Nikolas Gardner

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Nikolas Gardner
Nikolas Gardner
BA, MA, PhD. Associate Professor
(613) 541-6000 ext 8404
(613) 541-6056
Department of History

College Address

Royal Military College of Canada
PO Box 17000, Station Forces
Kingston, Ontario, CANADA
K7K 7B4

Dr. Nikolas Gardner holds the Class of '65 Chair in Leadership. He also serves as Chair of the War Studies Graduate Program at RMC. Dr. Gardner has taught previously at the University of Salford in Manchester UK, Mount Royal College in Calgary AB, and at  the USAF Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama, where he served as the first Academic Director of the Air War College Grand Strategy Program. Dr. Gardner's research interests include the First World War, British imperial and military history, and military privatization. He is the author of The Siege of Kut-al-Amara: At War in Mesopotamia, 1915-16 (2014), and Trial by Fire: Command in the British Expeditionary Force in 1914 (2003). He has also published numerous book chapters and articles in a variety of journals including War in History, The Journal of Military History, the Journal of Contemporary History, The Historian, and the Journal of the Middle East and Africa. His current research project examines the role of private contractors in British foreign policy in the Middle East during the 1970s.

University Degrees

  • Ph.D. University of Calgary
  • M.A. Wilfrid Laurier University
  • B.A. University of Waterloo

Courses Taught

  • HIE 319: Mercenaries in Military History
  • HIE 332: War in the Classical Age
  • HIE 340: The First World War
  • HIE 342: The Second World War
  • HIE 481: The First World War in the Middle East
  • WS 543: The First World War
  • WS 544: The Theory and Practice of Strategy in the Classical World



  • The Siege of Kut-al-Amara: At War in Mesopotamia, 1915-1916 (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2014).
  • Trial by Fire: Command in the British Expeditionary Force in 1914. (Westport CT: Praeger, 2003). (runner-up, 2003 Templer Medal Competition, Society for Army Historical Research).

Journal Articles

  • “British Prestige and the Mesopotamia Campaign, 1914-1916”. The Historian, 77:2 (Summer 2015), 269-289.
  • “The Limits of the Sandhurst Connection: The Evolution of Oman’s Foreign and Defense Policy, 1970-1977.” Journal of the Middle East and Africa, 6:1 (Spring 2015) 45-58.
  • "Charles Townshend's Advance on Baghdad: The British Offensive in Mesopotamia, September-November 1915." War in History, 20:2 (April 2013), 182-200.
  • "Resurrecting the 'Icon': The Enduring Relevance of Clausewitz's On War." Strategic Studies Quarterly, 3:1 (Spring 2009), 119-133.
  • "The Harold Wilson Government, Airwork Services Limited, and the Saudi Arabian Air Defence Scheme, 1965-1973." Journal of Contemporary History, 42:2 (April 2007), 345-363.
  • "Sepoys and the Siege of Kut-al-Amara, December 1915-April 1916." War in History, 11:3 (July 2004), 307-326.
  • "Command and Control in the 'Great Retreat' of 1914: The Disintegration of the British Cavalry Division." The Journal of Military History, 63:1, (January 1999), 29-54.
  • "Command in Crisis: The British Expeditionary Force and the Forest of Mormal, August 1914." War & Society, 16:2, (October 1998), 13-32.
  • "The Great War and Waterloo County: The Travails of the 118th Battalion, CEF." Ontario History, 89:3, (September 1997), 219-236.

Book Chapters

  • "Morale and Discipline in the Indian Army in Mesopotamia, 1914-1917." Kaushik Roy, ed., The Indian Army in the Two World Wars, (Leiden NL and Boston: Brill Academic, 2011), 393-417.
  • "Private Armaments and Military Services Companies and British Foreign Policy during the 1960s and 1970s." Armées Privées, Armées dè État: Mercenaires et Auxiliaries d'Hier et d'Aujourd'hui, (Paris: Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l'École Militaire, 2010), 231-242.
  • "Disaffection and Disobedience in the Aftermath of the First World War: The Canadian Attack on the Epsom Police Station, June 1919." Craig Mantle, ed., The Apathetic and the Defiant: Case Studies of Canadian Mutiny and Disobedience 1812-1919, (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2008), 439-463.
  • "Military Thought from Machiavelli to Liddell Hart." Matthew Hughes and William Philpott, eds., Palgrave Advances in Modern Military History, (London and New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2007), 61-83.
  • "Julian Byng: Third Army, 1917-1918." Ian Beckett and Steven Corvi, eds., Haig's Generals, (London: Leo Cooper, 2006), 54-74.
  • (with P.W. Lackenbauer) "Citizen-Soldiers as 'Liminaries': the CEF Soldier Riots of 1916 Reconsidered." Yves Tremblay, ed. Canadian Military History Since the 17th Century, (Ottawa: Department of National Defence, 2001), 155-166.

Short Essays and Encyclopedia Entries

  • "The Fashoda Crisis," in John Merriman and Jay Winter, eds., Scribner's Encyclopedia of Europe, 1789-1914, (Farmington Hills MI: Gale/Thomson, 2006).
  • "The First World War" (18 essays), The United States at War: Understanding Conflict and Society (Santa Barbara CA: ABC-CLIO Social Studies Websites Series, 2005).
  • "Ardennes," "Arras," "Battle of the Frontiers," "John Charteris," "Guise," "2nd Battle of Artois," "3rd Battle of Artois," in Spencer Tucker, ed., Encyclopedia of World War I, (Santa Barbara CA: ABC CLIO, 2005).
  • "Cavalry." in Dennis Showalter, ed., History in Dispute: World War I, Second Series, (Columbia SC: Gale, 2002).

Working Papers

  • "The Beginning of the Learning Curve: British Officers and the Advent of Trench Warfare, September-October 1914." University of Salford, European Studies Research Institute Working Paper, April 2003.
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