The war department to end all war departments
During the 1960s, while a professor at King’s, distinguished historian Sir Michael Howard founded the Department of War Studies, which would examine war in all its complexity and its impact on history.
The department flourished and became a world-leading centre while Sir Michael went on to become Regius professor of modern history at the University of Oxford. In the same decade, King’s also opened the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, which housed the papers of nearly 800 senior British defence personnel, including the private library of Captain Sir Basil Liddell Hart, who served in the First World War and was later a military historian, a correspondent for The Daily Telegraph and The
Times, and a personal adviser to Leslie Hore-Belisha, secretary of state for war (1937-38). Liddell Hart famously said: “If you wish for peace, understand war.”
In 2014, to mark the centenary of Britain’s entry into the Great War, King’s opened the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War. It gathers together the largest community of war historians anywhere in the world and promotes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of human conflict.