Sheffield, Gary (British Journal for Military History, 2017-11-01)
Works discussing the experience of combatants, based on their writings or on oral testimony, are a well-established genre of military history. However, it is rare to find authors explicitly analysing the various influences that shaped the soldier’s experience in any era. This article, which forms part of a wider study of British and Dominion soldiers in the two world wars, attempts to fill this gap by using the Gallipoli campaign as a vehicle to examine some of the factors that shaped the experience of British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers that served at the Dardanelles. Here, ‘experience’ is defined as ‘the process or an instance of undergoing and being affected by an event or a series of connected events’. Such an exploration helps to reveal the extent to which individuals in war have ‘agency’, the ability to determine their own fate, or are limited by external factors (in sociological terms, ‘structural constraints’). Such external factors could stem from apparently trivial things, which nevertheless determined a man’s fate. In September 1914 Philip Ibbetson and his mate Jack tried to join the Royal Australian Navy in Brisbane, but Jack was rejected because of hammer toes. Both men then enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), which was evidently less fussy about recruits’ feet. They eventually found themselves at Gallipoli, rather than experiencing a rather different war at sea. In their case, agency was noticeably absent.
The fighting on the Western Front during the First World War was characterized by the mass use of artillery and, thanks to scholarship from recent decades, is now understood as a crucible for learning and innovation. This article follows the trajectory of French artillery capabilities, mental and mechanical, from the late 19th century through to 1916.
Fuller, Howard (British Commission for Military History, 2017-06-02)
This paper will briefly chart how and why the Royal Navy chose not to develop coastal assault vessels—namely heavy-gunned, light-draught monitors specially designed to absorb damage from modern mines or torpedoes—until well after the First World War began. Churchill and Fisher envisaged these particular men-of-war as the floating equivalent of tanks, both ‘intended to restore to the stronger power an effective means of the offensive’. Only when they were finally launched and deployed in sufficient numbers could serious plans for projecting power directly against the German coastline be safely considered. So where were the monitors before the war?
This article explores the morale of the troops of British VIII Corps on Gallipoli in 1915-16, using Anthony King’s recent work on combat motivation in infantry platoons as a tool of analysis. King, partially rehabilitating the controversial work of S.L.A. Marshall, argues that left to themselves, the citizen armies of the early twentieth century tended to passivity. Officers resorted to a range of strategies to overcome this ‘Marshall Effect’, including appeals to patriotism and masculinity, mass tactics, and heroic leadership. It is contended that King’s model works well when applied to this case study – such methods were indeed employed by officers of VIII Corps - but the jury is out on its wider applicability, pending detailed case studies of other campaigns. As this article demonstrates, the morale of the troops of VIII Corps was severely tested throughout the Gallipoli campaign, as a rash of
short-lived ‘panics’ demonstrated. There was a distinct downturn in August 1915, which was marked by an increase in rates of sickness and self-inflicted wounds, and a ‘strike’, when a sub-unit simply refused to carry out an attack. Despite this,
there was no general and permanent breakdown of morale, in the sense of unwillingness to obey the orders of higher command. VIII Corps’ morale was characterised by stoicism and resilience in the face of adverse conditions.
Export search results
The export option will allow you to export the current search results of the entered query to a file. Different
formats are available for download. To export the items, click on the button corresponding with the preferred download format.
By default, clicking on the export buttons will result in a download of the allowed maximum amount of items.
To select a subset of the search results, click "Selective Export" button and make a selection of the items you want to export.
The amount of items that can be exported at once is similarly restricted as the full export.
After making a selection, click one of the export format buttons. The amount of items that will be exported is indicated in the bubble next to export format.