Defence Studies Talk Series Update

A couple of weeks ago I outlined a new initiative which aims to deliver valuable CPD to the Field Army.  This blog will update that information and give an idea of the progress I have made in driving it forward; it will also give further details of the speakers and subjects.  I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important I think this Series is to the British Army; the Army desperately needs opportunities to think about War and Warfare, and encourage military education for officers and soldiers alike.

Our first speaker is Dr Matthew Ford, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Sussex.  Matt Ford holds a PhD from the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London and had a very successful career in management consultancy before entering academia.  A former West Point Fellow and winner of the Society for Military History’s Russell F. Weigley Graduate Award, Matt has written extensively about military-technical change, especially as it relates to the infantry and their experience of battle.  Matt is an Honorary Historical Consultant to the Royal Armouries at Leeds.  Matt’s subject is ‘Is it Gucci?  What small arms can tell us about the military’s attitude to innovation and adaptation’.  Matt will be selling his new book, ‘Weapon of Choice’ following his talk at PCL, Aldershot on Tuesday, 4th July. 2017.

Our second speaker will be Lt Gen (Ret’d) Sir John Kiszely KCB MC.  Sir John is a former CO of the 1st Bn, Scots Guards and commanded 7th Armoured Brigade, 1st UK Armoured Division and Regional Forces.  He has seen operational service during the Falklands Conflict, the Bosnian War and in the Iraq War, where he was Deputy Commanding General, Multinational Force, Iraq in 2004-5.  Sir John’s last post was as Director-General of the UK Defence Academy, retiring from the British Army in 2008 after almost 40 years service.  Following his military career, Sir John was National President of the Royal British Legion from 2008-12.  Sir John’s subject is ‘The British Fiasco in Norway, 1940 – Lessons for Today’.  Sir John will be selling his new book, ‘Anatomy of a Campaign: The British Fiasco in Norway, 1940’ following his talk at PCL, Aldershot on Tuesday, 25th July. 2017.

After the Summer break, our first speaker will be Professor Gary Sheffield FRHistS, FRSA.  Gary is the Co-Director of the First World War Research Group at Wolverhampton University, having previously held Chairs at King’s College, London (2006-06) and the University of Birmingham (2006-13).  He has huge experience with the British military having been a Lecturer at RMA Sandhurst and JSCSC Shrivenham.  Whilst at Shrivenham, Gary was the Land Warfare Historian on the Higher Command and Staff Course, the UK’s senior operational course for senior officers.  Gary has been instrumental in the revision of military and academic thought on the British Army’s role in the First World War, his work has been inspirational to many historians of that War.  Gary is also President of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and Vice-President of the Western Front Association.  Gary’s subject is ‘The Duke of Wellington and the tradition of British Generalship’.  Gary will be selling his new book, ‘Wellington: Pocket Giants’ following his talk at PCL, Aldershot on Tuesday, 12th September. 2017.

I also have a talk booked with Drs Stuart Mitchell and James Kitchen of RMA Sandhurst  in late September 2017 examining current British military doctrine, and an exciting talk by Dr Daniel Todman on Tuesday, 3rd October. 2017 with details to be announced later.  I hope this blog has whetted your appetite for this exciting new Talk Series.  If you’d like more details or if you’d like to book a place, please e-mail me at

Thank you.


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