Professor Alaric Searle

Professor of Modern European History

  • Crescent House 205A
  • T: 0161 295 2853
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Office Times

SEMESTER 1, AY 2016/17, On sabbatical

SEMESTER 2, AY2016/17, TBA



I am a historian with research interests in military history, German and British political, security and intelligence history in the twentieth century, and the history of military thought. After completing degrees at the University of Edinburgh, I moved to Germany two months before the fall of the Berlin Wall. I worked at the Bundeswehr University Munich as a language instructor and research assistant (1990-1992), completed my doctorate at the Free University Berlin (1998), and, I was a lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Munich (1998-2001), where I also a post-doctoral research fellow. I was a Visiting Scholar at St. John's College, Oxford (2009), and an Honorary Fellow at the Historisches Kolleg, Munich (2012). I have been a member of the Executive Committee of the Arbeitskreis Militärgeschiche, the leading military history society for German-speaking central Europe, since October 2007. I joined the University of Salford in September 2005.


Modules currently taught: Introduction to Contemporary Military History 1 & 2 (Level 4); Armoured Warfare (Level 5); Theories of War (Level 5); Researching in History (Level 5); The Spanish Civil War (Level 6); European Terrorism since 1945 (M level): Strategic and Security Studies (M Level)

Research Interests

Military history since 1500; the history of military thought; security, ideology and political culture in the interwar period; intelligence history; memoirs and autobiographies; German history; British history; Chinese history.

Qualifications and Memberships

Habilitation in Modern History (University of Munich)
Dr.phil. in Modern History (Free University Berlin)
M.Phil. in Defence Studies (University of Edinburgh)
MA (Hons.) in History (University of Edinburgh)

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce

Member, European Network in Universal and Global History
Member, Army Records Society
Member, Arbeitskreis Militärgeschichte
Member, Prince Albert Society
Member, German History Society



Armoured Warfare: A Military, Political and Global History (Continuum, forthcoming 2017).

(Editor) Genesis, Employment, Aftermath: First World War Tanks and the New Warfare, 1900-1945 (Helion, 2015).

Wehrmacht Generals, West German Society, and the Debate on Rearmament, 1949-1959 (Praeger, 2003).

(Co-editor), An Anglo-German Dialogue – The Munich Lectures on the History of International Relations (Saur, 2000).

Book Chapters

‘Rommel and the Rise of the Nazis’, in Ian F.W. Beckett (ed.), Rommel: A Reappraisal (Barnsley 2013), pp. 7-29.

‘Die Rezeptionsgeschichte der Theorien von J.F.C. Fuller und B.H. Liddell Hart im Spiegel deutscher Militärzeitschriften der Zwischenkriegszeit. Einige Randbemerkungen’, in Markus Pöhlmann (ed.), Deutsche Militärfachzeitschriften im 20. Jahrhundert, Postdamer Schriften zur Militärgeschichte Band 17 (Potsdam 2012), pp. 49-60.

‘The German Military Contribution to the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39’, in Gaynor Johnson (ed.), The Spanish Civil War in International Context (Newcastle, 2009), pp. 131-149.

‘Uneasy Intelligence Cooperation, Genuine Ill Will, with an Admixture of Ideology: The British Military Mission to the Soviet Union, 1941-45’, in Donald Stoker (ed.), Military Advising and Assistance: From Mercenaries to Privatization, 1815-2007 (London, 2008), pp. 61-80.

Recent Articles

‘Inter-Service Debate and the Origins of Strategic Culture: The “Principles of War” in the British Armed Forces, 1919-1939’, War in History, 21/1 (January 2014), pp. 4-32.

‘A Dynamic and Expanding Discipline? New Trends in German Military History’, German History, 31/1 (March 2013), pp. 86-108.

‘Internecine Secret Service Wars Revisited: The Intelligence Career of Count Gerhard von Schwerin, 1945-56’, Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift, 71, Heft 1 (2012), pp. 25-55.

‘Ideology and Total War: Military Intellectuals and the Analysis of the Spanish Civil War in Britain, 1936-1943’, Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift, 68, Heft 2 (2009), pp. 321-344.

‘The Tolsdorff Trials in Traunstein: Public and Judicial Attitudes to the Wehrmacht in the Federal Republic, 1954-60’, German History, 23/1 (2005), pp. 50-78.

‘Was There a “Boney” Fuller after the Second World War? Major-General J.F.C. Fuller as Military Theorist and Commentator, 1945-1966’, War in History, 11 (July 2004), pp. 327-357.