Robert Foley

Robert Foley


    • Shrivenham
      Not on a KCL Campus

      United Kingdom

    • 141

    Personal profile

    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,, 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.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


    • U Military Science (General)
    • first world war
    • strategy
    • war planning
    • military innovation
    • DD Germany
    • first world war
    • military operations
    • Military Strategy


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