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News archive 2004

War at Sea: major TV series for King's academic

03 Feb 2004

Andrew Lambert, Laughton Professor of Naval History at King’s College London, is presenting, and has written, a new BBC 2 three part series War at Sea which tells the story of the Royal Navy and its greatest battles from Trafalgar to the Falklands.

‘The history of the Royal Navy is the history of Britain. War at Sea was a very exciting and challenging series to make and is wonderful recognition for naval history,’ commented Professor Lambert.

The first programme, broadcast on Sunday 1 February, entitled Trafalgar to Jutland, attracted 2.7 million viewers. The programme was the television ‘Pick of the day’ in many of the papers, including The Sunday Times. Professor Lambert explained:
‘Nelson's crushing victory over the French created a myth so powerful it still influences today's Navy. But in the First World War at Jutland, the greatest sea battle of all time, the myth became a millstone. The Navy discovered it had forgotten the real lessons of Nelson's victory and nearly 6,000 British sailors died.’

Using the experiences of those who have fought in modern battles, powerful reconstruction, and underwater footage of the shipwrecks, the programme provided a gripping story of the greatest turning points in British history.

The next programme covers the development of the aircraft carrier and the sea-air war in the Mediterranean in the Second World War, 1940-41, and the last one examines the Falklands in the context of post-war naval cuts.

Professor Lambert was amongst the intrepid crew of the Endeavour who were the subject of the 2002 ground-breaking BBC 2 documentary series, The Ship. The series threw new light on historical and scientific aspects of Captain’s Cook's epic voyage of discovery in Australia and the south seas.

Andrew Lambert joined King’s in 1991, was awarded a personal chair in naval history in 1999 and appointed Director of the newly-established Laughton Naval History Unit within the Department of War Studies in 2001.
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