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Welcome to WarHistorian.org

Mark Grimsley
Department of History
The Ohio State University

Mark GrimsleyThis web site is founded on two beliefs: that the study of war is crucially important, and that at present the boundaries of that study are too restrictive and need to be expanded.

Although narratives of war go back to Herodotus and beyond, the field of military history, in the academic sense of "field," is still quite young. In general, university historians choose their subject matter from intellectual concerns. By contrast, most of us who become military historians (including myself) were originally drawn toward the subject matter independently of such concerns. We often began in childhood with a sort of hobbyist interest in military affairs; or our interest in military history derived from an adult involvement in the armed forces; or both.

Either way, it is a sort of free-floating interest: entirely valid and, I deeply believe, of great importance to understanding human affairs, but not well grounded intellectually. We borrow most of our categories, concepts, definitions, and questions from the armed forces. We think the way they think, ask the questions they ask, overlook the questions they overlook.

WarHistorian.org is an attempt to reconsider the assumptions that inform military history, to broaden the field, to place it in better conversation with other fields, and to bring it to maturity as an area of academic specialization.

It is currently pretty much my own endeavor, but I created the site with the idea of involving other military historians as and when they choose to come forward. (A number already do participate by reading and commenting on the WarHistorian blog.)

WarHistorian.org is still under construction, but I think you will find enough here to make your visit worthwhile. And I thank you for stopping by.