Why subscribe?

Hello! I’m Rob Lyman, author, historian and occasional commentator on world events. I spend much of my life reading, writing and commenting on matters of modern history and international affairs and use this blog to talk about matters of interest in the news, or about which I am researching or writing. It offers a bit more than the rapid fire of Twitter, but not so much as an essay or long newspaper article.

I hope to produce at least one blog a week: when I’m feeling inspired, or not up against a publisher’s deadline, there might be slightly more than this.

Please feel free to respond in the ‘reply’ box to start a conversation.

A little bit about me

I spent the first twenty years of my life as an officer in the British Army. I was commissioned into the Light Infantry in April 1982. I am a psc(j), having attended Staff College in 1996. I also spent a few years in the army as an Officer Tutor.

I am an independent scholar with degrees from the University of York, Aberystwyth, Kings College London and Cranfield. My PhD at the University of East Anglia was on Field Marshal Bill Slim. You can read this in Slim, Master of War.

I am an elected fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

In 2010 I helped General Richard Dannatt write his memoirs, Leading from the Front. We have collaborated again in 2023 with an evaluation of the British Army between 1916 and 1942. We’ve called it Victory to Defeat.

My other published books are:

  1. Whither Humanitarian war? A Case Study from Bosnia-Herzegovina

  2. The Art of Manoeuvre at the Operational Level of War: Lieutenant General WJ Slim and the Fourteenth Army, 1944-45 in G. Sheffield (ed.) The Challenges of High Command: The British Experience

  3. Slim, Master of War: Burma and the Birth of Modern Warfare

  4. First Victory: Britain's Struggle in the Middle East, 1941

  5. Iraq 1941. The Battles for Basra, Habbaniya, Fallujah and Baghdad

  6. The Generals: From Defeat to Victory. Leadership in Asia, 1941-45

  7. The Longest Siege: Tobruk, The Battle that Saved North Africa

  8. Kohima 1944. The Battle That Saved India

  9. Bill Slim

  10. Japan's Last Bid for Victory: The Invasion of India, 1944 (published in India under the title ‘End of Empire’)

  11. Operation Suicide: The Remarkable Story of the Cockleshell Raid

  12. Into the Jaws of Death: The True Story of the Legendary Raid on Saint-Nazaire

  13. Jail Busters: The Secret Story of MI6, the French Resistance and Operation Jericho

  14. The Real X-Men: The Heroic Story of the Underwater War

  15. Headhunters: The Extraordinary WW2 Story of USAAF Flight 12420

  16. The Rise of the Third Reich (published in the USA as ‘Under A Darkening Sky’)

  17. A War of Empires: Japan, India, Burma and Britain 1941-45

  18. Operation Jericho: Freeing the French Resistance from Gestapo jail, Amiens 1944

  19. The Reconquest of Burma 1944–45: From Operation Capital to the Sittang Bend

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Ideas and commentary on historical matters and subjects associated with modern international relations, sometimes associated with my writing, and sometimes not!


A writer of history: my books can be found at www.robertlyman.com.