Andrew Roberts

Visiting Fellow
Biography: 

Professor Andrew Roberts 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, will be 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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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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Indian Military Truths

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Military history has been much in the news in India this month because it was twisted by Narenda Modi, the Prime Minister and leader of the ultra-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, in a blatant attempt to besmirch his great rival, the Congress Party. Campaigning in Karnataka in the south-west of India, Mr. Modi declared, “In 1948 we won the war against Pakistan under General [Kodendera Subayya] Thimayya’s leadership. 

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Through The Minefield To Victory

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Thursday, May 10, 2018

Somewhere that military history is constantly in the news—or at least in the newspapers—is in the obituaries of old soldiers. With the generation who comprised the generals and colonels from World War II now almost completely gone, it is the officers from later conflicts who tend to feature now. In the London Times last week, the death notice of Colonel John Cormack, a mining expert who won the Military Cross in the King’s Royal Irish Hussars in the Korean War, reminds us that that conflict never formally ended with a peace treaty, but only sputtered out with an armistice.

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Rebuilding The Navy

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A scholarly and well written article in National Review Online (“The Naval War of 1812: TR’s Forgotten Masterpiece,” April 28, 2018) by a neophyte writer Moshe Wander addresses Theodore Roosevelt’s seminal work The Naval War of 1812 and the effect it had on American thinking about naval rearmament at the end of the 19th century.

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Passchendaele At 100

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Monday, July 31, 2017

The centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, has been the big military history story in the news this week, with the British press covering it far more extensively than any other Great War centenary story, except perhaps that of the first day of the Somme Offensive last year. With over 1.5 million soldiers from almost every part of the British Empire having taken part in the battle—which lasted from July 31 to November 6, 1917—it has also been extensively covered in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere. The French also contributed six divisions of 180,000 men.

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A Fake False Flag

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

An article in the British Daily Mail was entitled “Did the British plant a bomb at the 1940 World’s Fair to kill two NYPD officers and bring the U.S. into World War II?” It was one of those classic newspaper headlines to which the answer is “No,” but which helps sell papers anyhow. The bomb that went off on July 4, 1940 was originally planted in the British pavilion of the World’s Fair in New York, which also contained the Crown Jewels and an original copy of the Magna Carta, and a member of the pro-Nazi Bund organization was deported over the incident.

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Feminine Spycraft

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Times of London report that Mata Hari, the notorious World War One double agent, owed her downfall to MI5 rather than to the French secret service comes at a time when the British domestic security service could do with some good news, even if it is one hundred years old. Still reeling from the shock of three terrorist attacks in two months in London and Manchester this year—two of them perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists who were known to the organization—perhaps MI5 can learn something from the superb professionalism of their forebears in 1916.

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Stalin’s Greatness?

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

“The Red Army could have defeated Nazi Germany without Allied help,” records The Times of London, “according to two thirds of Russians, who are adopting an increasingly positive view of Joseph Stalin’s wartime leadership despite the enormous casualties suffered under his command.” This worrying sign of increased ultra-nationalism under Vladimir Putin was based on findings from a poll conducted by the respected Levada Center in Moscow. 

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Interests First: Discarding Bad Agreements

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Monday, November 21, 2016

The news that General Mike Flynn has become National Security Advisor has worried some Americans but delighted others, not least (for both groups) because of his stated objections to the Iranian nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration on July 14, 2015. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is just that, a plan of action. It is not a treaty, which would never have won the two-thirds Senatorial approval necessary, but merely a presidential “executive agreement,” which could therefore be reneged upon merely on a nod from the future President Trump.

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Lest We Forget Lithuania

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Friday, November 18, 2016

“Russia is not a superpower, it’s a super problem,” the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Linas Linkevičius, said on November 18, ten days after Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States. “As a child I still remember the sound of the tanks rolling through the streets of Vilnius, so even my generation—and I’m 34—still remembers when the Russians were here as a Soviet army. But they were Russian troops and they were invading us, so the last thing we are on this subject is naïve.”

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