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Professor Gary Sheffield

Professor Gary Sheffield

Professor of War Studies

  • Email address
  • Phone number 01902 321628
  • Location MH123, Mary Seacole Building
  • Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Institute School of Social, Historical and Political Studies
  • Areas of expertise

    Military history

Professor Gary Sheffield MA, PhD, FRHistS, FRSA, is, with Professor Stephen Badsey, co-director of the First World War Research Group. He was educated at the University of Leeds (BA, MA) and King's College London, where he studied for his PhD under the supervision of Professor Brian Bond. He started his academic career in the Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, before moving to King's College London's Defence Studies Department, based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, where he was Land Warfare Historian on the Higher Command and Staff Course, the UK's senior operational course for senior officers. Awarded a Personal Chair by KCL in 2005, he took up the newly-created Chair of War Studies at the University of Birmingham in 2006 before moving to the University of Wolverhampton in September 2013.

Gary Sheffield is an internationally-recognised expert on the First World War, especially the role of the British army. His research interests are, broadly, Britain in the age of total war, 1914 to 1945, and military history, especially land warfare, since Napoleon. He is currently writing, for Yale University Press, Civilian Armies: The Experience of British and Dominion Soldiers in the Two World Wars.

PhD supervision

Areas of supervision: Britain at War 1914-45

Topics currently being supervised include the First World War career of Henry Wilson; the brigade level of Command in the British army in the First World War; and the role of alcohol in the British army in the First World War.

  • Fellow of Royal Historical Society
  • Fellow of Royal Society of Arts
  • President, Guild of Battlefield Guides
  • Vice-President, Western Front Association

PhD, 1994, University of London
MA, 1985, University of Leeds
BA (Hons), 1982, University of Leeds


  • Douglas Haig: From the Somme to Victory' (London: Aurum, 2016) (new edition of The Chief, see below)
  • 'Command and Morale: The British Army on the Western Front 1914-1918' (London: Praetorian, 2014).
  • 'Changing War' (London, Bloomsbury, 2013). Co-editor with Peter W. Gray.
  • 'The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army' (London, Aurum 2011; paperback, 2012)
  • 'War Studies Reader' (London, Continuum 2010). Editor
  • 'Douglas Haig: War Diaries and Letters 1914-18' (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005; paperback, 2006). Co-editor with John Bourne
  • 'Command and Control on the Western Front: The British Army’s Experience 1914-18' (Staplehurst: Spellmount, 2004). Co-editor with Dan Todman, and contributor
  • 'The Somme' (London: Cassell, 2003; paperback, 2004)
  • 'Forgotten Victory: The First World War – Myths and Realities' (London: Hodder Headline, 2001; paperback, 2002; e-book, Endeavour Press, 2014)
  • 'Leadership in the Trenches: Officer-Man Relations, Morale and Discipline in The British Army in the Era of the First World War' (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000)
  • 'The Challenges of High Command: The British Experience' (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003). Co-editor with Geoffrey Till.
  • 'Leadership and Command: The Anglo-American Military Experience Since 1861' (London: Brassey's, 1996; new edition, 2002). Editor.
  • 'The Redcaps: A History of the Royal Military Police and its Antecedents from the Middle Ages to the Gulf War' (London: Brassey's, 1994)
  • 'From Vimy Ridge to the Rhine: The War Letters of Christopher Stone DSO MC 1914-19' (Ramsbury: Crowood, 1989). Co-editor with G.I.S. Inglis
  • 'Warfare in the Twentieth Century: Theory and Practice' (London: Unwin-Hyman, 1988). Co-editor with Colin McInnes.


External academic roles

  • External Examiner, MA in Defence Studies, King’s College London
  • Editorial Board, British Journal of Military History
  • Editorial Board, Journal of the Royal United Services Institution

Teaching interests

British society and politics in the twentieth century
Nineteenth and twentieth century military history