Breaking the Duck II

Back in 2012 I mentioned that my first article had been published by Canadian Military History and while I have had a few chapters emerge over the past couple of years, I can now announce that my first book has just been published. It is a co-edited book based on a conference a couple of friends and I ran at the University of Birmingham back in 2011. It has been a great experience and it feels good to have it out there (I now have an amazon author’s page!). The book is entitled, A Military Transformed? Adaptation and Innovation in the British Military, 1792-1945 and has been published in the Wolverhampton Military Studies series by Helion. Helion have been great to work with and I would recommend them to any aspiring author. Of course, the book would not be the product it is without the work of the contributors who all produced some very interesting chapters, which I think contribute to our understanding of the variety of transformation that the British military has undertaken since 1792. I would also like to thank my co-editors (and friends), Dr Stuart Mitchell and Dr Michael LoCicero who have been great all along the way.

Here is the blurb:

Between 1792 and 1945, the character of warfare changed. Battalions standing shoulder to shoulder during the Napoleonic era gave way to the industrialised, modern armies of the First and Second World Wars. The organisation and operational methods of the major military powers dramatically altered during this period and the British forces were no different. From the transition of the Royal Navy’s ships to oil from coal to the creation of an independent air force in 1918, the British military pioneered key innovations that affected the character of war on land, sea and air.

To date, many commentators and historians have focused on contemporary debates or specific historical examples. A Military Transformed? Adaptation and Innovation in the British Military from 1792 to 1945 brings many of these debates together and forms a broader picture. The complexity of change in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force is explored in chapters drawing on new and original research. Examples covered include the British military performance in the Napoleonic Wars, the developments of the Army medical services in the late-nineteenth century, the Royal Navy’s introduction of the Whitehead torpedo in the 1870s, air power doctrine on the eve of the First World War, British Army reorganisation in 1918 and amphibious operations in the Second World War.

Spanning the period of both peace and war this ground-breaking survey illustrates the different drivers for transformation and innovation. Culture, technology, tactics, organisation, personality, doctrine, command and context have all shaped the speed and development of the British Forces. A Military Transformed? Adaptation and Innovation in the British Military from 1792 to 1945 shows that while it was neither a revolutionary nor a conservative organisation, the British military certainly evolved and reacted to the character of warfare in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; even if change, at times, did not come easily.

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