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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 and about me in this interview with Professors Brian Feltman and Bill Allison for their podcast Military Historians are People, Too – including some Terrible Confessions. 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

Site last updated: 29 April 2024