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About me

My research focuses on the military history of the First World War, particularly the German army. I was awarded a PhD by King’s College London and have developed my thesis into a book, Holding Out: The German Army and Operational Command in 1917, published in CUP’s Cambridge Military Histories series. There’s more about the book here.

I have lectured and written widely on the German army in the First World War. I’m a member of the British Commission for Military History, the Society for Military History, the Army Records Society and the Western Front Association. Before retiring, I was a British diplomat for over 30 years, with postings in Beijing (Peking when I was there!), Hong Kong twice, Brussels and The Hague.

There’s more about my research on, you can follow me on Twitter at @TonyCowan5 and you can contact me here.


John Spencer’s review of Holding Out in Stand To! (the journal of the Western Front Association), No. 131 (August 2023), 53-4

A Picture of German Unity? Federal Contingents in the German Army, 1916-1917

I had a lot of fun doing this interview with Professors Brian Feltman and Bill Allison for their podcast Military Historians are People, Too.

Site last updated: 3 April 2024