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The Laughton Unit educates and researches in the field of naval history and maritime strategy to support and shape the evolution of naval history as a tool across a broad spectrum of disciplines and debates in the world around us. The Unit provides the ideal basis for original and challenging research on all aspects of naval history, sea power studies and strategy, preparing the next generation of thinkers from all around the world, ready and able, for a spectrum of career possibilities and destinations.

Under the guidance of the first Laughton Professor of naval history, the unit delivers researchers, scholars and thinkers whose output has impacted a broad spectrum of debates, organisations, governments, industries and armed services around the world.  These researchers as civilians or armed services personnel have reached out across a range of topics and fields with the scholarly skills and knowledge they have developed in the unit from Bachelor level through to Masters certification and Doctorates.

The Laughton chair of naval history is designed to continue permeance of naval history in British and global academia but also public life. Read more about the Laughton chair of naval history.

The unit continues to build an intellectual forum for the exchange of ideas across a global audience. By mastering the naval past, both in theory and practice, this provides the idea basis for furthering our knowledge of the past and comprehending the present and future.

To this end, our mission aims to:

  • The unit enshrines permeance for the field of naval history and maritime strategy in British academic and public life.
  • To understand the central role of naval history in understanding the past, and evolving thinking for present and future national and global challenges.
  • Supports the evolution of naval theory in military doctrine and defence policy while furthering debate on maritime strategy to enhance the knowledge of historians, decision makers and defence professionals globally.

It executes this by:

  • By recruiting the leading naval historians of the future by providing a rich and diverse approach to the subject that stretches beyond the disciplinary boundaries of history.
  • Explore avenues of research that enhance the subject in breadth, depth and context.
  • Establish and maintain an international research network for naval history linking British, European, American, Commonwealth and global institutions providing both academic and defence education.
  • Expanding the understanding of students as well as civilian and military professionals on the role of naval history in understanding the past, and evolving thinking for the present and future, melding naval and cultural perspectives on the sea as a strategic environment in world history.
  • Provide a central forum for intellectual exchange for ideas, theory and research.
  • The ‘Laughton-Corbett’ Research Fellow role provides the opportunity for a visiting or permeant research post by a postdoctoral or established academic scholar to be based in the School of Security Studies in which to focus on a research project that has applied history methodology at its core. The research has a naval history or maritime strategic element that advances either topic.
  • In partnership for the exchange of ideas, research, students, staff, PME and more with the Historical Section, United States Naval War College. 
  • Enable research to outreach to the widest possible audiences to engage in debates that the naval and maritime world influences.
  • Educate and enhance the scholarly and wider debates at both the individual and group levels through the dissemination of high quality research in the form of lectures, seminar, conference presentations, digital engagement, articles, literature and books.
  • Networks the unit and its research with other research networks, centres and forums including collaboration with universities such as Plymouth, Portsmouth, Liverpool, Cambridge and Oxford universities.
  • The Laughton Unit collaborates with the Centre for Grand Strategy and Sir Michael Howard Centre For the History of War.

Contact us

Please direct enquiries for the Laughton Naval Unit to:

Laughton Unit
Department of War Studies
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS

If you wish to contact Professor Andrew Lambert please visit his staff page 

Follow us on Twitter: @laughtonunit

Follow us on the War Studies YouTube,  Apple Podcast and Soundcloud.