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Learning to Fight
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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. The Practice of Learning: 1. The legacy of the past; 2. A networked army; 3. Disseminating learning; Part II. Learning in Practice: 4. Inter-theatre; 5. Allies; 6. Civilian expertise; 7. Integrating newcomers; Conclusion.

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The first institutional examination of the British army's learning and innovation process during the First World War.

About the Author

Aimee Fox is a Lecturer in Defence Studies at King's College London. Her research interests centre on organisational learning, change and administration in the British army of the First World War.

Reviews

'Sheds new light on the extent to which the British army in the First World War was a learning organisation. Essential reading for anyone involved or interested in the transformation of today`s armed forces to meet new circumstances and future threats.' Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely, author of Anatomy of a Campaign: The British Fiasco in Norway, 1940
'Adapting to changing complex environments, rather than seeking to control them, will be fundamental.' So said UK Defence's Future Force Concept in 2017. Dr Fox's timely, well researched, thought provoking and thoroughly readable book helps remind us that the future imperative for Armed Forces to be able to learn, adapt and change, both tactically and institutionally, quicker than an adversary are far from being just twenty-first century concerns. One hundred years ago the same imperative existed. This book helps unpack how the British Army of the First World War went about turning words - innovation, adaptability, agility and learning - into deeds, both tactically and institutionally. As we commemorate the end of the First World War in 2018, Dr Fox's book is a timely reminder that history has an important role in helping us with our Future Force design and its ethos.' Major General 'Mitch' Mitchell, Director, UK Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre
'Aimee Fox's analyses of innovation in the First World War advance our understanding of that critical time period, but she goes much further, offering critical lessons for today's military leaders as well. Learning to Fight is that rare book that can speak equally well to both the past and the present.' Michael S. Neiberg, author of Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America
'Adaptation is predicated upon learning from what was once 'entirely unknown'. Learning to Fight offers a deep dive into how the British Army and its colonial partners measured up to that task in the first World War ... This is the latest contribution to a deepening pool of scholarship into military change, and the book offers a unique framework for the study of wartime adaptation ... this is a well-executed book that dissipates mythology and discovers insights about the British military of a century ago ... Learning to Fight will appeal to students of World War I, and is recommended for scholars interested in military sociology, military learning, and combat effectiveness.' Frank Hoffman, The Strategy Bridge
'... a superb contribution to the literature of military innovation ... This book is highly recommended for those interested in military innovation in general and in the institutional adaption of the British Army in the First World War in particular.' Benjamin Tuck, Defense & Security Analysis
`Sheds new light on the extent to which the British army in the First World War was a learning organisation. Essential reading for anyone involved or interested in the transformation of today`s armed forces to meet new circumstances and future threats.' Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely, author of Anatomy of a Campaign: The British Fiasco in Norway, 1940
'Adapting to changing complex environments, rather than seeking to control them, will be fundamental.' So said UK Defence's Future Force Concept in 2017. Dr Fox's timely, well researched, thought provoking and thoroughly readable book helps remind us that the future imperative for Armed Forces to be able to learn, adapt and change, both tactically and institutionally, quicker than an adversary are far from being just twenty-first century concerns. One hundred years ago the same imperative existed. This book helps unpack how the British Army of the First World War went about turning words - innovation, adaptability, agility and learning - into deeds, both tactically and institutionally. As we commemorate the end of the First World War in 2018, Dr Fox's book is a timely reminder that history has an important role in helping us with our Future Force design and its ethos.' Major General `Mitch' Mitchell, Director, UK Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre
'Aimee Fox's analyses of innovation in the First World War advance our understanding of that critical time period, but she goes much further, offering critical lessons for today's military leaders as well. Learning to Fight is that rare book that can speak equally well to both the past and the present.' Michael S. Neiberg, author of Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America
'Adaptation is predicated upon learning from what was once 'entirely unknown'. Learning to Fight offers a deep dive into how the British Army and its colonial partners measured up to that task in the first World War ... This is the latest contribution to a deepening pool of scholarship into military change, and the book offers a unique framework for the study of wartime adaptation ... this is a well-executed book that dissipates mythology and discovers insights about the British military of a century ago ... Learning to Fight will appeal to students of World War I, and is recommended for scholars interested in military sociology, military learning, and combat effectiveness.' Frank Hoffman, The Strategy Bridge
'... a superb contribution to the literature of military innovation ... This book is highly recommended for those interested in military innovation in general and in the institutional adaption of the British Army in the First World War in particular.' Benjamin Tuck, Defense & Security Analysis

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