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Lees Knowles Lecture

The Lees Knowles Lectureship was established at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1912 and first started in 1915. Lectures are given by distinguished experts in military and naval history and selection for this lectureship is considered one of the highest honours available to specialists in military history and affairs.[1] The lectureship was established by a bequest by Trinity alumnus and military historian Sir Lees Knowles.[2]

List of Lecturers and Lectures[3]
Year Lecturers Lectures
1915 Sir Julian Corbett The Great War after Trafalgar
1922 Col. Maxwell Earle The principal strategical problems affecting the British Empire
1923 Col. Maxwell Earle The principles of war
1924 Col. M.A. Wingfield The eight principles of war as exemplified in the Palestine campaign, 1915–1918
1924 Lt.-Col. F. Nosworthy Russia before, during and after the Great War
1925 Major-Gen. Sir Frederick Maurice Statesmen and soldiers in the American civil war
1927 Major-Gen. Sir Wilkinson Bird Some early crises of the war, and the events leading up to them: Western Front 1914
1928 Major Gen. Sir George Aston Problems of empire defence
1929 A.R. Hinks Frontiers and boundary delimitations
1930 W.W. Tarn Hellenistic military developments
1931 Adm. Sir Herbert Richmond Capture at sea in war
1932 Capt. Basil Liddell Hart The movement of military thought from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, and its influence on European history
1933 John Buchan (Lord Tweedsmuir) Oliver Cromwell as a soldier
1934 Air Com. L E O Charlton Military aeronautics applied to modern warfare
1936 C.R.M.F. Cruttwell The role of British strategy in the Great War
1937 Gen. Sir Edmund Ironside British military history from 1899 to the present
1939 Gen. Sir Archibald Wavell Generalship
1940 Gen. Sir Frederick Maurice Public opinion in war
1941 Capt. Cyril Falls The nature of modern warfare
1942 Maj. Gen. Sir George Lindsay War on the civil and military fronts
1943 Admiral of the Fleet. The Lord Keyes Amphibious Warfare and Combined Operations
1946 Col. A.H. Burne Military strategy as exemplified in World War II
1947 Air-Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder Air power in modern warfare
1948 Adml. Sir William James The influence of sea power upon the history of the British people
1949 Sir Ronald Weeks Organisation and equipment for war
1950 Sir Henry Tizard The influence of war on science
1951 Gen. Sir William Platt The campaign against Italian East Africa, 1940–1
1951 Capt. G.H. Roberts, RN, The battles of the Atlantic
1952 Air Chief Marshal Sir Roderic Hill Some human factors in war
1953 Sir Fitzroy Maclean Irregular warfare
1954 Gen. Sir Brian Horrocks Are we training for the last war?
1956 Prof. P.M.S. Blackett Atomic weapons, 1945–1955
1957 John Ehrman Cabinet government and war, 1890–1940
1958 Field Marshal John Harding, 1st Baron Harding of Petherton Mediterranean strategy in the 2nd World War
1958 Sir Leslie Rowan Arms and economics: the changing challenge
1960 Capt. Stephen Roskill Maritime strategy in the twentieth century
1961 Field Marshal William Slim, 1st Viscount Slim The military mind and the spirit of an army
1962 Lt. Gen. Sir John Hackett The profession of arms
1963 Dr. Noble Frankland The strategic air offensive
1965 Sir Solly Zuckerman Science and military affairs
1966 Prof Michael Howard Conduct of British strategy in the 2nd World War
1968 Prof. R.V. Jones Command
1969 Alastair Buchan The changing functions of military force in international politics
1970 Prof. Geoffrey Best Conscience and the conduct of war, from the French Revolution through the Franco-Prussian war
1971 Prof. F. Harry Hinsley War and the development of the international system
1972 Prof. John Erickson Soviet soldiers and Soviet society
1973 Dr. Piers Mackesy Problems of an amphibious power 1795–1808
1974 Donald Cameron Watt European armed forces and the approach of the 2nd World War 1933–39
1974 Prof. Herman Bondi Science and defence
1975 Dr. R.L. Clutterbuck Guerilla warfare and political violence
1977 Prof. Christopher Thorne Anglo-American relations and war against Japan 1941–45
1979 Field-Marshal Lord Carver Apostles of mobility
1981 Prof. Laurence W. Martin Evolution of nuclear strategic doctrine since 1945
1983 Alistair Horne The French army and politics 1870–1970
1985 Dr. Geoffrey Parker European warfare 1520–1660
1986 John Keegan Some fallacies of military history
1989 Dr. Alan Bowman Vindolanda and the Roman Army: New documents from the northern frontier
1990 Maurice Keen English military experience, c.1340 – c.1450
1992 Prof. William Hardy McNeill Dance, drill and bonding in human affairs
1995 Prof. Hew Strachan The politics of the British Army 1815–1914
1996 Field-Marshal Sir Peter Inge Military force in a changing world
1998 Prof. Keith Jeffery ‘For the freedom of small nations’: Ireland and the Great War
2000 Prof. Brian Bond Britain and the First World War: The challenge to historians
2002 Antony Beevor The experience of war
2004 Dr. David Parrott War, Armies, and Politics in Early Modern Europe: The Military Devolution, 1560–1660
2006 Ben Shephard What Makes a Soldier? And What Does Not?
2008 Peter Paret 1806: The Cognitive Challenge of War
2010 Andrew Roberts
Prof. Nicholas Rodger
Prof. Richard Overy
Sir Max Hastings
The creation of Anglo-American grand strategy 1941–45
The British Navy in the Second World War
Air Power in the Second World War: A War Winner?
The British Army in the Second World War
2012 Prof. Amir Weiner Total War: The Soviet Union and the Eastern Front in a Comparative Framework
2014 Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles Folly in foreign policy: On the British misadventure in Afghanistan
2016 Dr. James Howard-Johnston The Byzantine Art of War
2018 Dr. Nicholas Rodger The Culture of Naval War, ca 1850 – 1950
2020 Gen. David Petreaus
2022 Prof. Jay Winter The Civilianization of War

See also


  1. ^ David Parrott. History Faculty Alumni Newsletter No. 3 (May 2005), University of Oxford, Faculty of History. Retrieved 13 July 2008
  2. ^ "Obituary: Sir Lees Knowles. A Life of Public Service". The Times. 8 October 1928. p. 18.
  3. ^ Home > About Trinity > Public Lectures > Lees Knowles Lectures > Past Lees Knowles Lecturers, Trinity College, Cambridge. Retrieved 13 July 2008

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Lees Knowles Lecture
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