PUBLISHED 3rd NOVEMBER 2017
Volume 4, Issue 1 - EDITORIAL
Welcome to Issue 1 of our fourth volume. Our focus in this edition is on the memories, experiences and effectiveness of soldiers in different military contexts during the 20th century.
Contested memories are the bread and butter of military history. It is with great pleasure then that we kick off this edition with a forensic reconsideration of the Battle of Mount Street Ridge in Dublin in 1916. Not only does this article challenge existing accounts of the casualty figures for the battle but it also introduces historians to the possibilities of advanced computational methods. As you will see, the result of Hughes, Campbell and Schreibman’s efforts is both fascinating and Delbrückian in ambition.
In subsequent articles we develop our catalogue of soldiers’ experiences of war and explore how these translated into combat effectiveness. We start with a re-consideration of the factors that shaped experiences of Gallipoli by Professor Gary Sheffield. Professor Tony King then offers an analysis of leadership and command and its importance for defining combat effectiveness in the Second World War. After this Dr John Greenacre considers the use of the Parachute Regiment in early Cold War stabilisation operations and Dr Geraint Hughes looks at the challenges of advising and mentoring allies during the Dhofar War. All five articles offer differing perspectives on the utility and effectiveness of the military. We think you’ll enjoy them all.
Apart from the articles, we would also like to draw your attention to the Gallipoli and Crimea sub-themes to this issue. In particular, in our reviews section you will notice that we examine Christopher Bell’s recent work Churchill and the Dardenlles while the Right Honourable Julian Lewis MP reviews Major-general (rtd) Mungo Melvin’s recent book Sevastapol’s Wars: Crimea from Potemkin to Putin. As we are also reviewing John Grehan’s The First VCs: the stories behind the First Victoria Crosses of the Crimean War and the Definition of Courage, it seemed fitting that we should have a picture of the defence Sevastapol for this edition’s front cover.
We hope you enjoy this issue. As ever, we welcome your comments and feedback.
DR MATTHEW FORD, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Cover Image: Detail of Panorama's circular canvas, 115 metres long and 14 metres high, 'The Defence of Sevastapol 1854-1855' by Franz Rubo, which depicts the defence of the city at Lalkhov Tower on 18 June 1855 when its Russian defenders repulsed a major French attack (image courtesy of Mungo Melvin)