Professor Stephen Badsey

Professor of Confilct Studies; Co-Convenor of the First World War Research Group

Stephen Badsey
Email address: Phone number: 01902 323458 Location: Mary Seacole Building (MH), WV1 1AN Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences School/Institute: School of Social, Historical and Political Studies Areas of expertise: Military History since c.1850 including Modern Conflict; Propaganda and Military-Media issues since c.1850


Stephen Badsey is an internationally recognised expert on the history and present practice of wartime propaganda and relationship between the media and warfare, as well as several other fields of modern and contemporary military history.

He was educated at King Edward’s School Birmingham and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1995.

He has held research positions at the Imperial War Museum London, and for the BBC, and for several years he was a member of the academic staff at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, as well as holding various posts at universities in the UK and other countries.

He has written more than 100 books and articles, and his writings have been translated into five languages.

He appears and advises frequently for television and other media, and advises for academic, defence and governmental organisations; in the last five years he has been invited to address academic and professional audiences in Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, South Africa, and the United States.

Research interests

Research and publications in the following areas.

Military History since c.1850 including Modern Conflict ; Propaganda and Military-Media issues since c.1850; Land and Air-Land warfare since c.1800; Military thought since c.1750; the British Army since c.1850; the First World War; the Second World War; the Falklands War 1982; the Gulf War 1991; Wars of the British Empire and its successors including Counterinsurgency. Also, research and publications on film and television criticism.

PhD Supervision

PhDs successfully supervised to completion on the following topics:

  • The British Army’s lessons from the Boer War 1899-1902 for the start of the First World War
  • The counterinsurgency doctrines of the US Marines in the Vietnam War
  • The mechanization of the British cavalry 1919-1942
  • The American Civil War and the British Empire

PhDs presently being supervised on the following topics:

  • Lessons from the recent Iraq and Afghanistan War for resilience in the British railway industry
  • The Wolverhampton Express and Star newspaper in the First World War
  • British Home Front evidence for knowledge of the Western Front in the First World War
  • The Battle of Festubert 1915
  • British early commemoration of the First World War 1914-1929
  • Violence and its depiction in cinema films (as a supporting supervisor)
  • Sir John French as Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force 1914-15
  • Sir Henry Wilson as Chief of the Imperial General Staff 1918
  • Brigade command in the British Army in the First World War
  • Brigade command in the British Army in 1940

Membership of professional bodies

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (elected 1995)
  • Haig Fellow for 2016 of the Douglas Haig Fellowship
  • Member of the Army Records Society (joined 1996)
  • Member of the Battlefields Trust (joined 1993)
  • Member of the British Commission for Military History (elected 1992)
  • Member of the British International Studies Association (joined 1994)
  • Member of the British Scholar Society (joined 2010)
  • Fellow of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society (elected 2002)
  • Member of the Indian Military Historical Society (joined 2009)
  • Member of the International Association for Media and History (joined 2000)
  • Member of the International Society for First World War Studies (joined 2004)
  • Member of the Navy Records Society (joined 2002)
  • Member of the Royal United Services Institute (elected 1977)
  • Member of the Society for Army Historical Research (joined 1977)
  • Member of the Society of Authors (joined 2009)
  • Member of the Society for Military History (joined 2004)
  • Member of the Western Front Association (joined 2005)


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1982 Cambridge University

Master of Arts (MA) 1981 Cambridge University


Selected publications

  • Co-author with Gary Sheffield, ‘Chapter 14: Strategic Command’ in Jay Winter (ed.) The Cambridge History of the First World War – Volume 1 (Cambridge, CUP, 2014).
  • ‘Bridging the Firewall? Information Operation and US Military Doctrine in the Battles of Fallujah,’ in David Welch (ed.), Propaganda, Power and Persuasion (London: IB Tauris, 2013).
  • ‘Sir John French and Command of the BEF,’ in Spencer Jones (ed.) Stemming the Tide: Officers and Leadership in the British Expeditionary Force 1914 (Solihull: Helion, 2013)Wolverhampton Military Studies Series
  • The British Army in Battle and Its Image 1914-1918,(London: Continuum, 2009)
  • Doctrine and Reform in the British Cavalry 1880-1918,(Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008)
  • Lead Editor with Rob Havers and Mark Grove, The Falklands Conflict Twenty Years On (London: Frank Cass, 2005)
  • Editor, The Media and International Security, (London: Frank Cass, 2000)
  • 'Modern Military Operations and the Media' (Camberley: SCSI, 1994)
  • Co-editor with John Pimlott, The Gulf War Assessed (London: Arms and Armour, 1992)

Over 100 books and other publications in total, excluding newspaper articles, book reviews and other shorter pieces.

Further information

Teaching interests (lectures presently given)

  • The place of military history in modern historiography
  • The military thought of Clausewitz, Jomini and Sun Tzu
  • Contemporary British military campaigns
  • Britain and the First World War
  • The Second World War
  • The Battle of Normandy 1944
  • The Falklands War 1982
  • NATO, AirLand Battle and the defence of Western Europe 1982-91

External academic roles

Founding Series Editor for the ‘Wolverhampton Military Studies Series’ of books published by Helion & Company (since 2013)

Member of the Editorial Board for the Global Security Studies Journal (since 2010)

Member of the Influence Advisory Panel (since 2014)

Member of the ‘willing experts’ panel for ‘The First World War in the Classroom’ project at Exeter University (since 2014)

Negotiator/point of contact for Faculty co-operation with RAF Museum Cosford (near Wolverhampton), including facilitating and negotiating Memorandum of Understanding (since 2007)

External examiner for MA, MPhil and PhD theses at Birmingham University, Cambridge University, Cranfield University, Durham University, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Kent, Kings College London, Leeds University, the London School of Economics, the University of Melbourne (Australia), and University College London

Referee and external evaluator for research grant applications including for the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the National Research Foundation of South Africa

Book evaluator and reviewer for the following academic publishers: Ashgate, Cambridge University Press, Helion, Manchester University Press, Pearson Education Press, Princeton University Press, Rutledge, UCL Press, Yale University Press.

Referee for the following academic refereed journals: History Australia, The Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, The Journal of Military History, Historical Research (Institute of Historical Research), War in History, War and Society

Reviews for: the following academic refereed journals: Albion, Armed Forces & Society, BBC History Magazine, British Scholar (Britain and the World), Contemporary British History, Diplomacy and Statecraft, The English Historical Review, History, The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, The International Journal of Naval History, The Journal of Commonwealth and Imperial History, The Journal of Conflict Studies, The Journal of Humanitarian Assistance, The Journal of Peace Research, The Political Quarterly, Small Wars and Insurgencies, Victorian Studies, World War II Quarterly