Winton, Harold R. 1942–

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Winton, Harold R. 1942–


Born October 12, 1942, in Fort Benning, GA; son of Walter Ferrell Winton, Jr. (a career army officer) and Wilma Winton; married Barbara Strydio, June 5, 1964; children: Eric, Douglas, Daniel, Mark. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: U.S. Military Academy, B.S., 1964; Stanford University, M.A., 1971, Ph.D., 1977. Politics: Independent. Hobbies and other interests: Cycling, veterans affairs.


Home—Montgomery, AL. Office—School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, 600 Chennault Cir., Maxwell Air Force Base, AL 36112-6424; fax: 334-953-3015. E-mail—[email protected]


U.S. Army, career officer, 1964-89, retiring as lieutenant colonel; U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS, professor of military art and science, 1989-90; U.S. Air Force Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, professor of military history and theory, 1990—.


Society for Military History, Officers' Christian Fellowship, Vietnam Veterans of America (founding president), Central Alabama, Society for Military History, Officers' Christian Fellowship.


Military: Legion of Merit and Combat Infantryman's Badge. Other: Moncado Prize, outstanding article, Journal of Military History, 2001.


To Change an Army: General Sir John Burnett-Stuart and British Armored Doctrine, 1927-1938, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 1988.

(Editor, with David R. Mets) The Challenge of Change: Military Institutions and New Realities, 1918-1941, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 2000.

Corps Commanders of the Bulge: Six American Generals and Victory in the Ardennes, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 2007.

Contributor to books, including The Paths of Heaven: The Evolution of Airpower Theory, edited by Phillip S. Meilinger, Air University Press (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL), 1997; The Oxford Companion to American Military History, edited by John Whiteclay Chambers II, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1999; History in Dispute, Volumes 4 and 5, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2000; Professional Military Education in the United States: A Historical Dictionary, edited by William E. Simons, Greenwood (Westport, CT), 2000; and Warfighting and Ethics: Selected Papers from 2003 and 2004 Rowell Seminars, edited by Russell Parkin, Land Warfare Studies Centre (Canberra, Australia), 2005. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Journal of Military History, War in History, Parameters, Military Review, Air Power History, Airpower Journal, Joint Forces Quarterly, Army History, American Historical Review, History, and Reviews in European History.


Harold R. Winton once told CA: "My primary motivation for writing is a deep conviction that an informed understanding of the past can help contribute to a better future. My specific motivation for writing about military subjects comes from the knowledge that war is a very complicated activity and that there are quite adverse consequences for engaging in war that should not be engaged in, for not engaging in wars that should be, and for performing poorly when one is engaged. It follows that there are commensurate benefits for not making these errors.

"The ‘who’ that influences my work is made up of people who have written intelligently and well about history in general and military history and theory in particular. These include, among others, Thucydides, Carl von Clausewitz, Sir Julian Corbett, Bernard Brodie, Mao Zedong, Peter Paret, Michael Howard, Dennis Showalter, and Owen Connelly.

"The ‘what’ that influences my work is a combination of intellectual curiosity, availability of sources, and belief that I have stumbled onto a good story.

"My writing process is fairly standard: pick a topic by looking for holes in the literature; master the secondary sources; find as many archival sources as possible; interview participants and visit the scene of the action, when feasible; develop an outline; sit down at a keyboard; discipline yourself and stay there; send drafts to trusted agents for comment; revise; and submit.

"My inspiration for subjects has come from a combination of compulsion, as in the case of my dissertation, and sensing that there were holes in the literature that needed filling, as in my books."

Winton later added, "The most surprising thing I have learned as a writer is how hard it is—the physical energy required for research is substantial; but the psychic energy required to carry a sustained narrative is incredible. Having said this, the feeling of accomplishment that comes from producing a well-crafted book is incredibly gratifying and very much worth the effort.

"I hope my books will help citizens of our great country realize the complexities of war and appreciate the men and women who must master these complexities in order to provide for the common defense, will interest the general reader in military history as a genre, will provide historians an informed view of the past, and will help practitioners of war master their calling in order to continue to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."



American Historical Review, December, 1989, Tim Travers, review of To Change an Army: General Sir John Burnett-Stuart and British Armored Doctrine, 1927-1938, pp. 1387-1388.

Foreign Affairs, November-December, 2000, Eliot A. Cohen, review of The Challenge of Change: Military Institutions and New Realities, 1918-1941, pp. 178-179.

Journal of Military History, January, 2001, Robert Bateman, review of The Challenge of Change, pp. 219-220.

Marine Corps Gazette, October, 1988, Bruce I. Gudmundsson, "Military Reform of an Earlier Era," p. 80.

Military Review, May, 1988, Gordon R. Sullivan, review of To Change an Army, pp. 91-92.

RUSI Journal, summer, 1988, Michael Howard, review of To Change an Army, p. 86.