The September 2017 edition of the U.S. magazine Military Heritage includes (p. 61) a brief but fine review of Sevastopol’s Wars. After a succinct summary of the book’s subject matter, the reviewer concludes:
The story of Sevastopol is expertly told in this narrative, which blends first-person interviews, battle analysis, and archival material. The author deftly explains how the city has come to occupy a central place in Russian culture and imagination due to its history of struggle. This has caused Sevastopol to remain important to Russian down the years to the 21st century.
Meanwhile, I have continued giving a series of lectures and talks about Sevastopol’s Wars. The most recent was held on Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in Whitehall, London, where I have been a member since 1981 and Senior Associate Fellow since 2012. Incidentally, I last gave a talk at RUSI on 9 May 2014 – representing both the start and end date of the book, which marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Sevastopol by the Red Army in 1944.
Speaking from a table captured by the British during the Crimean War at Sevastopol, on which the armistice was signed on 9 September 1855, and now held by the Institute, I delivered a lunchtime lecture to about 80 people, mostly RUSI members. My talk, entitled, ‘The Russian Annexation of Crimea, 2014: Strategic Causes and Continuities’ was well received. I also sold a good number of copies of Sevastopol’s Wars both prior to, and following, the event.
Very kindly, a number of people emailed me after the talk with their thanks and words of appreciation. These included Neil Watling, Executive Assistant to the Director-General of RUSI, who commented:
I very much enjoyed your presentation given at RUSI yesterday. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and certainly ticked all the right boxes that we aspire to in our series of members’ events.
Dr Emily Mayhew, a senior medical historian at Imperial College London, observed:
Mungo, what an excellent paper at RUSI. Just the sort of thing historians should be doing – broad sweep, fine analysis and complete relevance – and lots of maps. Thank you so much for inviting me.
Graeme Cooper, a leading battlefield guide who runs Waterloo Tours and Corporate Battlefields, wrote:
Thank you for your invitation today. It was so worthwhile being there … you were brilliant. You need to present this to Whitehall!
Finally, Professor Neil Kent, an expert on the Crimea, likewise enthused:
What a lovely launch! I am still learning from you and what a delight to meet your daughter.
Neil Kent was referring here to my younger daughter present, Stephanie Melvin, a young academic classicist, who expertly compiled the bibliography of Sevastopol’s Wars.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank RUSI for providing me with an opportunity again to talk about Sevastopol. In particular I am very grateful to Dr Jonathan Eyal for his expert chairing of the event.
In the meantime, I look forward to giving a further series of talks on Sevastopol’s Wars during the autumn of 2017. Details are contained here.