From Liddell Hart to Joan Littlewood

Studies in British Military History

Brian Bond

Date Published :
October 2015
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
b/w maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781910777572
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available


This volume brings together a selection of Brian Bond's most interesting contributions to books and journals on British military history in the 20th century. They are arranged around three large subjects: the First World War, the interwar decades, and the Second World War with concluding reflections on the author's ‘Farewell to Arms’ at the end of a distinguished career in the Department of War Studies at King's College, London. Brief new introductions have been written to provide background information and contexts for each essay.

Sir Basil Liddell Hart’s name appropriately forms part of the titles since he was the author's original inspiration and mentor. His early career and influential publications on the First World War are critically discussed as is his later ‘partnership’ with the reforming War Minister, Lesley Hore-Belisha. Professor Bond also acknowledges his tremendous debt to his research supervisor and ‘founder’ of War Studies, Sir Michael Howard. Other essays provide fascinating examples of the author's main interests, including the Western Front and civil-military relations; the significance of post-1918 war memoirs; and the nadir of the Army's fortunes between the World Wars and its performance in France and Belgium in 1939-40. This section is complemented by case studies of Field Marshals Gort and Ironside.

In recent years Professor Bond has been a leading critic of the ‘Lions led by Donkeys’ school who have misrepresented and denigrated Britain's achievement in the First World War. His target, the concluding essay in this volume, are the historical shortcomings of the stage and film version of “Oh! What a lovely War” - hence the inclusion of Joan Littlewood's name in the title.

About The Author

Brian Bond has earned an international reputation as a military historian. He has lectured widely in Europe, The United States, Canada and Japan. His numerous books include: War and Society in Europe, 1870-1970 (1984); The Pursuit of Victory from Napoleon to Saddam Hussein (1996); The Unquiet Western Front: Britain’s Role in Literature and History (2002); and Britain’s Two World Wars against Germany (2014).

Brian Bond spent most of his teaching career at King’s College, London (1966-2001) where he became Professor of Military History. He was educated at Worcester College, Oxford and was later a Visiting Fellow at Brasenose and All Souls colleges there.

He was President of the British Commission for Military History from 1986 to 2006.

He has been fortunate enough to spend nearly all his life in one beautiful village; namely Medmenham in the Thames Valley.


“This is Brian Bond at his very impressive best. The essays in this book, written over a long and distinguished career, span Britain’s military contributions to the two great world wars of the 20th century, plus the critical inter-war period, and also how historians (and others!) have understood and interpreted these dramatic events ever since. Their range and quality reflect his place as one of the most important and influential British military historians, and the truth of his conviction that the study of war is essential to the understanding of British history.”

- Professor Stephen Badsey, University of Wolverhampton

"Generations of students of military history have benefited from Brian Bond’s wise guidance in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, in the British Commission for Military History, and through his extensive writings. As one of those ‘matured’ students, I take a particular delight in seeing Brian’s writings collected together to remind us of the tremendous value of his contribution to our understanding of this endlessly fascinating subject.”"

- John Lee, British Commission for Military History

"This splendid collection of essays, written over a span of some forty-seven years, confirms Brian Bond reputation as the pre-eminent British military historian of his generation. The fact that Professor Bond has consistently maintained his level of outstanding scholarship over such a long period commands one’s profound respect, and all the essays in this volume remain not only relevant and thought-provoking but also highly readable.”"

- Professor Peter Simkins

“ … The singular value of this volume is to make available writings otherwise difficult to find, even in this information age, or located in books (sometimes now very) expensive to buy or difficult to find unless one makes distinct effort. Although the Professor himself would not claim to be a sole voice, he has been one of the most influential interpreters and teachers of the history of the British Army in the modern era. This volume shows why.”

- Society of Friends of the National Army Museum

More from this publisher