The Principles of War Podcast
Julian Corbett and Maritime Strategy

87 – Julian Corbett and British Maritime and Grand Strategy with Professor Andrew Lambert

This episode is an interview with Professor Andrew Lambert about Sir Julian Corbett, the premier maritime strategist in the 20th century.

We discuss Corbett, Maritime and Grand Strategy, Churchill and the Dardanelles Campaign.

These are the questions that Professor Lambert discussed:

  • Who was Sir Julian Corbett and how did Corbett develop his understanding of maritime power and its relationship with grand strategy?
  • How did Corbett get to his place within the British establishment, to be working for Jackie Fisher?
  • What were Corbett’s thoughts on the Dardenelles campaign?
  • Mahan died in 1914, so he didn’t have the opportunity to reflect on his work post WW1 – what similarities and differences do you see between Mahan and Corbett?
  • Churchill was quite bitter about Corbett’s assessment of the Dardanelles campaign.  Did he learn from Corbett’s work during the interwar years?
  • What influence did Corbett have on British strategy in WW2?
  • Corbett was writing about the British way of war, how relevant is Corbett today for Britain and other countries?
  • What lessons from Corbett are there for a small to middling Antipodean power, with a large landmass, low population density, long coastlines, poor maritime capabilities at the end of everyone’s supply routes?
  • Corbett was trying to educate policymakers on Grand Strategy before and during WW1.   How can we educate those making policy better today?

If you would like to know more about the impact the Corbett had in Maritime and Grand Strategy, please read Professor Lambert’s excellent book – ‘The British Way of War‘.

Andrew Lambert is Laughton Professor of Naval History in the Department of War Studies at King’s College. After completing research in the Department he taught at Bristol Polytechnic,(now the University of West of England), the Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich, and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and also Director of the Laughton Naval Unit. In 2020 he was made a Fellow of Kings College London (FKC).

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