Robert J Kershaw
Military Author and Battlefield Tour Guide
Robert Kershaw, who until recently held a senior position within NATO, joined the Parachute Regiment in 1973 and has served actively in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and the first Gulf War, for which he was awarded the US Bronze Star. He has written twelve books of military history and has contributed to The Times, The Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph.
He regularly conducts battlefield tours for groups and private parties, to Europe including Russia, the United States and South Africa. He has appeared in a number of National geographic and more recently The History Channel and is available to lecture and conduct after dinner historical talks.
The ‘miracle of Dunkirk’ is lauded in British history and folklore as a victory of human endeavor, celebrated each year with a profusion of TV documentary veteran accounts and memorial services. German soldiers constantly referred to the wunder or miracle of reaching Dunkirk in wartime letters back home. There the resemblance ends. For the British it was a miracle of survival and deliverance, for the Germans it was one of achievement. They had reached the sea in May 1940 in less weeks than it took years for their fathers not to succeed in 1914-18.
1812 / 1941
The name Borodino Field resonates with patriotism and Mother Russia for Russians. The battle in September 1812 is known to most as one of the epic climaxes in Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Napoleon’s pyrrhic victory there took the French Grande Armée to the gates of Moscow and on to catastrophe during the subsequent winter. Another lesser known, but equally bitter battle was fought at Borodino Field in October 1941. This time Hitler’s SS and panzers came up against elite Soviet Siberian troops defending Stalin’s Moscow. Remarkably, they fought in the same woods and gullies that follow the line of the Koloch River flowing through the middle of the historic battlefield. Tsarist and Soviet troops twice faced invaders here, coming from the west in 1812, and again in 1941. Only rarely in the history of human conflict do key battles occur in the same place.