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 3, Issue 2 - EDITORIAL

Welcome to the second issue of volume 3.

We have a bumper start to 2017 with a range of papers that consider everything from the manipulation of public opinion in the 18th century following the Battle of Almenar to the role of junior Officer Training Centres in creating a sense of British national identity. In between we take in the Indian volunteers of the Japanese F. Kikan and have a look at the effectiveness of Pioneer Battalions during the Great War.

If there is a theme, however, then it relates to a series of intriguing factors that otherwise receive comparatively little attention. Concerned with fear, psychology and the manipulation of news for propaganda purposes, this issue could be characterised as taking a look at the role of knowledge creation and myth making in military history. Whether it is Brett Holman’s investigation into the 1914 reports that the Germans had Zeppelin bases in Buckinghamshire or Tim Jenkins’ investigation into airborne invasion, the matter turns on the way that knowledge about an event is created and manipulated.

In this respect, the final paper in this issue considers the thorny topic of official military history. If ever there was a form of publication that absolutely had to avoid myth making and propaganda you would hope that it would be an Official History. In this last paper Professor Andrew Hoskins and myself make explicit the factors that frame the writing of OH and try to outline the parameters that shape this type of publication.

Before signing off, the editorial team would like to thank Major-general (rtd.) Mungo Melvin for all his support. Mungo is about to step down as President of the British Commission for Military History and so we want to take this opportunity to wish him every success for the future. We are very pleased to note that Mungo has now joined Twitter and so we would encourage you all to follow him at @MungoMelvin.

As ever we welcome your comments and feedback. 


Vol 3, No 2 (2017)

Cover Page

COVER IMAGE: Zeppelin L 48 in flight. Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum Photographs Collection ©IWM (Q 58468)

Full Issue

View or download the full issue FULL ISSUE PDF

Table of Contents


Stewart Tolley
Brett Holman
William Westerman
Timothy Halstead
Tim Jenkins
Kevin Noles
Andrew Hoskins, Matthew Ford

Book Reviews

Douglas Fermer, Three German Invasions of France – The Summer Campaigns of 1870, 1914 and 1940
Chris Buckham
Brian McAllister Linn, Elvis’s Army: Cold War GIs and the Atomic Battlefield
J.P. Clark
Daniel Owen Spence, A History of the Royal Navy: Empire and Imperialism
Greg Kennedy
Antonio Giustozzi and Artemy Kalinovsky, Missionaries of Modernity: Advisory Missions and the Struggle for Hegemony in Afghanistan and Beyond
Jeffrey Michaels
A.J.A. Morris, Reporting the First World War: Charles Repington, The Times and the Great War
Gary Sheffield


ISSN: 2057-0422

Copyright © 2016, British Journal for Military History

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.