Posts Tagged 'War Studies'

Naval Wing Good, Military Wing Bad? An Orwellian inspired analysis of British Aviation Doctrine, 1912-1914

Here is the first of the air power related abstract to our fortcoming book, A Military Transformed? Transformation and Innovation in the British Military, 1792-1945.

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In light of the historiographical consensus regarding the innovative dominance displayed by the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps (NW), this essay sets out to readdress this position and stress at least one aspect of innovation in which the Military Wing of the Royal Flying Corps (MW) took the lead: the production of doctrine. Undoubtedly, it was not the nature of the doctrine being produced that was innovative; rather it was the philosophy behind its production, reflecting a modern and progressive understanding of the nature and functions of doctrine.

This exploration of British aviation doctrine between 1912 and 1914 begins by briefly examining the historiography before moving to analyse the specific doctrine produced by the separate Wings of the Royal Flying Corps. The diverse approaches of the Wings are then set in the wider context of military and naval attitudes in relation to doctrine. It is argued that, prior to the First World War; the British Army was an organisation possessing a culture that was positive in its attitudes to doctrine. This had a direct impact on the manner in which the MW produced its doctrine. In contrast, the Royal Navy, with its focus on the technical and material, embraced a culture that rejected the production of formal doctrine. Again, this affected the nature of NW attitudes to doctrine.

A concluding section then evaluates the effectiveness of the particular approaches adopted by each Wing. On reflection, there is significant evidence to re-evaluate the historiography and, in particular, it is possible to offer some profound criticisms of Naval Wing policy prior to 1914. It is argued that, as a direct consequence of these differing approaches to doctrine, the MW was better able to integrate air power, materially and philosophically, within its parent service.

Whilst the focus of the essay is aimed at an examination of formal doctrine – i.e. official manuals etc., informal doctrine is not neglected and an assessment of demi-official lectures, essays and articles is also a feature.

By James Pugh, PhD Candidate, Centre for War Studies, University of Birmingham

A New Book – A Military Transformed?

As I have noted over on Birmingham “On War” I have just signed the contracts for my first book. It is a collection of essays from the symposium from April on Transformation and Innovation in the British Military. I will be editing it with Stuart Mitchell and Dr Michael LoCicero. It is to be entitled, A Military Transformed? Transformation and Innovation in the British Military, 1792 to 1945. You can follow updates to it over on the War Studies blog. However, there will be several interesting air power chapters that will be of interest to readers. Here are the air power chapters:

  1. James Pugh (University of Birmingham) ‘Naval Wing Good, Military Wing Bad? An Orwellian inspired analysis of British Aviation Doctrine, 1912-1914’
  2. John Alexander (University of Birmingham) “Despised and Neglected’: Transformation and Innovation in British Air Defence, 1922-1935’
  3. Ross Mahoney (University of Birmingham) ‘Operation JUBILEE and the Transformation of Air Support for Combined Operations: The Case of Command and Control and Aerial Bombardment’
  4. Richard Hammond (University of Exeter) ‘British Aero-Naval Co-Operation in the Mediterranean and the Formation of RAF No. 201 (Naval Co-Operation) Group

These were really interesting papers so should be excellent papers. The book will be published by Helion and Company and will be out in 2013.

Are you an Air Power Studies MPhil/PhD Student?

As I have mentioned previously one of my roles is that I am the Student Representative on the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Air Power Group Committee. In order to help me in this role it would be useful to establish a mailing list for postgraudate researchers working in the field of Air Power Studies so that we may discuss issues that may be taken to the committee. I am also interested in finding out who is currently engaged in doctoral research in order to illustrate the diversity of work that is ongoing. The list would also be a useful way of networking and providing you with information of events and publications that may be of interest. You do not need to be a member of RAeS for this, though membership does give you access to the publications such as the Journal of Aeronautical History.

If you wish to be added to the list, please email me at airpowerstudies@gmail.com with the following details:

Name

Working Thesis Title

Institution

Supervisor

Date of Completion

Email

I would like to hear from as many scholars as possible. Air Power Studies, as a sub-set of the broader War Studies field, encompasses all aspects of History, Strategic Studies, Economics, Law, Ethics, Philosophy and International Relations.

Air Power Seminars at the University of Birmingham

This year the following air power seminars will take place at the War Studies Seminar at the University of Birmingham.

11 October 2011

James Pugh (University of Birmingham)

‘Early British Air Power Doctrine and the Influence of the Staff College, 1908-14’

17 January 2012

Ross Mahoney (University of Birmingham)

‘Leadership Effectiveness: Understanding a Key Metric of Operational Military History – Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh Mallory, a Case Study’

They will take place at 5:30pm in the Arts Lecture Room 3, First Floor, Arts Building, University of Birmingham

Call for Papers – Transformation and Innovation in the British and Commonwealth Militaries from 1642 to the Present Day

Centres for First and Second World War Studies

Call for Papers

Transformation and Innovation in the British and Commonwealth Militaries from 1642 to the Present Day

A Symposium for Postgraduate and Early Career Historians

13 April 2011

Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon

This conference, organised by the Centres for First and Second World War Studies at the University of Birmingham, intends to examine the process of transformation and innovation in the British and Commonwealth militaries as recent literature on the subject has highlighted a need to evaluate the process from 1642 to the present day.

We aim to provide an opportunity for postgraduate and early career historians to present their work to a wider audience. Proposals for papers on any aspect of transformation and innovation are welcomed. A CV and proposals (c.300 words) for papers of 20 minutes should be submitted to the organisers at birminghamwarstudies@gmail.com by 10 December 2010.

It is hoped that this conference will be supported by a grant to cover registration costs and travel to the conference. However, speakers are nevertheless encouraged to apply to their host institutions for assistance. We welcome contact from anyone who wishes to attend the conference, which will include a keynote lecture by Professor John Buckley, Chair of Military History at the University of Wolverhampton and a closing address by Professor Gary Sheffield, Chair of War Studies at the University of Birmingham.

Conference Organisers:

Ross Mahoney

Stuart Mitchell

Michael LoCicero

birminghamwarstudies@gmail.com


Welcome

Welcome to The Aerodrome, the unofficial blog of the Air Power Studies students at the University of Birmingham.

Please note all opinions expressed are those of the contributors and should not be taken to be those of the University of Birmingham, the Ministry of Defence or any other organisation or body.

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