Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico


Adam Storring’s research examines the ‘Intellectual History of War’, taking the example of King Frederick II of Prussia (reigned 1740 – 1786).

Adam’s doctoral dissertation, supervised by Professor Sir Christopher Clark at the University of Cambridge, was awarded the André Corvisier Prize 2019 for the best dissertation on military history defended at any university anywhere in the world. Between 2019 and 2021 he was Early Career Fellow at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg, University of Göttingen. His MPhil and doctorate were funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He has also held fellowships from the Bühler-Bolstorff Foundation Berlin, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Leibniz Institute for European History, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation.

Adam is a member of the Bibliographical Committee of the International Commission of Military History, responsible for book reviews for the International Journal of Military History and Historiography. He served from 2014 to 2019 on the Council of the Society for Army Historical Research.

Adam has been a peer reviewer for the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, War in History, and the National Science Centre, Poland.

Before starting his PhD, Adam worked in the British Civil Service, and for a leprosy charity in India.


BA History, St. John’s College, Cambridge, 2001

MPhil Historical Studies, St. John’s College, Cambridge, 2007

PhD History St. John’s College, Cambridge, 2018

Research interests

Examining not so much Frederick II’s military actions or his military writings but rather the intellectual influences inspiring his military thinking, Adam’s research fundamentally re-evaluates the much-studied Prussian king. Whereas Frederick has been depicted as a classic example of ‘German militarism’, Adam shows that his military ideas were primarily French, reflecting the towering influence of King Louis XIV of France.

Examining military history from the perspective of the history of science, Adam’s research stresses the subjective nature of eighteenth-century military thought, challenging long-held claims that it sought to reduce warfare to mathematical calculation.

Adam also examines how military ideas are created, showing that Prussian strategy and tactics during Frederick’s campaigns were produced collectively by several individuals within the Prussian military hierarchy, so that ‘Frederick’s military ideas’ were not necessarily his own.

Adam’s research also considers long-eighteenth-century understandings of temporality, and particularly the reception of the classical past.


  • 'A Global War in Europe’, in Trevor Burnard, Emma Hart and Marie Houllemare (eds.), Oxford Handbook of the Seven Years War (Oxford University Press) (Contract Signed)
  • ‘The Opportunistic Great Power: Hohenzollern Strategy under Frederick II, 1740-86’, in Isabelle Duyvesteyn and Beatrice Heuser (eds.), The Cambridge History of the Practice of Strategy (Cambridge University Press) (Forthcoming)
  • ‘“Our Age”: Frederick the Great, Classical Warfare, and the Uses and Abuses of Military History', International Journal of Military History and Historiography (Advance Publication, 2021) (
  • ‘Subjective Practices of War: The Prussian Army and the Zorndorf Campaign, 1758’, History of Science (OnlineFirst, 2020) (
  • ‘‘The Age of Louis XIV’: Frederick the Great and French Ways of War’, German History 38 (2020), pp. 24-46 (


BA courses:

  • 4SSW1007 History of the International System
  • 5SSW2064 The Long View: Understanding International Relations Through History