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Professor Gary Sheffield - Author

About the Author

Professor Gary Sheffield was appointed Chair of War Studies at the University of Birmingham in 2006, having previously taught as a Professor of Modern History at King's College, London. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Arts and has written widely on twentieth-century military history especially the First World War. In 2003, he shared the Templer Medal for Military Literature for his contribution to The British General Staff: Innovation and Reform (2002). Gary regularly broadcasts on radio and television, and his work has appeared in the Guardian, the Mail on Sunday, the Times Literary Supplement and BBC History Magazine. He lives in Oxfordshire.

Featured books by Professor Gary Sheffield

Other books by Professor Gary Sheffield

In Haig's Shadow Brigadier-General Hugo de Pree and the First World War

In Haig's Shadow Brigadier-General Hugo de Pree and the First World War

Author: Professor Gary Sheffield Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/10/2019

Hugo de Pree was the cousin of the better-known Field Marshall Douglas Haig. However, de Pree had a distinguished military career in his own right. Educated at Eton and RMA Woolwich, de Pree grew up alongside Haig, primed for a career in the military. He served in the Boer War before the First World War began. He was sent to the Western Front, as Chief of Staff of IV Corps, coming into contact with his cousin at the Battle of Cambrai in 1917. He continued his accession through the ranks, and was Commander of 189 Brigade, 63rd Royal Navy Division, at the Great Retreat of March 1918, bringing him much closer to the front line than most British generals in the First World War. During the Battle of the Somme, de Pree made a tough decision to change tactics, a decision that lost him his job, until he was reinstated after appeal. De Pree saw out the War with the 115 Brigade, and, before his death in 1943, commanded the 13th Indian Infantry Brigade. He died whilst his son, John de Pree, was in a Prisoner of War camp. This book, by one of the leading academics in this field, weaves together his letters and other writings, with incisive commentary to give a vivid insight into the life of a brigade commander in the First World War.

Tommy Goes to War

Tommy Goes to War

Author: Professor Gary Sheffield Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/11/2018

The image of the innocent British soldier (or Tommy ) setting off with a spring in his step in 1914 to fight the Great War would not last long. Indeed that initial euphoria would soon give way to a deep-seated bitterness as these young men endured the horror of the First World War. In a new edition of this extraordinary book, the uncensored letters, diaries, documents and many photographs tell the story of the British soldier (nicknamed Tommy) in their own words. While there are flashes of their wit and humour, the overwhelming feeling is that of a generation who felt let down by their superiors and left to perish. There are visceral, terrifying insights into life in the trenches and agonising descriptions of the squalor and privations of war. This haunting account also looks at the aggressive drive to recruit more soldiers through the Pals Battalion or Chum's Battalion. Friends from the same town or village; professional bodies, or work colleagues among others were encouraged to enlist en masse. They would fight together alongside their friends or colleagues. Many of them would sadly die together and leave communities wild with grief for a lost generation, robbed of a future having barely had a past. With a concise analysis of the British Army in the First World War, we are reminded of the terror of war, the fury, the fear and the frustration of what has been described by some as a war typified by the devastating assessment: lions led by donkeys .

Wellington: pocket GIANTS

Wellington: pocket GIANTS

Author: Professor Gary Sheffield Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2017

Wellington is a giant because he was one of the greatest military commanders in British history, an important figure in the emergence of Britain as a great imperial power, a man who dominated British society and politics for 35 years. He was the only one of Napoleon's contemporaries who can be mentioned in the same breath as a general - a master of logistics, politics and coalition warfare as well as strategy, operations and tactics. The book's focus is on Wellington's military career, and it looks at all of these aspects, placing them in the context of the military and political developments of the time. It explores Wellington's personality - a key to understanding his success - and briefly examines his post-Waterloo career as a politician. It concludes that Wellington was not only a military genius, but an icon whose fame endures to our own time.

Changing War The British Army, the Hundred Days Campaign and The Birth of the Royal Air Force, 1918

Changing War The British Army, the Hundred Days Campaign and The Birth of the Royal Air Force, 1918

Author: Professor Gary Sheffield Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/04/2015

In 1918, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) played a critical role in defeating the German army and thus winning the First World War. This 'Hundred Days' campaign (August to November 1918) was the greatest series of land victories in British military history. 1918 also saw the creation of the Royal Air Force, the world's first independent air service, from the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. Until recently, British histories of the First World War have tended to concentrate on the earlier battles of 1916 and 1917 and often underplayed this vitally important period. Changing War fills this significant gap in our knowledge by providing in-depth examinations of key aspects of the operations of the British Army, the Royal Air Force and its antecedents in the climactic year of the First World War. Written by a group of established historians and emerging scholars it sheds light not only on 1918, but on the revolutionary changes in warfare that took place at that time.

Command and Morale: The British Army on the Western Front 1914-1918

Command and Morale: The British Army on the Western Front 1914-1918

Author: Professor Gary Sheffield Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/03/2014

Gary Sheffield is one of the most versatile and stimulating of military historians at work today. For 25 years, in a series of perceptive books and articles, he has examined the First World War from many angles - from the point of view of the politicians and the high command through to the junior officers and other ranks in the front line. Morale and Command presents in a single volume a range of his shorter work, and it shows his scholarship at its best. The range of his writing, the insights he offers and the sometimes controversial conclusions he reaches mean this thought-provoking book will be indispensable reading for all students of the First World War and of modern warfare in general.

World War I Companion

World War I Companion

Author: Professor Gary Sheffield Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/11/2013

The pieces in this book form an excellent introduction to the military history of World War I that will also prove valuable to specialists in the subject.' Professor Gary Sheffield World War I changed the face of the 20th century. For four long years the major European powers, later joined by America, fought in a life or death struggle that would topple the crowned heads of Europe and redraw the map of the Continent. It was a conflict unparalleled in its scale, which in turn fuelled devastatingly rapid developments in military technology, technique and innovation as the belligerent powers sought to break the deadlock on the Western Front and elsewhere. In the centenary of the outbreak of the conflict, 14 renowned historians from around the world examine some of the key aspects of the war, providing a wide-ranging analysis of the whole conflict beyond but including the stalemate in the trenches of the Western Front.

War Studies Reader From the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day and Beyond

War Studies Reader From the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day and Beyond

Author: Professor Gary Sheffield Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/04/2010

This is a broad ranging reader in the growing subject of War Studies. It includes respected contributors, with each chapter set out clearly and with contextual background. War Studies is an increasingly popular subject at degree, masters and doctorate level, as well as aspects of it being taught at A level. Here at last is a subject reader that will provide authoritative and thought provoking pieces of scholarship in an accessible form. Topics covered include Strategic Theory and the History of War (Daniel Moran), The Uses and Abuses of Clausewitz (Eric Alterman), Victory Misunderstood - what the Gulf War Tells Us About the Future of Conflict (Stephen Biddle), Early American Ways of War - 1600 - 1815 (John Shy) and Was the Civil War a Total War? (Mark Neeley). There is no accepted definition of War Studies for it is a particular blend of military history, international relations and contemporary security. Thus this reader purposefully gives broad coverage to the subject. Each topic is covered by one of two significant articles or book chapters with an introduction from the editor to provide context. There will also be a general introduction, explaining the growth and development of this area of study.

War Studies Reader From the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day and Beyond

War Studies Reader From the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day and Beyond

Author: Professor Gary Sheffield Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/04/2010

This is a broad ranging reader in the growing subject of War Studies. It includes respected contributors, with each chapter set out clearly and with contextual background. War Studies is an increasingly popular subject at degree, masters and doctorate level, as well as aspects of it being taught at A level. Here at last is a subject reader that will provide authoritative and thought provoking pieces of scholarship in an accessible form. Topics covered include Strategic Theory and the History of War (Daniel Moran), The Uses and Abuses of Clausewitz (Eric Alterman), Victory Misunderstood: what the Gulf War Tells Us About the Future of Conflict (Stephen Biddle), Early American Ways of War: 1600 - 1815 (John Shy) and Was the Civil War a Total War? (Mark Neeley). There is no accepted definition of War Studies for it is a particular blend of military history, international relations and contemporary security. Thus this reader purposefully gives broad coverage to the subject. Each topic is covered by one of two significant articles or book chapters with an introduction from the editor to provide context. There will also be a general introduction, explaining the growth and development of this area of study.

Command and Control on the Western Front The British Army's Experience 1914-18

Command and Control on the Western Front The British Army's Experience 1914-18

Author: Professor Gary Sheffield, Dan Todman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2007

A study by historians of the First World War considers various aspects of command at various levels on the Western Front. This book describes, if the British Army really had been led by donkeys, then how was the war won and how did the Army reach such a peak of military excellence in 1918?

Douglas Haig Diaries and Letters 1914-1918

Douglas Haig Diaries and Letters 1914-1918

Author: Professor Gary Sheffield Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/2006

The diaries of the most controversial British general of the twentieth century. There's a commonly held view that Douglas Haig was a bone-headed, callous butcher, who through his incompetence as commander of the British Army in WWI, killed a generation of young men on the Somme and Passchendaele. On the other hand there are those who view Haig as a man who successfully struggled with appalling difficulties to produce an army which took the lead in defeating Germany in 1918. Haig's Diaries, hitherto only previously available in bowdlerised form, give the C-in-C's view of Asquith and his successor Lloyd George, of whom he was highly critical. The diaries show him intriguing with the King vs. Lloyd George. Additional are his day by day accounts of the key battles of the war, not least the Somme campaign of 1916.

The Somme A New History

The Somme A New History

Author: Professor Gary Sheffield Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/01/2004

On 1 July 1916, after a stupendous 7-day artillery preparation, the British Army finally launched its attack on the German line around the River Somme. Over the next four and half months they continued to attack, with little or no gain, and with horrendous losses to both sides. This book, written by the world's foremost expert in the subject, describes in chilling detail everything from the grand strategy to the experience of the men on the ground. Illustrated throughout, it is a stunning and absorbing depiction of the horror that was the Somme in 1916.

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