Publication: ‘”Bomb back, and bomb hard”‘

My peer-reviewed article '"Bomb back, and bomb hard": debating reprisals during the Blitz' has just been published in the Australian Journal of Politics and History, an invited submission for a special issue on the topic 'War and Peace, Barbarism and Civilization in Modern Europe and Its Empires'. It can be downloaded from here. Here's the abstract:

In Britain, popular memory of the Blitz celebrates civilian resistance to the German bombing of London and other cities, emphasising positive values such as stoicism, humour and mutual aid. But the memory of such passive and defensive traits obscures the degree to which British civilian morale in 1940 depended on the belief that if Britain had to 'take it', then Germany was taking it as hard or harder. Contrary to the received historical account, opinion polls, Home Intelligence reports and newspaper letter columns show that a majority of the British supported the reprisal bombing of German civilians by Bomber Command. The wartime reprisals debate was the logical legacy of prewar assumptions about the overwhelming power of bombing; but it has been forgotten because it contradicts the myth of the Blitz.

I'll put up a self-archived version here in a year (if I remember!)

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14 thoughts on “Publication: ‘”Bomb back, and bomb hard”‘

  1. Congratulations!

    However "It can be downloaded from here." only applies if you are a member of a subscribing institution or b) pay a variable fee for a fixed brief (24 hour) online ownership. [Insert misplaced rant about public access to history etc.]

    But more importantly, that's great news, Brett. I can see the world changing from here, as a result, too. ~hem~

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    Yes, unfortunately that's pretty much a given for peer-reviewed publications in history (mind you, that's also true for popular publications!) There aren't many open access options in history and anyway, without a research grant to my name I just couldn't afford the fees. The best I can do is post a PDF of the article's text (i.e. 'self-archive') a year down the track.

  3. No criticism of you or your work Brett, or the magazine, just 'the system' - I'm now trying to figure out how to sell my writing in 24 hour user blocks, rather than in the one magazine with five readers!

  4. What is this 'selling' of which you speak? I am intruiged, and would like to find out more...

    (Enter stage left a black van marked 'Elsevier'; burly men jump out and bundle the bewildered academic into the back; exeunt with squealing tyres.)

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  6. Brett, congratulations on the article in AJPH! Do you know whether a book of papers from the conference is also being put together (as the AAEH has done other years?) I'm very disappointed that I didn't get to the conference in Perth last year. I'm looking forward to next year's conference in New Zealand though!

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    No, as far as I know this special issue of AJPH is in lieu of a volume of conference proceedings (see the introduction -- all of the articles originated as papers given in Perth). A pity as there were a lot of excellent papers; hopefully they will see the light of day elsewhere. It's definitely worth going -- last year's was the best conference I've been to so far, in part because it was just the right size in terms of number of attendees and subject matter. I'd like to be there in Wellington next year, but the CFP deadline is the end of next month and so far the topic ('Cohesion and Division in Europe from the 18th Century to the 21st') hasn't inspired me!

  8. Brett,

    When Flinders hosted the AAEH in 2009, we had both a special issue of AJPH (edited by Matt Fitzpatrick and Peter Monteath) and a conference proceedings edited by myself (see:

    I think the AAEH theme is just for cohesive purposes, I do know that AAEH used to appeal for any papers on modern European history even if they didn't fit the theme broadly.

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    Sorry, I didn't realise that was you, nice! All I can say is that's what I was told in Perth, but I've heard nothing either way about any other publications since then. Plans might easily have changed in the meantime.

    I think the AAEH theme is just for cohesive purposes, I do know that AAEH used to appeal for any papers on modern European history even if they didn't fit the theme broadly.

    Oh yes, and the theme is really pretty broad anyway (what is war but 'cohesion and division' taken to extremes?) And the second CFP has 'The causes and consequences of rebellion, uprisings, revolts and wars' as a possible topic so there's no problem there. It's just that Perth's themes of war! peace! barbarism! civilisation! were just so perfect for me. I would probably do something mystery aeroplaney but not sure what just yet.

    The other thing is that I was vaguely hoping to get back to the UK next winter, but money-wise NZ is probably more realistic.

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