This post is part of a week of cross-posting between Defence-in-Depth and Imperial Entanglements, the blog of an AHRC funded funded project in the Hispanic Studies Department of Warwick University. DR HUW J DAVIES The experience of warfare in different geographies and climates, and against and alongside different cultures and societies profoundly affected its practice. Britain’s… Read More RECONSTRUCTING EIGHTEENTH CENTURY MILITARY KNOWLEDGE NETWORKS: THE USE AND ABUSE OF ARCHIVAL SOURCES
DR HUW J. DAVIES James Wolfe was a great advocate of using military history to help inform his understanding of new situations and challenges he faced throughout his career. ‘The more a soldier thinks of the false steps of those that have gone before him, the more likely is he to avoid them’, he wrote… Read More Using Military History: Doctrine as an Analytical Tool for Historical Campaigns
By DR HUW J. DAVIES The annual meeting of any large professional body or learned society usually produces a wide-range of panels and papers, to which it is impossible to attend all, and between which there is usually a limited relationship. They are an opportunity for old and new colleagues from across the… Read More Conference Report: Society of Military History Annual Meeting, Ottawa, April 2016
by Dr Huw J. Davies Today is the penultimate day of my research trip to Sydney (with Canberra and Wellington thrown in). The trip has been what I now call a harvest. I’ve photographed literally thousands of documents, unsure whether they are useful. I’m deferring the actual process of research until a later date. Still,… Read More Research Dispatch from Sydney: New Directions in War and History
by DR HUW J. DAVIES “Events, dear boy, events.” So said Harold MacMillan when asked what the single biggest impediment to the development of a coherent strategy. Unexpected events have derailed many defence reviews in recent years. The Nott Review was rendered almost immediately irrelevant by the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands. Options for… Read More NSS/SDSR 2015: Rapid Strike Response to Rapid Strike Brigades – A Historian’s Initial Thoughts
by DR HUW J. DAVIES Research on how militaries learn, adapt, innovate and transform has been gathering pace in recent years. The primary motivation for this emerging interest has been the need to understand the means and methods by which the US Army innovated or transformed during its campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Further studies… Read More Conference Report: Military Education and Empire.
By DR HUW J. DAVIES In the early 1740s, Henry Lloyd, a young Welshman aspiring to join the British Army, was defrauded of his inheritance by his unscrupulous step-father. This propelled Lloyd into an unconventional path to a military career. Bereft of the money required to purchase a commission in the British Army, Lloyd fled… Read More Henry Lloyd, National Character and the Study of Military History in the Eighteenth Century
by DR HUW J DAVIES This is the first of several posts running on Defence-in-Depth over the next few weeks arising out of the Military Learning and Innovation Roundtable held at the Joint Services Command and Staff College on Wednesday 17 June 2015. The roundtable explored the various ways in which militaries have learned, adapted,… Read More Informal Learning in the British Army in the Eighteenth Century
by DR HUW J. DAVIES The repercussions of the Battle of Waterloo were many and varied. Principally, it was a victory for the peace treaty obtained at Vienna and secured the balance of power in Europe. It also gave Viscount Castlereagh the opportunity to propose the Concert of Europe, on which I have written about… Read More “Nothing so Melancholy…” The Repercussions of Waterloo
by DR HUW J. DAVIES 200 years ago, almost to the hour, the battle of Waterloo commenced. The dramatic final showdown of 22 years of war, Waterloo had all the makings of a swashbuckling drama. It was the only occasion when Wellington and Napoleon encountered each other. Having escaped from the tiny Mediterranean island of… Read More Why was Waterloo important?