Practice Makes Imperfect: Mission Specific Rehearsals in the British Army, 1914–1918
20 October 2020, 17:30 to 19:00 Please note: this event has passed
Chair: Professor Andrew Lambert, Laughton Professor of Naval History, Department of War Studies, King's College London
Speaker: Harry Sanderson, PhD researcher, University of Leeds
The event will be co-hosted by the Military and Political History Research Theme in the School of Security Studies and the Institute of Historical Research.
This seminar will present an aspect of Harry Sanderson’s ongoing doctoral research at Leeds University on training in the British army during the first world war.
The British Army in the First World War viewed the core objective of infantry training as making the British soldier ‘mentally and physically, a better man than his adversary on the field of battle.’ During the war one key training method within the British Army was the rehearsal attack, in which a direct replica of a forthcoming operation’s objective, ie a German trench, was constructed behind the lines before the attack was rehearsed over it.
Sanderson’s paper examines rehearsal attacks within the British Army in two stages - rehearsal attacks usage as a training method, as well as their development and application throughout the war, and how this was shaped both by theoretical and practical issues.
Secondly, the paper looks at the effect rehearsal attacks had on the soldiers themselves, and how it helped make them a better man on the field of battle.
This event will be held on Zoom. All registered attendees will receive an email with access information.
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Laughton Professor of Naval History
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