: Panel A4 – Fortifications and Terrain in War

Victoria Henshaw (University of Birmingham) ‘Structures of Oppression? Scotland’s Fortifications c.1700-1750’

Neal Dando (University of Plymouth) ‘Gazala, right battle – wrong ground?’ the impact of terrain on Eighth Army’s tactical battle, May-June 1942’

14:40 – 15:40: Panel B4 – War and Society

Nicholas Beeching (University of Birmingham) ‘The Provincial Press & the Outbreak of War: A Unionist View in Worcestershire’

Dr Alan Allport (Syracuse University) ‘The British Working Man in Arms in the Second World War’

15:40 – 16:00: Tea

16:00 – 17:20: Panel A5 – The First World War (II)

Michael LoCicero (University of Birmingham) ‘A Moonlight Massacre: The Night Operation on the Passchendaele Ridge, 2 December 1917’

Simon Justice (University of Birmingham) The Organization of Defeat – BEF Defensive Preparations during the winter of 1917/18

Dennis Williams (University of Birmingham) ‘Forgotten in Flanders: British Second Army in the Hundred Days 1918’

16:00 – 17:20: Panel B5 – Small Wars and Insurgencies

Spyridon Tsoutsoumpis (University of Manchester) ‘Sources of morale among Greek resisters (1941-1945)’

Jacob Stoil (University of Oxford) ‘The Saison de Chasse: Successful Counter Insurgency in Palestine’

Dr James Hudson (Independent Scholar) ‘Operation Allied Force: A Doctrine Dilemma?’

17:30 – 18:15: Keynote Lecture by Professor Brian Holden-Reid (King’s College London)

18:15: Drinks Reception sponsored by the Society for Military History

New Research in Military History Registration Form


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