THE ROYAL AIR FORCE CLUB
128 PICCADILLY, LONDON W1J 7PY
Professor JOHN GOOCH
Professor DAVID DILKS
Professor DAVID DILKS ‘Churchill and the Russians 1939 – 1955’
Was Presented on Tuesday 18th October 2016 – Sincere thanks of The Centre to Professor Dilks, all attendees and the RAF club
David Dilks was Professor of International History at the University of Leeds for more than 20 years before becoming Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull. As a young man he worked for Sir Anthony Eden, Marshal of the R.A.F. Lord Tedder, Mr. Harold Macmillan, Sir Alexander Cadogan, Mr. R. A. Butler and others who knew Churchill intimately. A supporter of the Second World War Experience Centre from its early days, Professor Dilks has written biographies of Lord Curzon and Neville Chamberlain. His book “The Great Dominion”: Winston Churchill in Canada 1900-1954 appeared in 2005, and a volume of essays Churchill and Company in 2013. A study of Britain’s wartime relations with Russia and British reactions to the Katyn massacre is due to appear in 2017.
The lecture was illustrated by recently-discovered recordings from Churchill’s visits to Canada in 1952 and 1954.
Professor JOHN GOOCH ‘Mussolini’s War’
Was Presented on Tuesday 20th September 2016 – Sincere thanks of The Centre to Professor Gooch, all attendees and the RAF Club
Professor John Gooch is Emeritus Professor of International History at the University of Leeds. Educated at King’s College University of London, he has taught at the universities of Lancaster and Leeds, and at Yale University. In 1985-6 he was the first Secretary of the Navy Senior Research Fellow at the United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. He is the Founding Chairman of the Army Records Society and the Founding Editor of the Journal of Strategic Studies. He has written extensively on nineteenth and twentieth century British and European military history. His most recent book, ‘The Italian Army and the First World War‘ was published in 2014 and he is currently working on a history of Italy’s War 1940-1943. In 2010 he was created Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarieta‘ Italiana for services to Italian military history.
‘One man, and one man alone,’ Winston Churchill declared, was responsible for plunging Italy into war in June 1940. That man – Benito Mussolini – has been depicted as either a bluffer or a buffoon. Using the results of many years of research in the Italian archives, Professor Gooch explored some of the fundamental questions raised by Churchill’s pronouncement: what motivated Mussolini to declare war, how he ran his war, and how far blame for what happened rests solely on his shoulders.
The Centre is very pleased to have presented the Lectures at The Royal Air Force Club, a stunning building which offers luxurious and peaceful surroundings to serving and former serving officers of the RAF and Allied Air Forces.
Having opened its doors in 1922, the Club’s interior has been enhanced to its present high standard. With striking paintings, a specially designed stained glass window and the very unique badge corridor, a truly fascinating history comes alive about the story of the Royal Air Force.