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'The British Fiasco in Norway' by Sir John Kiszely

  • Wharton Room All Soul's College, Oxford Oxford United Kingdom (map)

The British Fiasco in Norway 1940 by Sir John Kiszely

History of War Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term Week 2: Wednesday 18 October 5.15pm

Wharton Room, All Souls College

Lieutenant General (Ret’d) Sir John Kiszely KCB MC DL will discuss the failed 1940 British campaign in Norway and what can be learned from it in the modern age. The British campaign in Norway in 1940 was an ignominious and abject failure. It is perhaps best known as the fiasco which directly led to the fall of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his replacement by Winston Churchill. Drawing on his experience of working at all levels in the military, Lieutenant General Kiszely will examine the Norwegian campaign as a whole, its context and evolution from strategic failures, intelligence blunders and German air superiority, to the performance of the troops and the serious errors of judgment by those responsible for the higher direction of the war. In his lecture, Lieutenant General Kiszely will help us understand not only the outcome of the Norwegian campaign but also why more recent campaigns have found success so elusive.

Lieutenant General (Ret’d) Sir John Kiszely KCB MC DL was commissioned into the Scots Guards and served in the army for forty years. His operational service included Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, Bosnia and Iraq. He served three tours of duty in the Ministry of Defence, latterly as Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff. For the past three years, he has been a Visiting Research Fellow with us at the Changing Character of War Centre, writing his latest book, Anatomy of a Campaign: The British Fiasco in Norway, 1940 (Cambridge University Press: 27 April 2017)

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