British Journal for Military History

The BJMH is a pioneering Open Access, peer-reviewed journal that brings high quality scholarship in military history to an audience beyond academia. 

"The birth of the British Journal for Military History will be as welcome as it is long overdue.

Sir Michael Howard

The past few decades have seen the appearance of a new generation of military historians. Some have been serving or retired members of the Armed Forces; some academics or aspiring academics; and some - most welcome of all – amateurs who write for the sheer love of it. The continuing demand for their work is evidenced in every major bookshop, where ‘Military History’ shelves often take up as much space as does mere ‘History’. Even those whose primary interest is not military history as such now realise that a knowledge of the subject is necessary if they are to understand the past, to say nothing of the present. Military history is now too important to be left to the military historians.

For the past few years military historians have been able to communicate with each another at the annual meetings of the British Commission for Military History and through its publication Mars and Clio. Now the BJMH will make their work available to a far wider readership and should attract an increasing number of contributors. It will be not only British, and not only military historians who will wish it well." 

Professor Sir Michael Howard

Portrait of Sir Michael Howard by Anthony Palliser:

Volume 2, Issue 3 - EDITORIAL

Time to don your tin hats! Here comes the First World War centenary… again!

1 July 2016 will mark 100 years since the opening of the Battle of the Somme. Amidst the many questions that will be asked of the conduct, bloodshed, and legacy lies a golden opportunity for historians to explore themes that rarely get an airing. Pals, mud and machine guns dominate public perceptions while newspapers, documentaries and books recycle the same emotive tropes. Yet these Anglo-centric narratives, as important as they are, can overshadow the international contributions that were made to one of the most important battles of the twentieth century.

The BJMH is proud to bring you three articles on the battle of the Somme from three international scholars. The French commitment to the battle, so often overlooked, is vividly brought to life by Elizabeth Greenhalgh who has skilfully charted the important role played by Ferdinand Foch. Meleah Hampton has produced a magisterial account of the Australians on the Somme, which offers some serious and trenchant criticism of our cover star Hubert de la Poer Gough. And in a fine work of micro-history, Bill Stewart has artfully unpicked the attack of the 44th Battalion of the 4th Canadian Division on 25 October 1916 shedding light on the Canadian participation in the latter stages of the battle. The historical duckboards of the Somme may be well-trodden, but these articles offer a challenge to simple parochial, national views of that seminal battle and provide genuinely original insights which we are proud to showcase here.

If the centenary of the First World War is beginning to feel a little too similar to the attritional slog of the war itself, then let Philip Abbott, Paul Donker, and Kenton White provide a little nineteenth century respite. Looking at the diverse effects of the Napoleonic War on art, military thought and mapping they showcase the enduring resonance of that conflict just over two hundred years on.

While the centenary of the First World War will probably rumble on in predictable ways, the BJMH will continue to publish fresh and original research produced by historians from across the globe. We hope you enjoy this issue.


Vol 2, No 3 (2016)

Cover Page
COVER IMAGE: General Hubert Gough and King Albert of the Belgians on the old Somme battlefield, 1917. Morale raising visits to troops in the field were frequently undertaken by members of the Royal Family, senior politicians and high ranking Army officers. The Press Bureau - Nationaal Archief

Full Issue

View or download the full issue PDF FULL ISSUE

Table of Contents


Elizabeth Greenhalgh
William Stewart
Meleah Hampton
Kenton White
Philip Abbott
Paul Donker

Book Reviews

‘Two World Wars And One World Cup’: The Strange Uses of Military History – A Review Essay of Brian Bond's Britain's Two World Wars Against Germany
Brian Holden-Reid
ARB Linderman, Rediscovering Irregular Warfare: Colin Gubbins and the Origins of Britain’s Special Operations Executive
Simon Anglim
James Lyon, Serbia and the Balkan Front, 1914: The Outbreak of the Great War
Catherine Baker
Christopher L. Scott, The Maligned Militia: The West Country Militia of the Monmouth Rebellion, 1685
Martyn Bennett
John Pettegrew, Light It Up: The Marine Eye for Battle in the War for Iraq
Antoine Bousquet
David French, Fighting EOKA: The British Counter-Insurgency Campaign on Cyprus, 1955-1959
Karl Hack
Mark S. Thompson, Wellington’s Engineers: Military Engineering in the Peninsular War 1808-14
Nick Lipscombe
Richard Overy, A History of War in 100 Battles
Maiolo Joe
Huw Bennett, Fighting the Mau Mau, The British Army and Counter-Insurgency in the Kenya Emergency
Declan O'Reilly
Roger Lee, British Battle Planning in 1916 and the Battle of Fromelles: A Case Study of an Evolving Skill
Peter Simkins


ISSN: 2057-0422

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Our logo is based on the combination of Mars & Clio, the Roman God of War and the Greek Muse of History. It is the official logo of the BCMH.