Sir Hew Strachan, Professor

Biography

Hew Strachan read History at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (MA, PhD), and he was Research Fellow (1975 to 1978) and Fellow (1979 to 1992) of the College, and is now a Life Fellow. From 1978 to 1979 he was Senior Lecturer in War Studies and International Affairs at the RMA Sandhurst.

In 1992 he was appointed Professor Modern History at the University of Glasgow and established the Scottish Centre for War Studies. He took up the Chichele Professorship of the History of War at Oxford in January 2002, becoming a Fellow of All Souls College (where he is now an Emeritus Fellow) and directing Oxford’s Programme on the Changing Character of War from 2004 to 2012.

He serves on the Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategic Advisory Panel and on the Defence Academy Advisory Board, and is a specialist advisor to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the National Security Strategy. He is a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum and a Commonwealth War Graves Commissioner.

Foreign Policy magazine named him one of its global thinkers of 2012, and he was knighted in the 2013 New Year’s Honours and won the Pritzker Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing in 2016. He joined the University of St Andrews in 2015.

Publications

Single author books

  • European Armies and the Conduct of War (George Allen and Unwin, 1983; 11th impression, Routledge, 1993; Spanish edition Ejercitos Europeos y Conduccion de la Guerra,  1985) 224pp. Second and revised edition in preparation.
  • Wellington's Legacy. The Reform of the British Army 1830-54  (Manchester University Press, 1984) 302pp.
  • From Waterloo to Balaclava. Tactics, Technology and the British Army 1815-1854  (Cambridge University Press, 1985).  (Awarded the Templer Medal in 1986) 188pp.
  • The Politics of the British Army (Oxford University Press, 1997) (An expanded and revised version of the Lees Knowles lectures, delivered in January-February 1995) 311pp.  Awarded the 1998 Westminster Medal.
  • The First World War. Vol I To Arms (Oxford University Press, 2001). (Awarded the Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. Prize; the Society for Military History’s 2003 Distinguished Book Award; and nominated for the Glenfiddich Scotland on Sunday Spirit of Scotland award). 1,227 pp.
  • The First World War: A New Illustrated History (Simon and Schuster, 2003). Associated with the 10-part television series, The First World War, produced for Channel 4 by Wark Clements, for which Hew Strachan was historical advisor. The series was re-transmitted by BBC4 in 2014. 350 pp. US edition, Viking, 2004; translated into German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, French, Greek and Danish. Nominated for a British Book Award. Published with a new introduction, 2014.
  • Clausewitz 'On War': a biography (Atlantic Books, 2007). 238 pp. Translated into German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish, Finnish, Russian.
  • The Direction of War: contemporary strategy in historical perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2013). 322 pp.

Edited books

  • Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War (1998; revised edition, 2014).
  • The British Army, Manpower and Society into the 21st Century (Frank Cass, 2000).
  • Military Lives (Oxford University Press, 2002). 
  • Big Wars and Small Wars: the British Army and the Lessons of War in the 20th Century (Routledge, 2006). 
  • Clausewitz in the 21st century, ed with Andreas Herberg-Rothe (Oxford University Press, 2007).
  • The Changing Character of War, ed with Sibylle Scheipers (Oxford University Press, 2011). 
  • La Guerre Irrégulière, ed with Christian Malis and Didier Danet (Economica, 2011).
  • How fighting ends: a history of surrender, ed with Holger Afflerbach (Oxford University Press, 2012). 
  • British generals and Blair’s wars, ed with Jonathan Bailey and Richard Iron (Ashgate,  2013). 
  • 1914. Join now! The British empire goes to war, exhibition catalogue for the Musée de la Grande Guerre, Meaux (Snoeck, 2014: editions in French and English).  

Teaching

  • Strategic thought, MLitt in Strategic Studies (IR5801).

Research students

First supervisor

  • Thomas Hughes
  • Sneha Reddy Tumu.

PhD supervision topics

Topics include:

  • Military history and strategic studies.