Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico


Christopher Knowles studied history as an undergraduate at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge from 1971-74. After a career in electronic publishing and computer software, he resumed his academic studies in October 2005 at the Centre for Contemporary British History, Institute of Historical Research and subsequently at Kings College London. His PhD thesis was awarded the annual prize of the German Historical Institute, London in 2014. He was Archives By-Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge for the Easter term, before returning to Kings in July 2018. He is joint convenor of the Occupation Studies Research Network.


My current research focuses on military occupation as a form of government and system of rule, and on the impact of war and occupation on the history of post-war Germany and Europe. My first book Winning the Peace: The British in occupied Germany, 1945-1948 was published by Bloomsbury Academic in January 2017 and my most recent book Transforming Occupation in the Western Zones of Germany: Politics, Everyday Life and Social Interactions, 1945-1955, a collection with chapters by sixteen international scholars, edited jointly with Camilo Erlichman, was published in August 2018.

I have a particular interest in the relevance of the past to the present and how a better understanding of history can contribute towards improving the quality of public debate on contemporary issues. I researched and wrote a series of case studies for History & Policy (H&P), which provide examples of best practice and showcase a wide range of H&P activities and impacts. I am now working on a further set of case studies, which will present the perspective of the policy maker, not only that of the historian.


Transforming Occupation in the Western Zones of Germany: Politics, Everyday Life and Social Interactions, 1945-1955, edited jointly with Camilo Erlichman, Bloomsbury Academic, August 2018.

Twelve case studies, published on the History & Policy web site.

Winning the Peace: The British in Occupied Germany, 1945-1948, Bloomsbury Academic, January 2017.

The British post-war occupation of Germany and the relevance of the past to the present: Archives By-Fellowship report, July 2018.

‘Four Illustrated News Magazines: A Comparative Study of Cultural Interactions in Post-War Germany’, Christopher Knowles and Julia Vossen, German Life and Letters, April 2018.

‘Germany 1945-1949: a case study in post-conflict reconstruction’, History & Policy, January 2014

‘The British occupation of Germany, 1945-49: A case study in post-conflict reconstruction’, The RUSI Journal, Vol. 158, No. 6 (Dec. 2013), pp. 78-85.