Those of you familiar with this blog will know that from time-to-time I like to give an update on both the War Talks series and the British Army Military Book of the Year Competition. I also tend to give some further details of talks, presentations, and other activities with which I am associated. This will be one such blog. It would be a real pleasure to meet any and all of you; to that end, I hope you can make some of these events this Autumn.
War Talks Autumn Season 2019 and Beyond. Sometimes it seems unbelievable that the ‘War Talks’ talk series that I founded in the Summer of 2017 has already been running for six seasons and that we have already delivered 45 talks from academics and international relations experts. Professors, Generals, Doctors, and students have all graced the Talks on subjects as wide ranging as child soldiers, weapon development, and drone technology to name but a few.
Our 46th Talk by Ms. Natia Seskuria of the National Security Council of the Republic of Georgia and an Associate Fellow at RUSI, takes place on Tuesday 22nd October 2019 at the Prince Consort’s Library, Aldershot. Natia will speak on the subject of Russia’s information war against Georgia since the invasion of 2008. The remainder of the season is at published above, but I would remind readers that Professor Tony King‘s Talk has moved to Wednesday 13th November 2019. I am deeply indebted to both RUSI for providing its incredible speakers at no cost and to the Wavell Room for podcasting the vast majority of the Talks since mid-2019.
The Talks continue to go from strength to strength, indeed I am already organising the seventh season which will run from January to April 2020. I hope to have a line-up of another seven talks ready for announcement in December 2019 taking us up to 57 in total. If you have any suggestions on subjects or speakers, please drop me a line.
British Army Military Book of the Year 2020. The British Army Military Book of the Year 2019 (#BAMBY19) was won earlier this month by Dr. Jonathan Boff. Jonathan’s incredible book, his second shortlisted book for the Prize, is ‘Haig’s Enemy: Crown Prince Rupprecht and Germany’s War on the Western Front’ and we hope he will be able to both collect his prize and be presented with a new trophy provided by the AGC(ETS)on Tuesday, 3rd December 2019. We will start the hunt for the 2020 Prize (#BAMBY20) at the end of November 2019 with an events page on the British Army website which will give details of the competition rules, how to become a judge, and how to nominate books for the long list. The Longlist will be announced at the end of January 2020 and the Judges and Shortlist will be announced at the beginning of March 2020. Judging will be complete by September 2020 and the winner announced in October 2020. I will aim to have the Prize presented in the first week in December 2020.
Other Activities. As you all may know, I like to keep busy. The following is not exhaustive but I’m hoping these might give me the best opportunity to meet you all. At the end of this month on Wednesday 30th October 2019, I will be delivering a talk at Leuchars in Fife for the Scottish PME Network on the subject of Adaptability. It is always an incredible honour to be asked to speak by any organisation, but I’d highlight here the Tonbridge War Talks initiative, at which I will speak on Thursday 14th November 2019 on the subject of the reputation of the British Army in North West Europe in 1944-45, ‘The Voice of Veteran as Researcher Conference organised by the Defence Research Network and King’s College, London on 19th November 2019, the Military Social Media Conference in London on 20th and 21st of November, and the Modern Conflict Research Symposium at Manchester in January 2020.
When I’m not speaking or writing, I enjoy Battlefield Studies and I’m hoping to be guiding tours to the Western Front of the First World War in November 2019 and March 2020, and Croatia, South Africa, France and Israel in 2020. In terms of writing, I’m hoping to submit a number of articles to websites and journals in the US, UK, and Australia, but the priority must be with the PhD which still remains temptingly out of reach. Before I go I’d like to let you know I’ve also got projects developing all over the Army and wider Defence, I’ll let you have further details as the proposals firm up. Its a busy life but I like it that way.
Please come along to one of my War Talks or volunteer to help with #BAMBY20 its all part of building the professional military education network. I am particularly keen to get younger and more junior personnel involved because, after all, the future is theirs is it not?
I hope you have a great weekend, back to doctrine, concepts and controversy next week!
All the very best,