Normandy and London

A study abroad course in London and Normandy Professors:  Dr. Mark Stout and Dr. Ariel Roth

May 2012



The Center for Advanced Governmental Studies is pleased to announce a new course that will be offered during the May intersession 2012.  This course, “Command and Leadership in War: Operation Overlord,” co-taught by Drs. Roth and Stout, will count as an elective toward the Strategic Studies concentration (GSS) and Security Studies concentration (Government).  It will likewise count as an elective towards the MA in Public Management.

“Command and Leadership in War” will examine leadership at all levels of war from the strategic to the small-unit tactical.  The course will also explore civil-military relations and the role of civilian leadership in the development and execution of military plans.  Additionally, it will examine the interaction of leadership and operational issues such as coalition warfare, inter-service coordination, logistics, and intelligence and deception.

Though the course will cover command and leadership in general, it will focus on the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944 and the ensuing campaign in France to provide particular cases in point.

The course will include three sessions to be held in Washington prior to departure.  In both England and France this class will be configured as an expanded staff ride.  Thus, in addition to the regular class assignments, each participant will be assigned a role as either a civilian or military leader (American, British, Canadian, German or French).  At various points in the course, students will be expected to brief on the perspectives and decisional logic of their assigned historical leader.  These briefings will be a major input into students’ grades.

In London, the class will visit the Cabinet War Rooms in which Winston Churchill conducted much of his war work as well as the HMS Belfast, a British warship that participated in the pre-landing naval bombardment of the French coast.  Proceeding towards Normandy, the class will travel to Portsmouth, England, a major port of the Royal Navy which figured heavily in D-Day landings.  While in the south of England, we will visit Southwick House, Eisenhower’s command headquarters where the decision to commence the invasion was taken.

From Portsmouth, the class will embark on overnight ferries across the English channel toward Normandy, just as Allied troops did in 1944.  The class will disembark in Caen, a major allied objective and site of a complicated British-led battle.  Over the next three days we will visit the landing beaches and inland attack routes that the allies followed as they tried to draw the Germans into a major battle.


May 23rd – Churchill War Rooms (Sleep in London)
May 24th – HMS Belfast (Sleep in London)
May 25 – D- Day Museum Portsmouth (Sleep in Portsmouth) – GROUP DINNER at The Spice Island Inn
May 26th – Southwick House (Sleep on Ferry)
May 27th – Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc and the American Cemetery
May 28th -Sword Beach and thwarted attacks on Caen via Colleville (Hillman)
May 29th – Juno Beach and the attempted flanking of Caen via Mensil Patry and Villers-Bocage
After returning, students will write a research paper assessing their assigned leader.


There will be three class meetings prior to our departure.  The class will meet on May 9, 14 and 16.

Students must arrive in London no later than Tuesday, May 22.  We will be in London May 22-24, Portsmouth on the 25th and Normandy from May 27-29th.  May 26 will be spent in Portsmouth, England.  We will take an overnight ferry  across the English Channel on May 26.

A summary class meeting will be held back in DC on Tuesday June 5, the eve of D-Day!



It will likely cost between $1050-1250 to fly from Washington to London and from Paris to Washington. Students will be responsible for making their own flight arrangements and for arranging transport between Normandy and their chosen city of departure.


Students should make their own lodging arrangements in London.  Students are encouraged to remember that most of our activities will be held in Central London and we will start our days quite early.  Looking for accommodation near Whitehall would be advisable.

Students will likewise be responsible for budgeting for internal transit within London and should estimate $20/day for such purposes.

In France, we will arrange for lodging to accommodate the whole group.

Please DO NOT make any reservations until you receive confirmation that the course will proceed.

Course fees

All students must pay a fee of $1300 at the time of registration and will be used to cover the cost of the train from London to Portsmouth, ferry from Portsmouth to Caen, hotels and transport in Normandy.

Registration for this course begins on Monday, February 13, 2012. The deadline to register for this course is March 5, 2012.  Full payment of tuition and fees is due at the time of registration.  If a student decides to drop this course before March 5, $500 of the tuition is nonrefundable.  If a student drops the course on or after March 5, ALL tuition and fees are nonrefundable.  Students using financial aid, employer assistance, or tuition remission must also adhere to the non refundable tuition policy associated with this course.  Students may not drop this course online.

Students will not see a charge on their account when they register for this course. Students need to provide full payment now or be prepared to commit to full payment through financial aid, employer assistance, or tuition remission.


Dr. Ariel Roth      Director of the MA in Global Security Studies

Dr. Mark Stout    Fellow at the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies at JHU and Official Historian of the International Spy Museum

**Please review student travel guidelines at**