Call for Papers: Close Air Support Conference, 2023

Published on: 20 October 2022

Close Air Support and the Battlefield

British Commission for Military History Conference 2023

10–11 March 2023. Royal Air Force Museum, London

Deadline for proposals: 4 December 2022

The Royal Air Force Museum is pleased to announce a call for papers for the BCMH conference on ‘Close Air Support and the Battlefield’, which will be held at the RAF Museum, London, on 10–11 March 2023.

Somme 1916:Contact patrol

Conference Themes

This conference will examine the evolution of close air support doctrine, concepts and capabilities and discuss the effect of Close air support on the modern battlefield.

Organised by the British Commission for Military History, this conference will present research which established how Close air support (CAS) has become an essential role of air power and a critical feature of modern warfare. The history of CAS will be considered from its early inception, which rapidly followed the introduction of the aircraft to the battlefield, through to CAS in contemporary conflicts.

The organisers welcome proposals which relate to relevant aspects of air power and military history, such as tactics, technology, and doctrine. Proposals which examine the topic from alternative perspectives are also warmly encouraged.

In particular, the organisers would welcome proposals relating (but not limited) to:

  • Conceptual thinking and close air support during the First World War
  • Tactical Air Power: the interaction between CAS, interdiction and air superiority.
  • The doctrine and employment of CAS by the Axis-Powers in the Second World War
  • CAS in the Korean War
  • Close Air Support in the second half of the 20th Century and early 21st Century
  • The process of forgetting and re-learning lessons of CAS
  • Close Air Support and the Modern Battlefield, with reference to contemporary conflicts and the War in Ukraine.
  • Britain’s experience of CAS in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria
  • Close Air Support in peripheral campaigns and smaller wars
  • Interservice and Allied co-operation, procedures and training
  • Procurement for Close Air Support
  • Cultural Representations of Close Air Support
  • Understanding the experience of Close Air Support, on the ground and in the Air, including the ‘addiction’ of ground forces to Close Air Support
  • Close Air Support doctrine outside of North America and Western Europe
Further Details

If you are unsure whether your topic would fit the Conference theme, or would like further details, then you are warmly encouraged to contact the RAF Museum’s Historian, Harry Raffal, for an informal discussion.

You can find out more about the British Commission for Military History via their website: 

Submitting a Proposal

The conference will be held on-site at the RAF Museum, London and will be recorded. Proposals for papers of 20 minutes should consist of a single document including the title, 300 word abstract, and a short biography (maximum 200 words). Proposals should be emailed to Dr Harry Raffal, by 4 December 2022.

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