|Born||12 March 1948|
Adelaide, South Australia
|Awards||Churchill Fellowship (1977)|
Member of the Order of Australia (2009)
Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (2015)
Prime Minister's Literary Award for Australian History (2015)
St Ermin's Hotel Intelligence Book of the Year Award (2015)
|Alma mater||University of New South Wales (MA [Hons])|
Australian National University (PhD)
|Thesis||Australia and Allied Strategy in the Pacific, 1941–1946 (1980)|
|Doctoral advisor||Robert J. O'Neill|
|Institutions||Australian National University|
|Main interests||Australian military history|
|Notable works||The Official History of ASIO|
Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations
Early life and military career
Horner was born in Adelaide, South Australia, on 12 March 1948. He was raised in a military household—his father, Murray Horner, had served in New Guinea during the Second World War and later joined the Citizen Military Forces—and joined the Australian Army after completing school in 1966. On graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1969, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. In 1971, Horner served an eight-month tour in Vietnam as a platoon commander in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. He was a Visiting Fellow with the Department of History at the Australian Defence Force Academy from 1985 to 1988, and a member of the directing staff at the Joint Services Staff College in 1988 to 1990. Horner retired from the full-time army in 1991 on gaining a position with the Australian National University (ANU) and transferred to the Australian Army Reserve, with which he served for more than a decade. He was the inaugural commanding officer of the Land Warfare Studies Centre (1998–2002), and retired with the rank of colonel.
Horner has a Diploma of Military Studies from Duntroon, a Master of Arts (Honours) from the University of New South Wales, and graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy from the ANU in 1980. His doctoral thesis, supervised by Robert J. O'Neill and completed while a serving major in the army, concerned Australian and Allied strategy in the Pacific War and formed the basis for his second book, High Command: Australia and Allied Strategy, 1939–1945 (1982).
Historian and academic
Horner was appointed to a position at the ANU's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre in 1990. In 1998 he was described as "one of Australia's most respected military historians", and in 1999 was made Professor of Australian Defence History at the ANU's Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies (later the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs); a role he served in until 2014.
In 2004 Horner was appointed the Official Historian and general editor for the Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations, a six-volume history covering Australia's involvement in international peacekeeping operations from 1947 to 2006. Horner authored or co-authored the second and third volumes: Australia and the 'New World Order' (2011) and, with John Connor, The Good International Citizen (2014). A team led by Horner also won a tender to write the official history of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). The three-volume series, which traces the first forty years of ASIO's history from 1949 to 1989, was led by Horner's The Spy Catchers (2014). John Blaxland's The Protest Years followed in 2015, and Blaxland and Rhys Crawley's The Secret Cold War in 2016. The Spy Catchers jointly won the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Australian History, was sole winner of the St Ermin's Hotel Intelligence Book of the Year Award, and was long-listed for the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Australia Prize for a Book in 2015. Horner also undertook a feasibility study in 2012 into what eventually became the Official History of Australian Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Australian Peacekeeping Operations in East Timor.
Horner has written or edited 32 books and more than 75 journal articles, reports and chapters in books. In 2009, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his "service to higher education in the area of Australian military history and heritage as a researcher, author and academic." Horner retired from full-time academia in 2014, and was appointed an emeritus professor at the ANU. He was made a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 2015.
- — (1978). Crisis of Command: Australian Generalship and the Japanese Threat, 1941–1943. Canberra: Australian National University Press. ISBN 9780708113455.
- — (1982). High Command: Australia and Allied Strategy, 1939–1945. Sydney: George Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9780868610764.
- — (1991). SAS Phantoms of the Jungle: A History of the Australian Special Air Service. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781863730075.
- — (1992). General Vasey's War. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. ISBN 9780522844627.
- — (1992). The Gulf Commitment: The Australian Defence Force's First War. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. ISBN 0522845118.
- — (1995). The Gunners: A History of Australian Artillery. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781863739177.
- — (1996). Inside the War Cabinet: Directing Australia's War Effort, 1939–1945. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1863739689.
- —; Ball, Desmond (1998). Breaking the Codes: Australia's KGB Network. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781864485783.
- — (1998). Blamey: The Commander-in-Chief. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781864487343.
- — (2000). Defence Supremo: Sir Frederick Shedden and the Making of Australian Defence Policy. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1865082806.
- — (2001). Making the Australian Defence Force. The Australian Centenary History of Defence. Volume 4. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195541175.
- — (2002). The Pacific. Second World War. Volume 1. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1841762296.
- — (2005). Strategic Command: General Sir John Wilton and Australia's Asian Wars. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195552829.
- —; Thomas, Neil (2009). In Action with the SAS. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781741755527.
- — (2011). Australia's Military History for Dummies. Milton, Queensland: Wiley Publishing Australia. ISBN 9781742169835.
- — (2011). Australia and the New World Order: From Peacekeeping to Peace Enforcement 1988–1991. Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations. Volume 2. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521765879.
- —; Connor, John (2014). The Good International Citizen: Australian Peacekeeping in Asia, Africa and Europe 1991–1993. Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations. Volume 3. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107021624.
- — (2014). The Spy Catchers. The Official History of ASIO. Volume 1. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781743319666.
- —; Bou, Jean; Breen, Bob; Pratten, Garth (2018). The Limits of Peacekeeping: Australian Missions in Africa and the Americas, 1992–2005. Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations. Volume 4. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107101968.
- —; O'Neill, Robert, eds. (1981). New Directions in Strategic Thinking. London: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0043550134.
- —; O'Neill, Robert, eds. (1982). Australian Defence Policy for the 1980s. St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0702217816.
- —, ed. (1984). The Commanders: Australian Military Leadership in the Twentieth Century. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9780868614960.
- —, ed. (1986). Australian Higher Command in the Vietnam War. Canberra: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. ISBN 0867848936.
- —, ed. (1990). Duty First: The Royal Australian Regiment in War and Peace. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9780044422273.
- —, ed. (1991). Reshaping the Australian Army: Challenges for the 1990s. Canberra: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. ISBN 0731511921.
- —; Ball, Desmond, eds. (1992). Strategic Studies in a Changing World: Global, Regional and Australian Perspectives. Canberra: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. ISBN 0731513711.
- —; Penglase, Joanna, eds. (1992). When the War Came to Australia: Memories of the Second World War. St. Leonards: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1863733205.
- —, ed. (1993). The Army and the Future: Land Forces in Australia and South-East Asia. Canberra: Directorate of Departmental Publications, Defence Centre for Director of Army Activities and Public Affairs. ISBN 0644290048.
- —, ed. (1994). The Battles That Shaped Australia: The Australian's Anniversary Essays. The Australian Series. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781863737043.
- —, ed. (1995). Armies and Nation-Building: Past Experience – Future Prospects. Canberra: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. ISBN 0731523008.
- —, ed. (2002). SAS Phantoms of War: A History of the Special Air Service. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781865086477.
- —, ed. (2004). Australia's Strategic Involvement in the Middle East: An Overview. Abu Dhabi: Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research. ISBN 9789948006657.
- —; Londey, Peter; Bou, Jean, eds. (2009). Australian Peacekeeping: Sixty Years in the Field. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521516068.
- "Horner, David Murray". Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
- Sygall, David (17 January 2009). "Spies like us". The Sun-Herald.
- "Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia (A–L)" (PDF). The Queen's Birthday 2009 Honours List. Governor-General of Australia. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
- "David Horner, Historian". Guest lecturers. Silversea. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
- "Professor David Horner AM". Fellows. Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
- "Australia and Allied strategy in the Pacific, 1941–1946". Open Access Theses. Australian National University. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
- Carl Bridge (1998). Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King's College, London. Retrieved from Australian War Memorial, 11 March 2007.
- "David Horner – ANU College of Asia and the Pacific – ANU". Australian National University. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
- "The Spy Catchers". Allen & Unwin. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
- "The Protest Years". Allen & Unwin. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
- "The Secret Cold War". Allen & Unwin. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
- Horner, David (2016). "Researching History at SDSC". In Ball, Desmond; Carr, Andrew. A National Asset: 50 Years of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. Canberra: ANU Press. p. 134. ISBN 9781760460570.
- Australian War Memorial Peacekeeping Official History