Articles in the British Journal for Military History

It has been remiss of me not to mention this journal. However, in late 2014, the British Commission for Military History launched its open access peer review journal, the British Journal for Military History. As I mentioned here, open access is the direction academia is moving certainly with regards to publishing in journal. It is also great to have another military history journal in which to publish. Here are some of the articles published in the journal so far that are related tot he period of the Second World War.

Vol. 1, No. 2 (2015)

The vast majority of the force employed by the Italians to crush local resistance in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica was composed of Libyans, Eritreans and Ethiopians. The article examines why the Italians came to rely so heavily on colonial soldiers. It highlights two key predicaments the Italians faced: how to contend with the social, economic and political repercussions that military recruitment for the counter-insurgency created in East Africa; and the extent to which they could depend on forces raised in Libya itself. Finally, the article offers an initial assessment of how the counter-insurgency exacerbated tensions between Libyans and East Africans.

Despite its seemingly overwhelming military superiority, the Netherlands never came close to defeating the increasingly effective nationalist insurgency on Java in the late 1940s. This article argues that the desperate state of the Dutch counter-insurgency campaign—which tends to be overlooked for the crucial years 1947-1948—is best demonstrated by focussing on the failure of the colonial power to integrate the civilian and military efforts and on its inability to govern reoccupied territory during the ‘pacification phase’.

Vol. 2, No. 1 (2015)

This article aims to show the Staff College at Camberley was an elite establishment for officer training in name only; it failed to select the best candidates for entry and it failed to teach students how to undertake either routine duties or operations relevant to continental conflict. The syllabus lacked clarity of purpose whilst the learning environment was largely devoid of pressure. This compounded the institution’s small output which prevented the army developing a pool of elite officers which could monopolise command within future expeditionary forces. Consequently, in 1939, both Camberley and its individual graduates were unprepared for war.

This article investigates the role played by the Royal Air Force’s Army Co- operation Command in the development of tactical air power thinking in Britain during the Second World War and how far it was able to demonstrate to the army the impact of tactical air power at the operational level. In this it was relatively successful. Army Co-operation Command demonstrated this to the lower-level formations of the army through training exercises. They were unable to convince senior commanders such as General Sir Alan Brooke whose thoughts on tactical air power centred on close air support and resolving the tactical-level problems ground forces faced when in close contact with the enemy.

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