Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History 2021

Main Image Credit Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History 2021 award ceremony

The board members for the Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History have decided to award this year’s medal to John Gooch for his book ‘Mussolini’s War’

John Gooch’s Mussolini’s War (Penguin Books) details Italy’s war experience, from the invasion of Abyssinia via its military campaigns in Europe and elsewhere in Africa, until Mussolini’s arrest. The book places Italy at the centre of the war and allows the reader to delve into a detailed account of its armed force’s initial successes and dramatic fall.

Sir Hew Strachan stated, that while the book made a huge contribution to its field, the award also highlighted a lifetime’s contribution to military history as a whole and, most recently, to that of Italy in particular.

Michael Clarke, Chairman of the Judging Panel said:

As ever, the short-list of books was extremely strong - this year exceptionally so - and demonstrated yet again the robust health of military history writing by some of our most eminent historians. As a Judging Panel, we don’t only look for winners who contribute something new to historical knowledge. We also want to recognise good and accessible writing that opens the subject to as wide an audience as possible. John Gooch’s book on Mussolini’s War achieves both objectives magnificently.

Professor Michael Clarke

Distinguished Fellow

Award Ceremony

The award ceremony for the 2020 and 2021 Duke of Wellington Medals for Military History was held on Tuesday 16th November at Apsley House.

CreditDr Jonathan Fennel - 2020 winner
CreditJohn Gooch - 2021 winner


  • Helen Fry

    MI9: A History of the Secret Service for Escape and Evasion in World War Two (Yale University Press)

  • Ben Barry

    Blood, Metal and Dust (Osprey Publishing)

  • Alexander Mikaberidze

    The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History (Oxford University Press)

  • John Gooch

    Mussolini's War (Penguin)

  • Alan Allport

    Britain at Bay: The Epic Story of the Second World War: 1938 - 1941 (Profile Books)

  • Steve Tibble

    The Crusader Strategy (Yale University Press)

Explore our related content