Report on conference Beyond the Western Front

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 00:00

Report on: Beyond the Western Front: the forgotten theatres, contingents and campaigns of the First World War
11th-12th October 2014
Maynooth University
This was the third international conference to be hosted by the Centre for Military History and Strategic Studies, Department of History, Maynooth University.
Over a period of two days a selection of speakers from around the world discussed some of the less well-known aspects of the African, Baltic, Italian, Russian and Middle Eastern campaigns. The conference line-up included speakers from the USA, the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy. Maynooth University was well-represented with lectures from Dr Ian Speller and Dr David Murphy and Alan Kearney (PhD candidate). Brian Malone and Robert Fitzmaurice, both graduates from the MA in Military History and Strategic Studies, also delivered papers.  
The conference panels discussed a range of topics. These included the German Offensive on Riga in 1917, operations in Persia and battles on the Italian Front.
As well as a broad geographic spread, speakers also examined the use of IEDs in WWI, tunneling operations in Gallipoli and naval action in the Eastern Mediterranean. The experiences of neutral states (Spain and the Netherlands) were also highlighted. 
The conference was well-attended with undergraduate and postgraduate students from both Maynooth University and the University of Cambridge. The main venue was the Iontas Theatre.
The keynote addresses were:
Dr Niall Barr (King’s College, London at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham), War, strategy and sideshows.
Professor Geoffrey Roberts (University College Cork); The wrong shadow: World War II perceptions of the Great War
David Murphy, 13/10/14