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

Today’s Russian Navy taking the asymmetric route – with caveats

DR ROD THORNTON On the day that the UK’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, put to sea for the first time in June, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon compared it to what he called the ‘old and dilapidated’ Russian carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov – seen recently operating off Syria. A Russian Defence Ministry spokesman… Read More Today’s Russian Navy taking the asymmetric route – with caveats

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

The operational level of war and maritime forces

DR. TIM BENBOW The recurrent debate over whether or not the operational level of war exists can sometimes feel like the land component talking to itself.  The vast majority of what is written about the operational level, and operational art, focusses predominantly on land operations.  It is rare to find an acknowledgement of the significance… Read More The operational level of war and maritime forces

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

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

Command, Leadership & Management: the Power of Perception

This short-series of posts coincides with the Command, Leadership and Management phase of the ACSC. In it, members of the Department reflect upon aspects of the leadership, broadly defined. DR DAVID MORGAN-OWEN Rarely has an individual whose most famous achievements came in the realm of military administration captured the historical imagination in the manner of Admiral… Read More Command, Leadership & Management: the Power of Perception