Churchill's Army: the British Army in the Second World War - HI767

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 5 30 (15) DR T Bowman checkmark-circle


The module will explore the nature of the British Army in the Second World War. How it reacted to the crushing defeats of 1940 in France and 1942 in the Far East before transforming itself into a war-winning force. The course will begin with the inter-war army examining its lack of doctrine and the confused role it had in British and imperial defence plans. From there it will move on to examine the transformation of the army from a pre-war small professional outfit to a vast conscript army, before concluding on the situation in 1945, the retention of peacetime conscription and adaptation to the Cold War world. It will take a broad approach to military history, studying the political, economic and cultural realities behind the force.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

minimum 30 hours

Indicative reading

David FRENCH - 'Raising Churchill’s Army'
David FRASER - 'And We Shall Shock Them'
Correlli BARNETT - 'The Desert Generals'
John KEEGAN (ed) - 'Churchill’s Generals'
Shelford BIDWELL - 'Gunners at War'
E.K.G. SIXSMITH - 'British Generalship in the Twentieth Century'

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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