We are very pleased to announce the award of the second annual Sir Michael Howard Prize for the best article published in the journal in each year. Dr Iain Farquharson was presented with his award and £250 for his article ‘“The Staff College candidates are not right yet”: The Importance of Nomination to British Army Staff College Entry, 1919-1939’ (Volume 8,Issue 1) by Dr Halik Kochanski at the British Commission for Military History AGM on 4 March. The judging panel
were greatly impressed by Iain’s analysis of the way candidates for the Staff College were selected between the wars and his demonstration that –possibly counter-intuitively –those nominated by their regiments or units actually did better than those chosen by competitive examination. Although this issue is one of our standard volumes –produced as a result of submissions which had come to us rather than being sought, and without guest editors –it bears some of the hallmarks of a special issue tied together by a theme. As we reviewed the articles we had ready to publish, we realised that the pieces in this issue are all linked to some extent by the technical and operational aspects of war. The issue examines a range of issues which can be covered by the terms ‘technical’ and ‘operational’, including: Edward Wawrzynczak and Jane Wickenden on hospital ships; articles by Brendan Hogan and Greg O’Reilly which cover learning, machine gun fire and gas; and the David Brown and Brenton Brooks article on the use of tanks. Simon Blount’s article on Austrian mountain troops considers the roles played by such soldiers at Narvik in 1940, while also touching on wider issues around memory. The opening article on Bosworth by Jack Shaw and Peter Shaw is a valuable example of detective work on the location of a battle. These articles offer ample evidence of there being much vigour in new work on these types of military history by authors from a wide variety of backgrounds. As editors, we remain concerned, and feel duty-bound to flag, that this volume only has work by one woman as a lead author. To some extent this reflects the pieces which come to us, but knowing the field as we do, we remain committed to highlighting the really innovative scholarship which is being done by female researchers and we will continue to work hard to ensure that this is better represented in future issues.
RICHARD S. GRAYSON & ERICA WALD, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
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