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Dr John Greenacre

Lecturer in History


Dr John Greenacre

T: leave a message with Claire Pirie 01473 338818

Office: R209

John Greenacre spent twenty four years in the British Army as a logistician, reconnaissance helicopter pilot and staff officer before retiring in 2011. He deployed on operations to Iraq and Kuwait, Bosnia and Northern Ireland and also worked in Germany, the Falkland Islands, Canada and Kenya. He is a graduate of the Joint Services Advanced Command and Staff Course and has an MA in Military Studies from Cranfield (2004). In 2009 John graduated from the University of Leeds with a PhD in History with his thesis, ‘The Capability Development of British Airborne Forces during the Second World War’. John is currently a lecturer in history at the University of Suffolk covering the Twentieth Century World Wars and the Cold War and heads up the university’s First World War Centenary activities. He is also an active battlefield and historical tour guide working across Europe with a variety of groups including British and NATO units and formations.


Career Planning for History Graduates

Suffolk at War 1914-1993

Dissertation (contributor)

Research interests

Twentieth Century military history, the development of warfare, memory and memorialisation of conflict, the heritage of battlefields and thano-tourism.


'The Admiralty’s interwar planning with the British fishing industry, 1925–1940', Journal for Maritime Research, 2020.

‘“Flexible Enough to Adapt”: British Airborne Forces’ Experience during Post Conflict Operations 1944-1946’, British Journal of Military History, 4, 1, 2017.

‘“Shadows of Arnhem: British Airborne Forces and the Aftermath of Operation Market Garden” in J. Buckley and P. Preston-Hough (ed), Operation Market Garden and the Campaign in the Low Countries Autumn 1944: Seventy Years On, (Helion, Solihull, 2016).

Ever Glorious: The Frontline Letters of the Crookenden Brothers 1936-1946, (Helion, Solihull, 2016).

When Opportunity Arises: British Airborne Operations in the Mediterranean, 1941-1944 in A.L. Hargreaves, P.J. Rose and M.C. Ford (ed), Allied Fighting Effectiveness in North Africa and Italy, 1942-1945 (Brill, Leiden, 2014).

Churchill's Spearhead: The Development of Britain's Airborne Forces during the Second World War, (Pen and Sword, Barnsley, 2010).

''...There is, I'm Afraid, no alternative...' The Provision of Transport and Support Aircraft to British Airborne Forces during the Second World War', Air Power Review, 10, 3, Autumn 2007.

'Assessing the Reasons for Failure: 1st British Airborne Division Signal Communications during Operation Market Garden', Defence Studies, 4, 3, Autumn 2004.

Selected conference papers

‘“Flexible Enough to Adapt”: British Airborne Forces’ Experience during Post Conflict Operations 1944-1946’, British Commission for Military History New Research Conference, November 2017.

‘‘A Fleeting Opportunity Not Fully Realised’; The Effectiveness of 1st Parachute Brigade during Operation TORCH’, Battle of El Alamein 75th Anniversary Conference, University of Wolverhampton, September 2017.

‘Inhuman Visitors: The German Naval Bombardment of Lowestoft 25 April 1916 and its Effect on Civilian Morale’, The Great War at Home, 83rd Anglo-American Conference of Historians, Institute of Historical Research, June 2014.

'From Colossus to Varsity: The Development of British Airborne Tactical Doctrine during the Second World War', Royal United Services Institute military history seminar, June 2008.

'The British Airborne Experience in the Mediterranean during the Second World War', The Second World War in the Mediterranean conference, King's College London and the Imperial War Museum, July 2008.

Media (TV and radio appearances)

The Norfolk Regiment on the Somme, ITV News East Anglia feature, July 2016.

The Northamptonshire Regiment on the Somme, ITV News East Anglia feature, July 2016.