King's College London

Research portal

Dr Robert Foley

Research interests

First World War; Imperial German History: Military Operations; Strategy; Military Innovation and Transformation; Military Education

Biographical details

Dr Foley's research currently has two main areas. First, he has long focused on the development of German military thought in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The emphasis of this research has been on the development of German strategic and operational ideas and how these shaped German operations and German battlefield successes and failures in the First World War. His publications in this area include German Strategy and the Path to Verdun (Cambridge 2004), which won the Royal Historical Society's Gladstone Prize in 2005, and Alfred von Schlieffen's Military Writings (London 2003). His next book, The German Army in the First World War, will be published by Cambridge University Press.

The second area of Dr Foley's research is on learning and innovation in wartime. This project, currently in its early stages, combines history (in particular examining learning during the First World War), contemporary strategic studies (exploring learning in the British and US armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan) and managament theory (applying and adpating organizational learning and knowledge management theories to armed forces). He has published a number of articles on this area, including 'Learning War's Lessons: The German Army and the Battle of the Somme, 1916,' Journal of Military History (2012), which was awarded a Moncado Prize by the Society for Military History.

Dr Foley is founder and co-director of the King's College London First World War Research Group and is a member of the KCL Military Innovation and Learning Research Group. He established the Defence Studies Department research blog, DefenceInDepth.co, in 2014, to which he is a frequent contributor.

Dr Foley is currently Dean of Academic Studies and Head of the Defence Studies Department, based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom.

Participation in workshop, seminar, course

First Military Innovation and Learning Research Group Roundtable

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
17 Jun 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

National Institute for Defense Studies Seminar

Robert Foley (Keynote/plenary speaker)
19 Sep 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

National Institute of Defense Studies Seminar

Robert Foley (Keynote/plenary speaker)
18 Sep 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

National Institute of Defense Studies Seminar

Robert Foley (Keynote/plenary speaker)
17 Sep 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Types of External academic engagement - Research and Teaching at External Organisation

Op REFLECT: Battle of the Somme Army Staff Ride

Robert Foley (Advisor)
12 Sep 201616 Sep 2016

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Research and Teaching at External Organisation

Participation in conference

Op REFLECT: Army Staff Ride Battle of the Somme Study Day

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
8 Sep 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Western Front Association Fourth President's Conference

Robert Foley (Participant)
28 Jun 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Hill 70: Canada's Forgotten Battle of the First World War

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
22 May 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Diplomacy, Strategy, Nationalism and the Outbreak of the Great War

Robert Foley (Keynote/plenary speaker)
25 Apr 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Going to War: Europe and Beyond 1914-15

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
29 Nov 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Operation REFLECT: First World War Exploitation Conference

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
6 Nov 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

British Exchange & Liaison Officers Conference

Robert Foley (Keynote/plenary speaker)
2 Oct 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Chief of the General Staff's First World War Conference

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
17 Jul 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Western Front Association Third President's Conference

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
5 Jul 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

The Armies in 1914

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
15 Mar 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

High Commands in the First World War

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
11 Jan 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Wiley-Blackwell Online Conference ‘The Changing Face of War'

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
14 Nov 201120 Nov 2011

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

1918 Year of Victory

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
27 Nov 200828 Nov 2008

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Chief of the Army’s Military History Conference 2007: 1917 -- Tactics, Training, and Technology,”

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
1 Nov 2007

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Strategic Planning and the Origins of the First World War: New Perspectives on the Centerary of the July Crisis

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
22 Mar 2007

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

1916: Global Conflict Conference

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
2 Nov 2006

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Opening Moves: The Beginning of the First World War

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
1 Nov 2004

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Der Schlieffenplan – Realität und Mythos deutscher Aufmarschplannungen im Westen vor 1914 im internationalen Kontext

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
Oct 2004

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

European States and the Outbreak of War: New Thoughts on 1914

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
Sep 2004

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

War, Peace and World Orders: Group Identity and Belief Systems

Robert Foley (Invited speaker)
Sep 1999

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Types of External academic engagement - Contribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

Member of the committee awarding the Moncado Prize

Robert Foley (Member)
20142017

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Contribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

Types of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar

The Battle of Verdun, 1916

Robert Foley (Lecturer)
26 Feb 2015

Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar

East of West? The False Dilemma in German Strategy, 1914-15

Robert Foley (Lecturer)
20 Jan 2015

Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar

First World War Lecture to Defence Academy of the United Kingdom

Robert Foley (Lecturer)
4 Aug 2014

Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar

Types of External academic engagement - Membership of peer review panel or committee

Reviewer for BA Research Development Award

Robert Foley (Reviewer)
2010

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of peer review panel or committee

International Peer Reviewer for IRCHSS Post-Doctoral Fellowship Scheme 2006/7

Robert Foley (Reviewer)
2006 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of peer review panel or committee

Publication peer-review

Militaergeschichtliche Zeitschrift (Journal)

Robert Foley (Peer reviewer)
2012

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Journal of Strategic Studies (Journal)

Robert Foley (Peer reviewer)
20122014

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

JOURNAL OF MILITARY HISTORY (Journal)

Robert Foley (Peer reviewer)
20102014

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

War and Society (Journal)

Robert Foley (Peer reviewer)
2009

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Cambridge University Press (Publisher)

Robert Foley (Peer reviewer)
20072009

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Oxford University Press (Publisher)

Robert Foley (Peer reviewer)
20072011

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

War in History (Journal)

Robert Foley (Peer reviewer)
20062014

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Routledge (Publisher)

Robert Foley (Peer reviewer)
20042005

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Palgrave Macmillan (Publisher)

Robert Foley (Peer reviewer)
20042013

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Sage Publishing (Publisher)

Robert Foley (Peer reviewer)
2002

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Types of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organisation

Society for Military History

Robert Foley (Member)
2000 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organisation

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