British naval aviation in World War II: Escort Carriers

DR TIM BENBOW The Royal Navy pioneered the use of air power at sea, from bases ashore and from aircraft carriers, during the First World War.  It lost this lead during the interwar period due to a range of factors including limited spending on defence and an unclear national strategy, exacerbated by the Navy losing… Read More British naval aviation in World War II: Escort Carriers

Italian Influences on British Imperial Defence & Grand Strategy, 1935-43

DR RICHARD HAMMOND Formulating grand strategy is an extraordinarily complex issue for a state. To understand the process, you have to assess not just that state’s own interests and the variety of external factors exerting influence on them, but also their perception of these influences. This was certainly the case for Britain during the interwar… Read More Italian Influences on British Imperial Defence & Grand Strategy, 1935-43

Absent Friends? British naval aviation and D-Day

DR TIM BENBOW The question most often asked by students when I have given lectures or accompanied staff rides on D-Day is, where were the aircraft carriers?  There does seem to be a puzzle here.  By summer 1944, carriers were the central capability of the modern fleet and had repeatedly proved their value in supporting… Read More Absent Friends? British naval aviation and D-Day

THE RETURN OF GORSHKOV AND THE NEW COLD WAR AT SEA

KEVIN ROWLANDS Commander Kevin Rowlands is a naval officer who was awarded a PhD in 2015 through the Defence Studies Department.  He is the editor of 21st Century Gorshkov, recently published by the US Naval Institute Press.  In the following post he argues the origins of Russia’s current maritime strategy can be traced to the… Read More THE RETURN OF GORSHKOV AND THE NEW COLD WAR AT SEA

2017 – the Year of the Royal Navy: time to get real?

Professor Andrew M Dorman and Professor Matthew R H Uttley Centre for British Defence and Security Studies As we entered 2017 the Ministry of Defence earmarked 2017 as the ‘year of the Royal Navy (RN)’. In the press release that accompanied the announcement key milestones for 2017 were highlighted, including the new aircraft carrier HMS… Read More 2017 – the Year of the Royal Navy: time to get real?

Sea Power, Alliances, and Diplomacy: British Naval Supremacy in the Great War Era

LOUIS HALEWOOD Louis is a current DPhil student at the University of Oxford. He holds an MA in History from the University of Calgary. Louis is co-organiser of the upcoming ‘Economic Warfare and the Sea’ Conference, to be held at All SoulS College in July 2017. A recording of the talk this post is drawn from is… Read More Sea Power, Alliances, and Diplomacy: British Naval Supremacy in the Great War Era

SUEZ SIXTY YEARS ON: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ROYAL NAVY

This is the second in a series of posts drawn from an event to mark the 60th anniversary of the Suez Crisis which the Defence Studies Department Strategy and Defence Policy Research Centre hosted on November 7th, 2016. Recordings of the papers will be posted shortly to the Department soundcloud. By Dr Tim Benbow The Suez… Read More SUEZ SIXTY YEARS ON: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ROYAL NAVY

Trafalgar Day, History Rhymes, and Russians in the Channel

DR DAVID MORGAN-OWEN The Battle of Trafalgar holds a special place in British history. The victory of 21st October 1805 is wound into the fabric of the nation: visitors to central London cannot help but awe at Nelson’s column and the surrounding square built in honour of his greatest achievement. The importance of the Battle… Read More Trafalgar Day, History Rhymes, and Russians in the Channel

Keeping the Genie in the Bottle: RNAS Anti-Submarine Warfare, 1912-1916

ALEXANDER HOWLETT Throughout its long history, the Royal Navy has been both an innovator of, and adapter to, technological change. By the end of the 19th century, the sailing warship of Nelson’s day had been transformed into the all steel construction, reciprocating engine, electric powered and radio equipped, battleship. As formidable an implement of sea… Read More Keeping the Genie in the Bottle: RNAS Anti-Submarine Warfare, 1912-1916