Publication Details

McLennan, B. (2005). The Historical Lessons and Intellectual Rigour of Admiral Sir Herbert William Richmond. Australian Defence Force Journal: journal of Australian profession of arms, (168), 19-29. Copyright 2005 the Department of Defence.


Admiral Sir Herbert William Richmond (1871-1946) is remembered as a naval officer, an historian, and an intellectual. He was nurtured during an era when the Royal Navy was assimilating the advent of ‘mechanisation’, and forming its doctrine in the artificial conditions of peace. This was the Dreadnought era: the era of the ‘materialist’ school of strategic thought when the Royal Navy was driven by the arguments of the technical rationalists, to the neglect of the historical strategists. Richmond led the intellectual counter— the ‘historical’ school of strategic thought— and while never producing an overall theory of naval strategy, he did produce an overall reality on the application of the naval instrument.

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