Sir John Keegan RIP

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Sir John Keegan, who has died aged 78, achieved an international reputation as a military historian, then discovered a talent for writing rapid analyses of international crises as the defence editor of The Daily Telegraph.

He had been on the teaching staff of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, for 25 years in 1986 when Max Hastings announced his recruitment to the paper the day he took over the editor’s chair. [John] Keegan proved an unrivalled asset as the Soviet empire crumbled and collapsed, the government demanded a “peace dividend” in the form of cutbacks to the Armed Forces and a series of military actions flared up in the Middle East and the Balkans.

Whatever the subject before him, Keegan wrote with close knowledge of the military arts and a personal acquaintance with many senior serving officers who had been his pupils; above all, he demonstrated a deep awareness of the human aspects of warfare, which was cruel, confusing and frightening, if occasionally glorious.

It was always with surprise that new acquaintances discovered that Keegan was no battle-hardened veteran. He was a gentle civilian who was deeply imbued with his Roman Catholic faith and had been crippled with tuberculosis since childhood.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchBooksHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

2 Comments
Posted August 7, 2012 at 5:45 am

To comment on this article: Go to Article View

The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/44299/



1. Br. Michael wrote:

I read an awful lot of his books.  A loss to readers of military history.

August 7, 8:26 am | [comment link]
2. David Hein wrote:

No. 1: Agreed. I was a huge fan—and had the pleasure of hearing him speak once, at the Smithsonian. Always readable. His recent book on the American Civil War was not his best; he didn’t seem to have that conflict’s history fully within his grasp. But Six Armies, The Mask of Command, The Face of Battle: all will stand the test of time. RIP.

August 8, 10:08 pm | [comment link]


© 2014 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.

For original material from Titusonenine (such as articles and commentary by Dr. Harmon) permission to copy and distribute free of charge is granted, provided this notice, the logo, and the web site address are visible on all copies. For permission for use in for-profit publications, please email KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com


<< Back to main page

<< Return to Mobile view (headlines)