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2017 Chief of Army Conference – The Skill of Adaptability: the Learning Curve in Contact

January 1, 1970 @ 10:00 am

The 2017 Chief of Army History Conference will be held on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 October 2017 at the Ballroom, National Convention Centre, 31 Constitution Avenue, Canberra. The theme is The Skill of Adaptability: the Learning Curve in Contact.
The conference will discuss, through historical examples, how armies learn while in contact with the enemy.

How did the British Army – so successful in imperial policing in the 19th Century – face a skilful enemy versed in guerrilla tactics on the South African veldt? Were there inter-theatre lessons and learning transferable between Gallipoli and the Western Front? How did the British and French Armies adapt to the exigencies of trench warfare and develop new technologies and tactics in response to industrial warfare? In what ways and with what programs did the 2nd Australian Imperial Force train its soldiers from the deserts of North Africa to the jungle of the South-West Pacific? How did the experience of war enable the Red Army to implement their military doctrines and theories of the 1920s and 1930s? What real-time experiences and lessons did the British Army learn in fighting the Japanese in Burma, and the US Army learn fighting the same enemy in the Central Pacific? How did the Australian Army adapt to both regular and irregular forces in South Vietnam? How did the same Army adapt to a major expeditionary deployment in East Timor after two decades of continental defence? Did the British Army employ the lessons learned against the IRA in Northern Ireland against the insurgency in Iraq? How long did it take the Canadians to re-learn the art of irregular warfare in Afghanistan? What lessons in military adaptability can armies of the 21st Century take from the wars of the 20th?

If you have pondered any of these issues (and more besides), then this conference is one you cannot afford to miss. Papers will cover a wide chronological period and a number of different countries in order to bring to light different ways armies have responded to the changing nature of war. The Conference Program can be viewed here.

For Army personnel, the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, DSC, AM sees this conference directly supporting his second line of effort in building professional mastery through the critical study of military history. He particularly encourages those engaged in education, training and capability development to attend as they will benefit holistically from the papers presented.

The Chief of Army History Conference Dinner

This years dinner will be held on the evening of 18 October 2017 at the RMC Officers’ Mess at an additional cost of $80 per head. Come and meet the Conference Speakers and relax with a three course meal in historic surroundings. Places are limited to the first 70 acceptances.

Contacts for 2017 CA History Conference queries:
Call: (02) 6266 4248
Email: ahu.enquiries@defence.gov.au

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