David Horner

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David Horner
Native name David Murray Horner
Born (1948-03-12) 12 March 1948 (age 69)
Adelaide, South Australia
Awards Churchill Fellowship (1977)
Member of the Order of Australia (2009)
Academic background
Alma mater University of New South Wales (MA [Hons])
Australian National University (PhD)
Thesis title Australia and Allied Strategy in the Pacific, 1941–1946
Thesis year 1980
Doctoral advisor Robert J. O'Neill
Academic work
Institutions Australian National University
Main interests Australian military history
Strategic studies
Notable works The Official History of ASIO
Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations

David Murray Horner AM (born 12 March 1948)[1] is an Australian military historian and academic.


Horner was raised in a military household; his father Murray Horner had served in New Guinea during World War II and later joined the Citizen Military Forces (CMF). He joined the Army after completing school in 1966 and attended Royal Military College Duntroon. Horner served in the Australian Army for 25 years, including active service in South Vietnam.[2]

Horner was appointed to a position at the Australian National University's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre in 1990[2] and is currently Professor of Australian Defence History at the ANU's Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies (RSPAS).[3] In 1998 he was described as "one of Australia's most respected military historians".[4] In 2004 Horner was appointed the Official Historian and general editor for the Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations, of which five volumes are planned. A team led by Horner also won a tender to write the official history of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) which Horner plans to cover in two volumes published in 2013 and 2015.[2] Horner has written or edited 28 books and a further 75 journal articles, reports and chapters in books.[5] For his "service to higher education in the area of Australian military history and heritage as a researcher, author and academic", Horner was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday honours list of 2009.[5]



  • — (1978). Crisis of Command: Australian Generalship and the Japanese Threat, 1941–1943. Canberra: Australian National University Press. ISBN 9780708113455. 
  • — (1982). High Command: Australia and Allied Strategy, 1939–1945. Sydney: George Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9780868610764. 
  • — (1991). SAS Phantoms of the Jungle: A History of the Australian Special Air Service. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781863730075. 
  • — (1992). General Vasey's War. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. ISBN 9780522844627. 
  • — (1992). The Gulf Commitment: The Australian Defence Force's First War. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. ISBN 0522845118. 
  • — (1995). The Gunners: A History of Australian Artillery. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781863739177. 
  • — (1996). Inside the War Cabinet: Directing Australia's War Effort, 1939–1945. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1863739689. 
  • —; Ball, Desmond (1998). Breaking the Codes: Australia's KGB Network. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781864485783. 
  • — (1998). Blamey: The Commander-in-Chief. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781864487343. 
  • — (2000). Defence Supremo: Sir Frederick Shedden and the Making of Australian Defence Policy. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1865082806. 
  • — (2001). Making the Australian Defence Force. The Australian Centenary History of Defence. 4. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195541175. 
  • — (2002). The Pacific. Second World War. 1. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1841762296. 
  • — (2005). Strategic Command: General Sir John Wilton and Australia's Asian Wars. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195552829. 
  • —; Thomas, Neil (2009). In Action with the SAS. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781741755527. 
  • — (2011). Australia's Military History for Dummies. Milton, Queensland: Wiley Publishing Australia. ISBN 9781742169835. 
  • — (2011). Australia and the New World Order: From Peacekeeping to Peace Enforcement 1988–1991. Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations. II. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521765879. 
  • —; Connor, John (2014). The Good International Citizen: Australian Peacekeeping in Asia, Africa and Europe 1991–1993. Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations. III. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107021624. 
  • — (2014). The Spy Catchers. The Official History of ASIO. I. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781743319666. 

Edited books[edit]

  • —; O'Neill, Robert, eds. (1981). New Directions in Strategic Thinking. London: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0043550134. 
  • —; O'Neill, Robert, eds. (1982). Australian Defence Policy for the 1980s. St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0702217816. 
  • —, ed. (1984). The Commanders: Australian Military Leadership in the Twentieth Century. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9780868614960. 
  • —, ed. (1986). Australian Higher Command in the Vietnam War. Canberra: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. ISBN 0867848936. 
  • —, ed. (1990). Duty First: The Royal Australian Regiment in War and Peace. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9780044422273. 
    • —; Bou, Jean, eds. (2008). Duty First: A History of the Royal Australian Regiment (2nd ed.). Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9780044422273. 
  • —, ed. (1991). Reshaping the Australian Army: Challenges for the 1990s. Canberra: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. ISBN 0731511921. 
  • —; Ball, Desmond, eds. (1992). Strategic Studies in a Changing World: Global, Regional and Australian Perspectives. Canberra: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. ISBN 0731513711. 
  • —; Penglase, Joanna, eds. (1992). When the War Came to Australia: Memories of the Second World War. St. Leonards: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1863733205. 
  • —, ed. (1993). The Army and the Future: Land Forces in Australia and South-East Asia. Canberra: Directorate of Departmental Publications, Defence Centre for Director of Army Activities and Public Affairs. ISBN 0644290048. 
  • —, ed. (1994). The Battles That Shaped Australia: The Australian's Anniversary Essays. The Australian Series. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781863737043. 
  • —, ed. (1995). Armies and Nation-Building: Past Experience – Future Prospects. Canberra: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. ISBN 0731523008. 
  • —, ed. (2002). SAS Phantoms of War: A History of the Special Air Service. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781865086477. 
  • —, ed. (2004). Australia's Strategic Involvement in the Middle East: An Overview. Abu Dhabi: Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research. ISBN 9789948006657. 
  • —; Londey, Peter; Bou, Jean, eds. (2009). Australian Peacekeeping: Sixty Years in the Field. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521516068. 


  1. ^ "Horner, David Murray". Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 9 June 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Sygall, David (17 January 2009). "Spies like us". The Sun-Herald. 
  3. ^ "David Horner – ANU College of Asia and the Pacific – ANU". Australian National University. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  4. ^ Carl Bridge (1998). Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King's College, London. Retrieved from Australian War Memorial, 11 March 2007.
  5. ^ a b "Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia (A-L)" (PDF). The Queen's Birthday 2009 Honours List. Governor-General of Australia. Retrieved 9 June 2009.