Hew Strachan

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Sir Hew Strachan
Hew Strachan.jpg
Hew Strachan in June 2013
Born (1949-09-01) 1 September 1949 (age 65)
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Occupation Military historian, author
Spouse Pamela Symes

Sir Hew Francis Anthony Strachan FRSE FRHistS (born 1 September 1949) is a Scottish military historian, well known for his work on the administration of the British Army and the history of the First World War. He is Chichele Professor of the History of War at All Souls College, Oxford, a brigadier of reserves, and a council member of the Royal Company of Archers, the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland.

Since May 2014, he has been Lord Lieutenant of Tweeddale.

Early life[edit]

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Strachan was educated at Rugby School, then in 1968 was a merchant seaman for three months, working his passage around the world on ships of Ben Line Steamers Ltd. He then spent three years at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, graduating BA in 1971 and proceeding to M.A. in 1975. In 1973, he joined a survey of antiquities in the Sudan.

Career[edit]

In 1975, Strachan was elected a research fellow of Corpus Christi College, and in 1977–1978 was a senior lecturer in war studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. In 1978, he returned to his Cambridge college as a tutor.

His early research and published work focussed on the history of the British Army, and he was awarded the Templer Medal for From Waterloo to Balaclava and the Westminster Medal for The Politics of the British Army. Commissioned by the Oxford University Press to write a history of the First World War to replace C. R. M. F. Cruttwell's one-volume A History of the Great War, 1914-1918, Strachan completed the first of three volumes, The First World War: Volume 1: To Arms in 2001 to wide acclaim and is acknowledged as one of the world's authorities on the subject. Accompanying the print publication of his one volume survey The First World War (2004) was a multi-part documentary series for television entitled The First World War, with some episodes being titled after the chapters in the written work. This set was also released on DVD by Image Entertainment.

He became admissions tutor and then senior tutor of Corpus Christi College, and in 1992 was elected a life fellow. He was Professor of Modern History at the University of Glasgow from 1992 to 2000, then migrated to Oxford as Chichele Professor of the History of War at All Souls.

Since 2004, he has been director of the Oxford Programme on the Changing Character of War, and has published a series of important articles on strategy, as well as editing books which have arisen from the project.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Historical Society. He was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Tweeddale in 2006. He is a member of the Academic Advisory Panel of the Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies.[1] In addition, he is on the Chief of the Defence Staff's strategic advisory panel, the UK Defence Academy Advisory Board, and is an advisory fellow of the Barsanti Military History Center at the University of North Texas. He was on the council of the National Army Museum and is currently a trustee of the Imperial War Museum. He is a visiting professor of the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy in Trondheim and in 2009 was the Sir Howard Kippenberger Professor at Victoria University Wellington.

On 20 May 2014, Strachan was appointed as Lord Lieutenant of Tweeddale, in succession to Captain David Bingham Younger.

Views[edit]

In January 2014, Strachan told the The Daily Beast that President Barack Obama's failures in Afghanistan and Syria have shown that he is "chronically incapable" of military strategy. He said, "Bush may have had totally fanciful political objectives in terms of trying to fight a global War on Terror, which was inherently astrategic, but at least he had a clear sense of what he wanted to do in the world. Obama has no sense of what he wants to do in the world."[2]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Catherine Margaret Blackburn and they had two children. He then married Pamela Symes and together they have a son.

Honours[edit]

Strachan is an honorary Doctor of the University of the University of Paisley. He was knighted in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to the Ministry of Defence.[3]

Selected publications[edit]

  • British Military Uniforms, 1768–1796 (Arms and Armour, 1975)
  • History of the Cambridge University Officers Training Corps (1976) ISBN 0-85936-059-8 OCLC 2647367
  • European Armies and the Conduct of War (London, 1983) ISBN 0-415-07863-6
  • Wellington's Legacy: The Reform of the British Army 1830–54 (Manchester, 1984) ISBN 0-7190-0994-4
  • From Waterloo to Balaclava: Tactics, Technology and the British Army (Cambridge, 1985) ISBN 0-521-30439-3
  • The Politics of the British Army (Oxford, 1997) ISBN 0-19-820670-4
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War (ed.) (Oxford, 1998) ISBN 0-19-820614-3
  • The First World War: Volume 1: To Arms (Oxford, 2001) ISBN 0-19-926191-1 (first of an expected three volume history)
  • Military Lives Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-19-860532-3
  • The First World War: A New Illustrated History (Simon & Schuster, 2003)
  • The First World War (Viking, 2004) ISBN 0-670-03295-6 (single volume survey of the war)
  • The First World War in Africa (Oxford, 2004) ISBN 0199257280
  • German Strategy in the First World War in Wolfgang Elz and Sönke Neitzel: Internationale Beziehungen im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, pp. 127–144 (2003) ISBN 3-506-70140-1
  • Clausewitz's On War: a Biography (Atlantic Monthly Press 2007) ISBN 0-87113-956-1.
  • with Holger Afflerbach: How Fighting Ends. A History of Surrender. Oxford University Press, Oxford/New York 2012, ISBN 978-0-19-969362-7.
  • The Direction of War: Contemporary Strategy in Historical Perspective 2013. ISBN 1-107-04785-4 OCLC 852957790

Media[edit]

  • Channel 4 DVD: The First World War – The Complete Series ASIN: B0009S2K9C (based on his book)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.airpowerstudies.co.uk/academicadvisorypanel.htm
  2. ^ "Senior UK Defense Advisor: Obama Is Clueless About ‘What He Wants To Do In The World’". The Daily Beast. 15 January 2014. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60367. p. 1. 29 December 2012.
  • Contemporary Authors Online, 2007
  • Debrett's People of Today, 2007
  • Who's who, 2009

External links[edit]