The war depart­ment to end all war de­part­ments

THE (Times Higher Education) - - KING'S COLLEGE LONDON -

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.

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