In the 21st century we are questioning, debating, and even arguing over every aspect of the Royal Navy’s past or future. In the United Kingdom maritime strategy, once the proven staple of British defence has been relegated to the side-lines. Meanwhile in the United States naval thinkers are a ball of anxious and nervous contention constantly looking over their shoulders wondering if what they are doing or planning is the correct course of action. Considering the generations of today, uniformed or otherwise have unparalleled access to the wisdom, knowledge and experiences of their forebears why do we find ourselves, on both sides of Atlantic more trusting of naval thinking in the past than today? Continue reading “Studying Naval History in the 21st Century Matters: Royal Navy Edition”
Presented by the Laughton Professor of Naval History, Andrew Lambert on the 14th November 2002 in the Great Hall, Kings College London.
Edited by James W.E. Smith for the Laughton Review, 2017.
Principal, Ladies, Gentlemen, but above all friends:
Twenty years ago I was a student at this College facing my doctoral examination. I had selected St Andrew’s Day, for you can never have too many friends on such occasions. Although I passed the exam there appeared to be no demand for naval historians. For the next decade I taught international history, strategy, military history and even marxist economics to undergraduate, initial officer entry and staff college students.
Had naval history been a wise choice?