Dr David Morgan-Owen is an historian of modern warfare in the Defence Studies Department, King's College London. His research examines British strategy-making and strategic thought in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He joined King’s in 2014, having gained his PhD from the University of Exeter the previous year.
David has written widely on the history of British strategy in the era of the First World War, and his first book The Fear of Invasion: Strategy, Politics, and British War Planning, 1880-1914 won the Templer Medal for best first book from the Society for Army Historical Research in 2017. He has held fellowships at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the National Maritime Museum, and won the Julian Corbett Prize in Modern Naval History in 2016.
David is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Higher Education Academy. He is also member of the Society for Military History, and currently serves on the Society’s book prize committee.
- Nineteenth and twentieth century warfare
- Military and strategic thought
- Naval and maritime history
- Military history
- The First World War
David’s research focuses upon British strategy in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century. His first book explored British strategic planning in the three decades prior to the First World War. He is currently working on a new project which focuses on the War itself. This research will examine how the First World War challenged ideas of Britain as a ‘sea power’, and what this meant for the prosecution of the conflict.
- (with Alex Gould) The politics of future war: Civil-military relations and military doctrine in Britain', European Journal of International Security.
- ‘Strategy, Rationality, and the idea of Public Opinion in Britain, 1870-1914’, Historical Research, April 2021.
- ‘Continuity and Change: Strategy and Technology in the Royal Navy, 1890-1918’, English Historical Review, Vol. 135, No. 575, August 2020, pp. 892-930.
- ‘History and the Perils of Grand Strategy’, Journal of Modern History, Vol. 92, No. 2, June 2020, pp. 351-85.
- ‘Cooked up in the Dinner Hour? Sir Arthur Wilson’s War Plan, Reconsidered’, The English Historical Review, Vol. 130, No. 545, August 2015, pp. 865-906.
Dr David Morgan-Owen PURE Profile
Teaching & PhD Supervision
David teaches modules on the history of conflict, military thought, international relations, and strategic studies. Between 2019 and 2021 he served as Academic Programme Director for the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land) and the MA in Military and Security Studies.
Current PhD students include:
- Michael Keegan, 'A critical assessment of the military and political career of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger (later Baron) Keyes and his contribution to the British Way in Warfare'
- Yusuf Ozkan, 'British intelligence in the Dardanelles Campaign in 1915'
Dr Morgan-Owen is currently able to accept new PhD students, and is happy to supervise PhD projects on:
- The First World War
- Military thought between 1880-1939
- Grand strategy
Please feel free to contact him to discuss project proposals.