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Biography

David Kohnen is the Captain Tracy Barrett Kittredge Professor of War Studies and Maritime History at the U.S. Naval War College. Having earlier earned the PhD with the Laughton Professor of Naval History in the War Studies Department at the University of London (King’s College London), Kohnen helped organize and served as the founding Director of the John B. Hattendorf Centre for Maritime Historical Research at the U.S. Naval War College.

 

As a historian, Kohnen has edited the works of Commodore Dudley W. Knox to examine historical foundations in contemporary maritime affairs in, 21st Century Knox: Influence, Sea Power, and History for the Modern Era (Naval Institute Press, 2016). Kohnen also examined the transatlantic “Special Relationship” in Royal Navy and U.S. Navy operations and intelligence in, Commanders Winn and Knowles: Winning the U-Boat War with Intelligence (Enigma Press, 1999). In his forthcoming book, King’s Navy: The U.S. Navy of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, 1897-1947 (currently under contract), Kohnen examines the transatlantic alliance between the British Empire and the United States in both peace and war during two world wars and into a Cold War era in the fifty years of the twentieth century.

 

From his research in maritime and naval history, Kohnen supervised the production of the award winning historic warship exhibitions and preservation efforts surrounding the former German submarine U-505 in Chicago and the battleship USS Wisconsin (BB-64) in Norfolk, Virginia.

 

Taking an applied approach to historical trends in examining the problems of peace and war, Kohnen drew from practical experience after thirty years on active and reserve U.S. Naval service. Following the terrorist attacks of September 2001, Kohnen completed two deployments afloat in Middle Eastern waters, two ashore in Iraq, and one supporting landlocked operations in Afghanistan. Kohnen retired in the rank of commander as the Officer in Charge of the Reserve Faculty in the Executive Program at the National Intelligence University in Washington, D.C.

 

Research

  • Maritime History
  • Naval Strategy and Military Operations
  • Professional Naval Education [PME]
  • Peace Studies
  • Public History

Teaching

U.S. Naval War College

  • Program Director, Graduate Certificate in Maritime History (GCMH)
  • Sound Military Decision: Foundations in U.S. Naval Operations Doctrine and the Global Maritime Arena, 1900-1950 (EL 732)
  • Yankees and Rebels at Sea: The Maritime Battlefields of the American Civil War (EL 744)
  • The “Great War:” The U.S. Navy and Combined Operations, 1910-1941 (EL 750)
  • The “Great Game” Revisited: The Influence of History Upon Sea Power and the Greater Middle East (EL 757)
  • “Cyber Seas:” U.S. Navy Command in a Wireless World (EL 778)

 

National Intelligence University

  • Policy Analysis and Strategy (Executive Curriculum)
  • Intelligence and the Global Strategic Environment (MSI 601)
  • History of the American Intelligence Community (Elective MCR 603)
  • Science and Technology (MST 613)
  • Deconstructing Strategy (MSI 615)
  • Thesis Mentor / Committee Member (MSI 701)

Publications

  • King’s Navy: The U.S. Navy and Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, 1897-1947 (Forthcoming).
  • Twenty-First Century Knox: The Influence of Sea Power, History, and the Naval Profession in the Modern Era (Naval Institute Press, 2016).
  • Commanders Winn and Knowles: Winning the U-boat War with Intelligence (Enigma Press, 1999).
  • “The Cruise of U-188: Special Intelligence and the ‘Liquidation’ of Group Monsoon,” in Christopher Bell and Markus Faulkner, Decision in the Atlantic: The Allies and the Longest Campaign of the Second World War (University Press of Kentucky, 2019), pp. 252-88.
  • Grippe Caught us Quicker than U-Boats: The Lingering Sickness of War and the Pandemic of 1918-1920 (Naval War College Foundation Historical Pamphlet, 2020).
  • “Our Navy, The Peacemaker,” in John B. Hattendorf and Bill Leeman, eds., Forging the Trident: Theodore Roosevelt and the United States Navy (Naval Institute Press, 2020).
  • “The Cruise of U-188: Special Intelligence and the ‘Liquidation’ of Group Monsoon,” in Christopher Bell and Markus Faulkner, Decision in the Atlantic: The Allies and the Longest Campaign of the Second World War (University Press of Kentucky, 2019), pp. 252-88.
  • “Charting a New Course: The Knox-Pye-King Board and Naval Professional Education, 1919-23,” in Naval War College Review Vol. 71, No. 3 (Summer, 2018), pp. 121-41.
  • “Remembering Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce,” in The Sextant (Naval History and Heritage Command, July 2017).
  • “The U.S. Navy’s Great War Centurion: Admiral William S. Sims, Combined Strategy, U.S. Naval Operations, and Special Intelligence in the First World War, 1917-1919,” Naval History Magazine – U.S. Naval Institute Vol. 31, No. 2 (April, 2017), pp. 14-20.
  • “The U.S. Navy Won the Battle of Jutland,” in Naval War College Review Vol. 69, No. 4 (Autumn, 2016), pp. 123-145.
  • “Seizing German Naval Intelligence from the Archives of 1870-1945,” in Global War Studies Journal – Brécourt Academic Vol. 12, No. 1 (March, 2015), pp. 133-71.
  • “A King’s Navy: The First World War Education of Ernest J. King,” in Chris Rentfrow, ed., New Interpretations in Naval History: Proceedings of the McMullen Naval History Symposium for 2015 (Naval War College Press, forthcoming).
  • “Alan Goodrich Kirk: U.S. Navy Admiral of Intelligence and Diplomacy” in John Hattendorf and Bruce Elleman, eds., Nineteen Gun Salute: Case Studies in Operational, Strategic, and Diplomatic Leadership in the Twentieth and Early Twenty-First Centuries (Naval War College Press, 2010), pp. 77-91.
  • “Tombstone of Victory: Tracking the U-505 from German Commerce Raider to American War Memorial, 1944-1954” in The Journal of America’s Military Past (Winter, 2007), pp. 5-33.
  • “F-21 and F-211: A Fresh Look into the Secret Room” in Randy C. Bolano and Craig L. Symonds, eds., New Interpretations in Naval History (Naval Institute Press, 2001), pp. 298-342.