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New Research on D-Day and the Normandy Campaign at 80

Updated: May 31

We are delighted to announce the next event in our online global seminar series. Please join us for an online panel discussion on 4 June 2024, 1800-1930 UK time on new research on D-Day and the Normandy campaign. The discussion will feature Dr Halik Kochanski, Dr. (Captain) Arthur W. Gullachsen, and Nick Hewitt. The event is free but registration is essential. Please register here.

 

D-Day and the Normandy Campaign are, justifiably, among the most celebrated episodes of western military history. Daring tactical feats accrued into a successful campaign against staunch odds, resulting in the liberation of northwest Europe, a major contribution to the defeat of the Nazi regime, and an important step towards ushering in the liberal international order prevailing into the twenty-first century. Unsurprisingly, much has been written about these events and their consequences. However, as our panellists have proven, it remains possible 80 years on, to produce exciting new archival research which challenge old consenses. Our panellists share fresh insights from their ground-breaking scholarship on aspects of the campaign including the role of the French Resistance in intelligence gathering and on the ground after the invasion, reframe the naval contribution as the Battle of the Seine Bay, and re-evaluate German defensive strategy. This work is situated at the cutting edge of scholarship on D-Day and the campaign in Normandy 80 years on. 



 

Event Panellists: 

 

Dr Halik Kochanski is a British historian. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, she taught history at several universities and is the author of Sir Garnet Wolseley: A Victorian Hero (Hambledon Press, 1999); The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War (Allen Lane / Penguin, 2012) and Resistance: The Underground War in Europe, 1939–1945 (Allen Lane, 2022). Resistance was the winner of the 2023 Wolfson History Prize. Halik is now working on a new project, on British citizens marooned on the continent at the outbreak of the Second World War, to be published by Bloomsbury.


Dr. (Captain) Arthur W. Gullachsen, CD, PhD, FRHistS, graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a Master’s Degree in History in 2005. After joining the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in late 2006, he was posted to CFB Gagetown’s The 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment in late 2008. In 2013 Captain Gullachsen was then selected for the Post Graduate Training list and gained acceptance into the PhD Program in History at Western University in London, Ontario. Graduating in 2016, he was then posted as Military Faculty to the Royal Military College of Canada. A Second World War specialist, Captain Gullachsen’s areas of expertise include the study of the replacement of equipment and personnel losses as well as German armoured forces during the late war period. He is also interested in twentieth century airpower and seapower. His most recent books include Bloody Verrières Volume I (2022) and Volume II ( 2023).


Nick Hewitt is a naval historian and Team Leader for Culture with Orkney Islands Council. He studied history at Lancaster University and War Studies at King’s College, University of London, before working initially at Imperial War Museums and later The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth. Nick has been a regular contributor to television and radio, notably as a presenter for the BBC’s Coast, specialist historian for Channel 5’s D-Day’s Sunken Secrets (2014) and presenter for the BBC’s Battle of Jutland: The Navy’s Bloodiest Day (2016). His first book, Coastal Convoys 1939-1945: The Indestructible Highway, was published by Pen and Sword in December 2008, and he has since published The Kaiser’s Pirates (2013) and Firing on Fortress Europe (2015). His latest book, Normandy: the Sailors’ Story, a naval history of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, was published by Yale University Press in 2024.

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