Jeff Gentsch Bio
Dr. Jeff Gentsch has been Professor of Military History at the University of West Alabama since 2000.
Jeff received a BA degree in history from Memphis State University. His senior thesis was titled: “Defending Hitler’s Strategic and Operational Decisions on the Eastern Front, 1943.” Jeff also received an MS degree in geography from the University of Memphis. His master's thesis was titled: “A Geographic Analysis of the Battle of Shiloh.” Jeff earned a PhD in war studies from King’s College, University of London. His dissertation was titled: “Italy, Geography and the First World War.”
Jeff grew up in Liberal KS, located in the southwest comer of the state. He has presented at the following
- Institute of Historical Research, London 1999. Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst 2014.
- Volunteer, Shiloh National Military Park. Led battlefield hikes on the anniversary of the battle.
- Organized and presented for the University of West Alabama's WWI symposium, fall 2018.
Jeff collects military memorabilia from the German Wars of Unification, WWI and WWII, as well as firearms. He was the rib-eating champion at the Big Easy restaurant, King’s Road, London in 1997. Jeff says he is "an indolence enthusiast." He loves lobster, shrimp, and other foods he can’t afford and is the boyfriend of Ms. Dixie Grey Norwood.
March 2020 Program: "The Battle of Shiloh and the Evolution of Artillery, 1861-1871"
The employment of artillery at the Battle of Shiloh illuminated the fundamental problems in American military history - lack of resources and preparedness -by providing a case study of what not to do with cannon during a major engagement. Concentrating tubes at decisive points was a major European concept hard to replicate in the United States due to a lack of industry and money. Masses of artillery were hallmarks of European battles throughout the Napoleonic era, and as many commanders on both sides during the War Between the States were disciples of the great Corsican, it stands to reason that they pursued, with varying degrees of success, to deploy their cannon en masse for great effect.