by Dr ROBERT T. FOLEY In a recent post, I examined the growing availability of governmental archival sources covering the First World War. In this, I want to look at the increasing number of official histories of the war that are becoming available online. In this post, I will concentrate on texts covering land operations.… Read More Digital First World War Resources: Online Official Histories — The War on Land
by DR ROBERT T. FOLEY Many organisations like to describe themselves as ‘learning organisations;’ however, very few are actually good at organisational learning. One of the key challenges facing any organisation is how to take the knowledge and experience of individuals and spread this throughout a group so that everyone learns. This problems is particularly… Read More Clausewitz and Learning Through Communities of Practice
by DR ROBERT T. FOLEY The seemingly incongruous title of this post comes from a tweet I sent at the weekend forwarding the Guardian’s report on the establishment of 77 Brigade, a unit designed to ‘control the narrative’ of current and future British operations through, amongst other things, the intelligent use of social media. My… Read More Are there any in the British army who know what Facebook is?
By DR ROBERT T. FOLEY For many years I envied the research sources available to my colleagues writing about contemporary defence and strategic issues. The ability to research a project from the comfort of their favorite desk, be this at home or in the office, seemed so much more appealing than exhausting and sometime fruitless… Read More Digital First World War Resources: Online Archival Sources
by DR ROBERT T. FOLEY This year, as every year, retailers are seeking to capitalize on a massive Christmas market. In Britain, this manifests itself in the form of ‘Christmas advertisements,’ which are closely watched by British society and generate considerable competition amongst retailers to produce the most striking, and hence most effective, television advertisement.… Read More The Significance of the Sainsbury’s Christmas Truce Advertisement
by DR ROBERT T. FOLEY Over the past year or so, I have been involved with the British army’s Operation REFLECT. This operation has been designed to mark the centenary of the First World War and the British army’s participation in this conflict. Much of this operation has focused around the traditional methods of remembrance… Read More Op REFLECT: What Can We Learn From the First World War?
by DR ROBERT T. FOLEY Having returned to the Joint Services Command and Staff College in 2012 after a seven-year absence, changes to the teaching of strategy struck me strongly. While I was happy to see a renewed enthusiasm for the study of this important subject, I have been somewhat worried by a tendency to… Read More Can Strategy Be Reduced to a Formula of S = E + W + M?
Forgotten Battles is a new feature on Defence-in-Depth designed to bring long-lost battles back from the depths of history. Our authors have chosen these engagements because they believe that their significance has been overlooked or overshadowed by better-remembered battles in history. The significance of the chosen battles may have been strategic and influenced greatly a… Read More Forgotten Battles: Vailly, 30 October 1914
by DR ROBERT T. FOLEY On 22 November 1914, the 1st battle of Ypres, as it was known to the British, or the 2nd battle of Flanders, as it was known to the Germans, sputtered to an end. Neither side had achieved its original goal, and the British were left with their French allies defending… Read More The First Battles of Trench Warfare 1914
by Dr ROBERT T. FOLEY One of the most prevalent and enduring beliefs about the First World War is that those who led the war’s armies were unable to adjust to the new conditions of fighting, particularly on the Western Front. This myth is epitomized by the idea that the heroic common soldier – a… Read More Lions Led by Donkeys? Learning in the First World War