English, Allan D. 1949-

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ENGLISH, Allan D. 1949-

(Allan Douglas English)

PERSONAL: Born November 8, 1949, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; son of James Stewart (a businessman) and Jacqueline Andrée (Kyle) English. Education: Royal Military College of Canada, B.A., 1971, M.A., 1987; Queen's University, Ph.D., 1994.

ADDRESSES: Office—Department of History, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada.

CAREER: Royal Military College of Canada, lecturer, 1987–92, assistant professor, 1993–95, associate professor, 1995–99; Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, lecturer, 1993–94, adjunct assistant professor, 1994–2004; adjunct associate professor, 2004–. Senior research fellow, Canadian Forces Leadership Institute, Kingston, Ontario, 2002–04. Has also taught at Canadian Forces College, Toronto, Ontario. Military service: Canadian Air Force, 1966–91, retired as captain.

MEMBER: Royal Canadian Military Institute.

AWARDS, HONORS: Grant from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 1995.


The Cream of the Crop: Canadian Aircrew, 1939–1945, McGill-Queen's University Press (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1996.

(Editor) The Changing Face of War: Learning from History (essays), McGill-Queen's University Press (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1998.

Understanding Military Culture: A Canadian Perspective, McGill-Queen's University Press (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 2004.

(Editor) Understanding Military Culture: A Canadian Perspective, McGill-Queen's University Press (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 2004.

The Changing Face of War: Learning from History has been translated into Chinese.

Contributor to books, including The Evolution of Air Power in Canada, edited by William March and Robert Thomson, 1997; and Applications of Psychology to the Aviation System, edited by Nick McDonald, Neil Johnston, and Ray Fuller, 1995. Contributor to periodicals, including War and Society, Journal of Strategic Studies, Canadian Psychology, and Military Psychology.

SIDELIGHTS: Allan D. English, who served with the Canadian Air Force as a career officer, has also taught at the Royal Military College (RMC), Queen's University, and the Canadian Forces College. His courses at RMC in the war studies, history, and military psychology and leadership departments have covered a wide range of topics, including Canadian defense policy, strategic thought, military psychology and human relations, and leadership.

English has written several volumes, including The Cream of the Crop: Canadian Aircrew, 1939–1945, a study of the men who are said to have performed extraordinarily in spite of limitations in the areas of organization and training. Dean F. Oliver noted in Canadian Book Review Annual that the title of the book "offers no hint of the breadth or sophistication of its argument. Morale, leadership, civil-military relations, Canadian sovereignty, psychology, and psychiatry are all assessed."

English is editor of The Changing Face of War: Learning from History, a collection of essays by seventeen contributors from the Royal Military College's war studies program whose goal is to use history as a teaching tool. The first section of the book concentrates on strategy, and the second contains essays about unconventional warfare. The final section looks to the future and includes essays on computers, technology, arms control, and the future of warfare. In the Naval War College Review, I.B. Holley, Jr. noted that, "in any work that represents seventeen authors, one would expect a certain unevenness, but the generally high quality of the writing here is testimony to the intellectual caliber of the contributors."

Understanding Military Culture: A Canadian Perspective compares the military of Canada and the United States and the influences of each on the other. It represents the first study of the culture of the Canadian military.

English told CA, "The focus of my research is human behavior in military organizations, particularly air forces. While this field could be narrowly classified as 'military history,' I believe that the study of war is not just a unidimensional subject filled with military minutiae, but a wide and all-encompassing field that deals with social issues as well as diplomacy, strategy, tactics, and technology…. My motivation to write on these subjects is the belief that history can provide appropriate analogies for those who have to solve problems, today and in the future, with human dimensions. The neglect of historical lessons in the past has often led to what has been called, by the British military writer Sir Basil Liddell Hart, the 'cycle of familiar errors, endlessly recurring, which largely makes up the course of military history.' However, he went on to say that the study of history can lay 'the foundation of education by showing how mankind repeats its errors and what those errors are.' It is my aim to make a contribution to this process in a field that has been largely neglected by mainstream military historians."



Canadian Book Review (annual), 1996, Dean F. Oliver, review of The Cream of the Crop: Canadian Aircrew, 1939–1945, p. 424.


Naval War College Review Online, http://www.nwc.navy.mil/ (January 23, 2006), I.B. Holley, Jr., review of The Changing Face of War: Learning from History.