Jonathan Boff


  • Reader in the History of Warfare, History

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am happy to supervise projects on the military history of the two world wars, on British strategy from Gladstone to Churchill, and on morale and combat motivation. I am particularly keen to encourage projects with a comparative/international dimension.

Current projects I am supervising include:

Aimee Fox-Godden, 'Inter-Theatre Learning in the British Army during the First World War'
Andrew Duncan, 'The Training and Ethos of British Officers before the First World War'
Nick Beeching, 'Worcester and the Worcestershire regiment, 1914-18


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


I joined the University of Birmingham in September 2011 after completing my PhD at King’s College London. Before returning to academia in 2005 I spent twenty years working in the private sector, much of the time in Asia.

Research interests

My current research focuses on the British and German armies and the development of modern warfare, 1914-1945, and on the connection between morale and military effectiveness.

I am working on a book for Oxford University Press on the Western Front, 1914-18, as seen through the eyes of one of the most senior German generals, Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria.

In addition, I am working on British military attitudes to the use of extreme violence in the first half of the twentieth century, and on the role of materialism in causing wars.  

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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