Dr Douglas Ford



I am a military historian, with an expertise on the strategic, operational and tactical aspects of the Pacific War.


  • PhD International History, London School of Economics
  • MA International History, London School of Economics
  • BA Modern History, Royal Holloway University of London.


I joined the University of Birmingham in September 2012 after teaching military history at the University of Salford for eight years.



  • Second Year Option: Britain and the Second World War
  • Second Year Option: Command in War from Napoleon to the 21st Century
  • Second Year Core: Introduction to Strategy and Operational Art
  • Second Year Core: Research Methods
  • First Year Core: War, Armed Forces and Society
  • First Year Core: Practising History


My current research focuses on strategic culture and its impact on how the US and Great Britain conducted their campaigns against the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Other activities

  • Book Reviews Editor for Mariner’s Mirror
  • Elected Fellow of Royal Historical Society
  • Winner of 2012 Vice-Admiral Edwin B Hooper Research Grant, awarded by US Naval History and Heritage Command


Authored Books

  • The Elusive Enemy: US Naval Intelligence and the Imperial Japanese Fleet (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2011), ISBN: 978-1-59114-280-5
  • The Pacific War: Clash of Empires in World War II (London: Continuum Books, 2011), ISBN: 978-1-84725-237-1
  • Britain’s Secret War against Japan, 1937-1945 (Abingdon: Routledge / Taylor & Francis, 2006), ISBN10: 0-415-35846-9 (hbk), ISBN10: 0-203-00465-5 (ebk)


Refereed Journal Articles

  • ‘Informing Airmen?: the evolution of the US Army Air Forces’ intelligence organizations in the Pacific theatres, 1941-45’, in International History Review, Vol.34, No.4
  • ‘Intelligence and the US Army’s Operations in the Pacific Theatres, 1943-45: lessons learned and methods applied’, in War in History, Vol.16, No.3 (2009), pp.325-58, ISSN: 0968-3445
  • ‘Realistic Caution and Ambivalent Optimism: US intelligence assessments and war preparations against Japan, 1918-1941’, in Diplomacy and Statecraft, Vol.21, No.2, (2010), pp.175-201, ISSN: 0959-2296
  • ‘US Perceptions of Military Culture and the Japanese Army’s Performance during the Pacific War’, in War and Society, Vol.29, No.1 (2010), pp.71-93, ISSN: 0729-2473
  • ‘US Naval Intelligence and the Imperial Japanese Fleet during the Washington Treaty Era, c.1922-1936’, in Mariner’s Mirror, Volume 93, No.3 (2007), pp.281-306, ISSN: 0025-3359 - winner of 2008 Ernest M Eller Prize in naval history, awarded jointly by the US Naval Historical Center and Naval Historical Foundation

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