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 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.


Vol 4, No 1 (2017)

Cover Page

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)

Full Issue

View or download the full issue FULL ISSUE PDF

Table of Contents


Brian Hughes, Billy Campbell, Susan Schreibman
Gary Sheffield
Anthony King
John Greenacre
Geraint Hughes

Book Reviews

John Grehan, The First VCs: The Stories Behind the First Victoria Crosses of the Crimean War and the Definition of Courage
Rachel Bates
Christopher M. Bell, Churchill and the Dardanelles
Robin Brodhurst
Adrian G. Marshall, Nemesis: The First Iron W arship and Her W orld
Howard Fuller
Ilya Berkovich, Motivation in War: the Experience of Common Soldiers in Old-Regime Europe
Susan Gane
Christopher Dillon, Dachau & the SS: A Schooling in Violence
Johannes Lang
Mungo Melvin, Sevastopol’s Wars: Crimea from Potemkin to Putin
Julian Lewis
Elizabeth Greenhalgh (ed), Liaison: General Pierre Des Vallières at British Headquarters, 1916-17
Michael S Neiberg
Jim Storr, King Arthur’s Wars: The Anglo-Saxon Conquest of England
Martin Samuels
John E. Ellis, Owen Rhoscomyl – Writers of Wales
George Simmers
Paul Cobb, The Race for Paradise: An Islamic History of the Crusades
Beth Spacey


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.