School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Robert Dale

Lecturer in Russian History



I am a historian of twentieth-century Russian and Soviet history, with a particular interest in the late Stalinist period (1945-1953).  I re-joined Newcastle University and the School of History, Classics and Archaeology in September 2015, having previously taught Russian history here in 2010-11.

I am particularly interested in the impact of war and violence upon Russian/Soviet society, the impact of the Great Patriotic War on the Soviet Union, the demobilisation and post-war adjustment of Red Army veterans, the history of St. Petersburg / Petrograd / Leningrad, and the late Stalinist period.

I would be delighted to discuss research projects with potential graduate students interested in the history of twentieth-century Russian and Soviet history, particularly projects related to my interests in the social, economic and cultural impact of war on individuals and societies.


Ph.D. in History, Queen Mary, University of London, 2011

M.A. in History, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, 2004

B.A. in History, University of York, 2002.

Previous Positions

2014-2015, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Nottingham Trent University

2012-2014, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, King's College London

2011-2012, Teaching Fellow in Modern European History, University of York

2010-2011, Teaching Fellow in Russian History, Newcastle University


Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies

Association for Slavic and East European Studies

Study Group on the Russian Revolution

Social History Society

Honours and Awards

2010 George L. Mosse Prize by the Journal of Contemporary History for my first published article 'Rats and Resentment'.

2017 Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy


Semester 1 - 2020/21

Undergraduate Teaching

HIS1100 -  Evidence and Argument  (Module Leader)

HIS3020 - Writing History (Dissertation Module)

Postgraduate Teaching

SHS8027 - The Patient in History

Semester 2 - 2020/21

Undergraduate Teaching

HIS2235 - The Soviet Experiment 1917-1991 (Module Leader)

HIS3020 - Writing History (Dissertation Module)

Postgraduate Teaching

HIS8053 - Conflict in European History - Case Studies

Office Hours Semester 1


Office Hours Semester 2




Research Interests

Russian and Soviet history

Stalinism, especially late Stalinism

Demobilisation and veterans

Post-War societies

St. Petersburg / Petrograd / Leningrad


My first book, Demobilized Veterans in Late Stalinist Leningrad: Soldiers to Civilians (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015) grew out of my doctoral research. It attempts to explore how and how successful over 300,000 former soldiers were stood down in a war ravaged society.  Leningrad's veterans would find the transition to civilian life more challenging than many could ever have imagined. Civilian Leningraders found find the rapid influx of returning soldiers an enormous political, economic, social and cultural challenge.  Based on extensive original research in local and national archives, oral history interviews, and newspaper collections I attempt to peel back the myths woven around demobilization to reveal a darker history of demobilization often repressed by society and concealed from official historiography.  While propaganda celebrated demobilization as a smooth process which reunited veterans with their families, reintegrated them into the workforce and facilitated upward social mobility, the reality was different. Many veterans were caught up in the scramble for work, housing, healthcare and state hand-outs. Others drifted to the social margins, criminality or became the victims of post-war political repression. Demobilized Veterans in Late Stalinist Leningrad tells the story of both the failure of local representatives to support returning Soviet soldiers, and the remarkable resilience and creativity of veterans in solving the problems created by their return to society.

Current Work

My current research is comes out of a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, held initially at King's College London and then Nottingham Trent University. The project, entitled From Fractured Society to Stability: Overcoming the Legacy of the Great Patriotic War investigates the extent to which Soviet Russia was able to overcome the traumatic legacy of the Great Patriotic War (the Eastern Front in World War Two). Drawing on national and local archives, newspapers, recently published sources, the project maps the divisions created by the aftermath of total warfare. It addresses how war's painful legacy destabilised and divided post-war society, as well as the difficulties the Stalinist state faced regaining control. The project seeks to establish when and how Russia finally emerged from war's shadow to become a more stable and cohesive society. The project seeks to examine these issues from the perspective of both the central party-state in Moscow as well as carefully selected local cases studies.

I am also working on a side project on the history of the Leningrad Flood of 1924, and what it reveals about early Bolshevik society.


October 2019 - March 2021 -Wellcome Trust, Institutional Strategic Support Fund, Small Grant, Pain on the Periphery: Physical Disability and Psychological Trauma Among Red Army Veterans Beyond the Soviet Centre, 1945 to 1970 - £4,580.

July 2018 - September 2018 - Arts and Humanities Research Council, International Placements Scheme Fellowship to be held at Library of Congress for a project entitled -  Rebuilding Socialism: The Reconstruction of the Soviet Union and its Official Ideology through the lens of Post-War published Sources - £4,470.

July 2016 - July 2017 -  War Veterans and Postwar Transition: Lessons from the Past and Future Reintegration - Newcastle University, Institute for Social Renewal - £741.25

2012- 2015 -  British Academy, Post-Doctoral Fellowship, From fractured society to stability: Overcoming the aftermath of war in Soviet Russia 1945-1955  Full Economic Cost - £221,479.

July 2012 - Santander International Connections Award (Travel Grant), The Deluge: The 1924 Leningrad Flood: Events, Reactions and Responses, £975.

2009 - 2010, Dissertation Fellowship, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Life after War: The Demobilisation And Postwar Adjustment of Red Army Veterans In Leningrad And The Leningrad Region 1944-1950, $20,000.

2007, Stretton Fund. Travel Bursary from QMUL History Department, £500.

2006 - 2009 Doctoral Award Holder, Arts and Humanities Research Council, fees, maintenance grant and overseas research funding.

Research Identifiers

Google Scholar



Kudos Profile