It’s been a bit of a shock to the system returning to teaching as well as researching and writing after a year on sabbatical. Hence the even more erratic than usual posting. Because I’ve come back half-way through the teaching year, I’ve had to offer two new one semester courses. I’m teaching one on Bomber Command, and one on the British Army on the Western Front. I’ve been blogging (also intermittently) about the former – but please bear in mind if you visit that the purpose of this site is teaching. Whilst it is a bit of a slog writing two new lectures a week, both courses are helping me to think about my current writing, and as ever, when you try to explain something you think you know, you realise how much you still have to learn.
Next year, I’ll probably go back to teaching my existing full year courses, but I’ve begun to wonder whether there’d be some mileage in turning these two one semester units into a full year course – in which the first half would focus on the BEF 1914-18, and the second on Bomber Command. The two raise many of the same issues – British ways in warfare; command, leadership, management and control in modern war; attitudes to technology and its effect on war; the representation and mythologisation of the armed forces, war and combat – areas that I think I will continue working on for some time. Or are these two too obvious? Should I be teaching a combined course on the Royal Navy 1914-1918 and the RAF 1939-1945?