skip to content

Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically grounded approaches to enduring geopolitical problems
8-inch howitzers of 135th Siege Battery at La Houssoye on the Somme, 25 August 1916 (National Army Museum)

Image: 8-inch howitzers of 135th Siege Battery at La Houssoye on the Somme, 25 August 1916 (National Army Museum)

The Military History Working Group will meet in the Engelsberg Room in Fitzwilliam House on Monday 5 June at 4pm. The group brings together Cambridge-based scholars working on the history of war and the military to discuss each other’s work and approaches. Convened by Eamonn O’Keeffe, the National Army Museum Junior Research Fellow at Queens’ College, it is ecumenical in terms of chronology, discipline, and scope. 

The group encourages papers and participation from students, early career researchers, and faculty members. Members of the public are also welcome; please write to Eamonn O'Keeffe ( to indicate your interest in attending.

At this meeting: 

Dr Dan Larsen (Trinity College, Cambridge) – 'Battle of the Somme or Bust: British Finance in the United States and Britain's Strategic Trilemma, 1915-1917'

Abstract: Britain by early 1916 faced a stark strategic trilemma as it contemplated launching a major offensive. The British were not only ramping up their military capabilities, they were at the same time importing colossal amounts of American supplies to support the Allied war effort. American financial markets refused to lend significant funds to finance these purchases, meaning that unless the United States entered the war, Britain faced a very difficult choice.  A total war army, colossal imports from the United States, and a long war: choose any two. Yet many British leaders denied the reality of this trilemma and simply refused to choose. They adopted a path completely untethered from strategic foundations, and were rescued from financial collapse only by an American entry into the war at almost precisely the necessary moment.

Dr Matilda Greig (National Army Museum) – 'The morals of irregular warfare in post-Napoleonic literature'

How we use your information when registering for our event is explained in our privacy statement which can be viewed here.

Monday, 5 June, 2023 - 16:00 to 17:30
Event location: 
Engelsberg Room, Fitzwilliam House, CB2 1QY