We're not lost, Sergeant, We're in … France


2018-2019 Military Classics Seminar Schedule

I’d fallen off on my attendance at the Military Classics Seminar, but if you’re a historian or military history aficionado, you should be attending these. They’ve changed the location of the meetings to the Athena Pallas Greek Restaurant (located at 556 22nd Street, South, Arlington, VA 22202) but the concept remains the same.

Each month, we gather to have a few drinks, enjoy dinner and hear someone give an oral review of a military history book. Some are classics, but some are more modern. Of course, the grandest benefit of attending is meeting your peers. There are military historians from every branch, authors of all kinds, retired military officers and interested amateurs like myself. Some of the greatest benefit to the meetings is the discussion between the attendees throughout the evening. It wanders across all periods of history, including sometimes dealing with personal experiences, and across all kinds of topics.

The dinners cost $35 and there’s a book raffle (I always put in an extra $5 and come away with a book a few times a year). We gather at 5:30pm for a social hour, followed by dinner at 6:30pm and the presentation at 7:30pm. There is some parking in the restaurant’s lot and some along neighboring streets.

Make your reservation no later than the Wednesday prior to the meeting by replying Eric Joyce at this e-mail address militaryclassics@gmail.com or to Bob Goldich by phone at (703) 359-1074. Pay for the meal with check or cash ($35) at the entrance to the meeting room. Those who make a reservation and do not show are still obligated for the cost of the dinner.

September 25, 2018 (one week delay because of Yom Kippur)

Parker, Geoffrey. The Thirty Years War. 1984.

Speaker: Kelly DeVries, Loyola University

October 16, 2018

Kuehn, John T. America’s First General Staff: A Short History of the Rise and Fall of the General Board of the Navy, 1900-1950. 2017.

Speaker: Edward J. Marolda, U.S. Naval Institute

November 20, 2018

Coox, Alvin D. Nomonhan: Japan Against Russia, 1939. 1985.

Speaker: Stuart Goldman, Scholar in Residence, National Council on Eurasian and East European Research

January 15, 2019

Corbett, Julian S. England in the Seven Years War: A Study in Combined Strategy. 1907.

Speaker: Randy Papadopoulos, Secretariat Historian, Department of the Navy

February 19, 2019

Travers, Timothy. The Killing Ground: The British Army, the Western Front, and the Emergence of Modern Warfare, 1900-1918. 1987.

Speaker: Bruce I. Gudmundsson, DPhil, Quantico, Virginia

March 19, 2019

Crane, Conrad C. Cassandra in Oz: Counterinsurgency and Future War. 2016.

Speaker: Shane Story, Director, General Histories Division, U.S. Army Center of Military History

April 16, 2019

Crist, David. The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty Year Conflict with Iran. 2012.

Speaker: Mark Reardon, Senior Historian, Histories Directorate, U.S. Army Center of Military History

May 21, 2019

Gross, Gerhard P. The Myth and Reality of German Warfare: Operational Thinking from Moltke the Elder to Heusinger. 2016.

Speaker: Bianka Adams, Historian, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

June 18, 2019

Neiberg, Michael. Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I. 2013.

Speaker: Brian F. Neumann, Historian, Contemporary History Division, U.S. Army Center of Military History

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Three Armies on the Somme

The next Military Classics Seminar (18 April 2017) will feature a review of William Philpott’s Three Armies on the Somme: The First Battle of the Twentieth Century, by David Silbey, Professor and Associate Director at Cornell University in Washington. You have 8 days to read it!

If you’ve not attended the seminars before, you’re truly missing out. Each month (minus some summer months and December), either a member or a guest speaker provides and oral review of a military classic or a recent book of note. Discussions both precede and follow the commentary by the speaker. There’s dinner and a bar, so no one goes hungry or thirsty. The opportunity to discuss military history and rub elbows with a variety of historians is worth considerably more than the nominal $35 cost for the dinner. It’s held at the Fort Myer Officer’s Club and we gather at 5:30pm, with dinner served at 6:30pm and the talk starting around 7:30pm. The dinners are always good, but this month is special, as the dessert is pecan pie!

Contact Co-Secretary Eric Joyce via email: militaryclassics -at- gmail.com to make your reservation.


I also wanted to pass along the upcoming speakers and events at the University Club’s Military History Legion. I’ve not yet attended, but will likely circle July 11th, since Kevin Hymel doesn’t talk enough about Patton for me to have my fill….

Dinner is afterward, but there is an $18.00 open bar – Wine, beer, soft drinks and complimentary popcorn to hold you over during the talk.

All events are at the University Club: 1135 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036, Phone: 202 862-8800. You may also join us for dinner with the speaker afterward. Non-members may use credit cards or cash for dinner. Business attire (no jeans). Valet parking available: $12 for 2 hrs, $17 for 2+ hrs; some metered parking nearby but may run until 10 pm!

Questions? Contact Margaret Stoltz: mstoltz -at- universityclubdc.com. or Jeff Gibbs: tigrejj -at- aol.com

May 16, 2017 (Tues) – “China’s Quest for Great Power” by CAPT. Bud Cole USN (ret) will explain China’s naval expansion, and its linkage to the pursuit of secure energy sources and Chinese foreign policy, both globally and in an Asian context; in a presentation that we hope will be in time to anticipate pending developments in the South China Sea.

June 8, 2017 (Thurs) – “Playing War: Wargaming WW II in the Pacific” by John Lillard, will discuss the history and nature of wargaming and how the wargames conducted by the Naval War College allowed the US Navy to foresee the course of the battle for the Pacific during WW II.

June 20, 2017 (Tues) – “Scales on War: The Future of America’s Military at Risk” by MGen. Bob Scales USA(r), who will illustrate how, through the experience of recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, our adaptive enemies learned how to defeat American technology, and why a resurgence of neglected Army and Marine small units is now required.

July 11, 2017 (Tues) – “Patton’s Way: A Radical Theory of War” by Kelly Morningstar, who will describe Gen. George Patton’s radical doctrine of war, developed over decades, that contradicted official Army doctrine but led to brilliant successes such as his breakout from the Normandy pocket that shattered German resistance and liberated Paris.

August 24, 2017 (Thurs) – “The Great Siege – Malta 1565” by Jeff Gibbs, about one of the most celebrated but now neglected events of the period: the dramatic, desperate siege of Malta, where the Knights and the Maltese people heroically crushed the myth of Turkish invincibility.




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