Skip to main content

War has been a central feature of human history and requires study by historians from many different vantage points. Economic history, cultural history, histories of gender, race, emotions, and class, global and international history, environmental history, and histories of science and technology are all vital components of study if we are to obtain a fuller picture of the profound impact of war on the history of the development of human societies.

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. In keeping with the pioneering legacy of its namesake, the Sir Michael Howard Centre promotes the scholarly history of war in all its dimensions. It trains research students, hosts research projects and conferences, and seeks to build a diverse community of individuals and institutions interested in and leading the study of war. We study the history of war from the ancient world to the recent past and explore all of its myriad dimensions, from battle tactics and grand strategy, to the economic and social transformations wrought by war, through the personal and intimate lived experiences of those who fought in or were affected by wars.

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 vibrant and inclusive community of nationally and internationally recognised senior and junior scholars, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. Altogether, we provide authoritative expertise in the history of war and its related fields based in the Departments of War Studies, Defence Studies, History and beyond.

SMHC newlogo 780x440

Group leads

Contact us

PGR Lead

Megan Hamilton, PhD Candidate, Department of Defence Studies 


Communications Coordinator

Jessi Gilchrist, PhD Candidate, Department of War Studies | Doctoral Fellow, Ax:son Johnson Institute for Statecraft and Diplomacy


Sir Michael Howard Centre 

Follow us