War has been a central feature of human history and requires study by historians from many different vantage points - from economic history to cultural history, from international history to the history of science and technology.
In the 1960s the distinguished historian Sir Michael Howard had a vision for a new kind of history of war; it would be studied in all its complexity and seek also to examine how the history of war affected history in general. The Sir Michael Howard Centre promotes the scholarly history of war in all its dimensions, trains research students and hosts research projects and conferences. We explore the history of war from the ancient world to the recent past, dealing not just with the history of armed services but also all involved in warfare.
The contemporary policy relevance of historical sources, methods, and expertise is also reflected across the social sciences, in law and in other disciplines. The Centre foregrounds this applied dimension in its attention to the practicalities of documenting war as well as the analytical challenges of understanding it.
The Centre builds on existing strengths such as the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, the Hobson Library and Archive at the UK Defence Academy and a number of successful research sub-groups, such as the Second World War Research Group. At its heart is a resident community of over fifty nationally and internationally recognised scholars. They are authorities in military, naval, imperial and international history and related fields based in the Departments of War Studies, Defence Studies, History and indeed many others, for example the English Department.