Andrew Roberts

Roger and Martha Mertz Visiting Fellow
Biography: 

Andrew Roberts is the Roger and Martha Mertz Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Roberts first took a first in modern history from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he is an Honorary Senior Scholar and a PhD. His biography of Winston Churchill’s foreign secretary Lord Halifax, The Holy Fox, was published in 1991 and was followed by Eminent Churchillians; Salisbury: Victorian Titan (which won the Wolfson Prize and the James Stern Silver Pen Award), Napoleon and Wellington; Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership; Waterloo: Napoleon’s Last Gamble; A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900 (which won the US Intercollegiate Studies Institute Book Award), and Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941–45, which was shortlisted for the Duke of Westminster’s Gold Medal and the British Army Book Award.

Professor Roberts has edited What Might Have Been, a collection of twelve counterfactual essays by historians; The Art of War, two volumes of essays by forty historians; and The Correspondence of Benjamin Disraeli and Mrs Sarah Brydges Wylliams. His book, The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War (2009) reached number two on the Sunday Times bestseller list, and Napoleon the Great won the Los Angeles Times Biography Prize, the Grand Prix of the Fondation Napoléon, and became a New York Times bestseller. He won the Bradley Prize in 2016. His biography of Winston Churchill, Churchill: Walking with Destiny, was published by Penguin in November 2018.

Professor Roberts is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Historical Society; an honorary Doctor of Humane Literature; a Trustee of the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust and of the National Portrait Gallery; chairman of the Guggenheim-Lehrman Military Book Prize; the Lehrman Institute Distinguished Fellow at the New-York Historical Society; and a visiting professor of the War Studies Department of King’s College, London. He reviews history books for over a dozen newspapers and periodicals. His website can be found at www.andrew-roberts.net

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Recent Commentary

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A Philatelic Flaw

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Royal Mail in Britain is often held up as an example of meticulous accuracy and research, but not this month when it got its military history so disastrously wrong as to announce a new stamp purportedly showing Allied soldiers wading ashore in Normandy on D-Day when in fact the photo depicted an unopposed landing in Dutch New Guinea.

Autobiography & Memoir

Jean Hanoteau, ed., Memoirs of General de Caulaincourt, Duke of Vicenza (1935)

by Andrew Robertsvia Classics of Military History
Monday, January 21, 2019

Armand Augustin Louis de Caulaincourt, Duke of Vicenza and Master of the Horse to Napoleon, came from an ancient Picardy family and was the son of a general. He was a sixteen-year-old soldier when the French Revolution broke out, but survived despite his noble background. He saw active service under General Hoche, but was recognized as being well-suited to diplomacy, and was sent on a mission to St Petersburg in 1801 by the French foreign minister, Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, before becoming one of Napoleon’s aides-camps. 

Battle History

John H. Gill, With Eagles to Glory: Napoleon and his German Allies in the 1809 Campaign (2nd ed. 2011)

by Andrew Robertsvia Classics of Military History
Monday, January 21, 2019

The acknowledged world expert on Napoleon’s 1809 campaign against Austria is the American historian John “Jack” H. Gill, author of the great Thunder on the Danube trilogy, which was published between 2008 and 2010. Sixteen years earlier, however, Gill had published his groundbreaking With Eagles to Glory, which utterly revolutionized the way historians viewed the campaign, putting Napoleon’s German contingents center stage in the struggle against the Hapsburgs and subsequently the repression of popular rebellions in the Austrian Empire.

Period Military History

Maurice Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1943-1944 (1959)

by Andrew Robertsvia Classics of Military History
Monday, January 21, 2019

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Pentagon published its official history of the U.S. Army in World War Two under the general editorship of Kent Greenfield, of which the sixth volume was Maurice Matloff’s masterful Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare 1943-1944. In his Foreword written in April 1958, Major General R. W. Stephens, who had the splendid title of “Chief of Military History,” wrote, “Within a generation the attitude and policy of the United States toward alliances have undergone a revolutionary reversal.

Period Military History

Michael Howard, Grand Strategy, Volume IV: August 1942–September 1943 (1972)

by Andrew Robertsvia Classics of Military History
Monday, January 21, 2019

In the 1960s and 1970s, the British Government published its official history of the Second World War, edited by Sir James Butler. The fourth volume, covering the period from August 1942 to September 1943, was written by Professor Sir Michael Howard, then a Fellow of All Souls, Oxford. It is a stupendous work of scholarship, the product of ten years working in what he called “the catacombs of Whitehall.” 

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Winston Churchill: Walking with Destiny

featuring Andrew Robertsvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

AUDIO ONLY

Andrew Roberts examines the extraordinary life of Winston Churchill in Roberts’s new book, Churchill: Walking with Destiny. 

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Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny

interview with Andrew Robertsvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Andrew Roberts examines the extraordinary life of Winston Churchill in Roberts’s new book, Churchill: Walking with Destiny.

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A New Sacred Use For An Old Trophy Of War

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Monday, January 14, 2019

Military History is rarely out of the news in Russia, and this month it was announced that a new Army Cathedral there will have its front steps made out of melted-down tanks seized from the Germans in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. President Vladimir Putin, whose pet project this is, has raised 1.8 billion roubles (£20.9 million, $26.8 million) for a three hundred-foot high brand-new Main Cathedral of the Armed Forces in Patriot Park, a military theme park 40 miles from Moscow.

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Remembering The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Simcha Rotem, one of the last-known surviving fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of April-May 1943, died in Jerusalem on December 23, 2018, aged 94. His death prompted a good deal of global coverage, since the story of the Ghetto Uprising—not to be confused with the Warsaw Home Army Uprising of August-October 1944—is an integral one to the story of Jewish resistance to the Nazis during the Second World War.

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Military Pageantry At The Royal Wedding

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Monday, May 21, 2018

Although Prince Harry’s marriage last week to Ms. Meghan Markle was not a military occasion, the groom and best man wore uniform and more than 250 servicemen from units with storied military histories took part, so I think it’s acceptable to report on it for Military History in the News.

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