by DR HUW J. DAVIES A few weeks ago, I visited Stratfield Saye, the Berkshire country estate of the Duke of Wellington. Acquired in 1817 as a reward for the decisive victory he gained at Waterloo two years earlier, grand plans were drawn up to knock down the old house and erect an enormous palace… Read More What did officers read before Clausewitz?
Forgotten Battles is a new feature on Defence-in-Depth designed to bring long-lost battles back from the depths of history. Our authors have chosen these engagements because they believe that their significance has been overlooked or overshadowed by better-remembered battles in history. The significance of the chosen battles may have been strategic and influenced greatly a… Read More Forgotten Battles: Vailly, 30 October 1914
by DR DEBORAH SANDERS One of the many consequences of the Russian annexation of Crimea and the seizure of the majority of the Ukrainian navy’s, assets, capabilities and infrastructure is that it has, at least in theory, increased dramatically Russia’s maritime power in the Black Sea. But is this actually the case? It seems self-evident that… Read More The Crimean crisis and Russia’s maritime power in the Black Sea
by DR TIM BENBOW The ‘Battle of the Atlantic’ against the U-boats was the most vital campaign for Britain between mid-1940 and early 1943. It had to be won if Britain was to remain in the war let alone shift over to the offensive. Gaining this critical success was made more difficult by the general… Read More The Admiralty, the Air Ministry and the Battle of the Atlantic, 1940-43
by DR HUW J. DAVIES Two hundred years ago, diplomats from the Great Powers of Europe were redrawing the map of Europe. In April, Napoleon Bonaparte had abdicated, the French Empire defeated. Now it remained for Great Britain, Royalist France, Austria, Prussia and Russia to determine the fate of Europe. Napoleon’s escape from his exile… Read More The Concert of Europe: The Rise and Fall of the First United Nations
by DR ELLEN HALLAMS Seasoned observers of NATO might be forgiven for approaching alliance summits with a refrain of ‘here we go again’ ringing loudly in our ears. Such cynicism might at least in part be explained by the perpetuation of a dominant narrative that has had NATO in a constant state of ‘crisis’ ever… Read More NATO at Newport: Back to Basics?
by DR ROBERT T. FOLEY On 22 November 1914, the 1st battle of Ypres, as it was known to the British, or the 2nd battle of Flanders, as it was known to the Germans, sputtered to an end. Neither side had achieved its original goal, and the British were left with their French allies defending… Read More The First Battles of Trench Warfare 1914
by DR GERAINT HUGHES As a tactic, terrorism is as perennial as warfare itself, but it was during the 1970s that international terrorist groups began to be seen by the Western powers as a global problem. Atrocities such as the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics massacre in September 1972, and… Read More THE WAR ON TERRORISM: FORTY YEARS AGO
by DR CHRIS TUCK ‘The airstrikes at the moment are a holding operation… Nobody has pretended the battle against Isil can be won from the air alone.’ These comments, made last week by Philip Hammond, the British Defence Secretary, speak to two essential truths in war: first, land power, ‘the ability to exert influence on… Read More Land Power and the Islamic State Crisis
by PROF ASHLEY JACKSON The African continent’s strategic significance during the Second World War and the military activity that occurred on African soil revolved around ports. Some of them were located on islands, but the majority was on the mainland. Between 1939 and 1945 African islands and ports gained military and strategic prominence, particularly because… Read More Of Sea Lanes, Strategy, and Logistics: Africa’s Ports and Islands during the Second World War