Date of release: Thursday, March 6, 2014

Maritime war power examined in international conferenceThe progression of maritime power in the First and Second World Wars will be compared for the first time in a major international conference at Greenwich this April.

"Naval and Maritime Power in Two World Wars: Contemporary Relevance and Historical Importance" brings together senior naval historians from all over the world to examine the conflicts across the period, in a move aiming to end the traditional separation between First and Second World War specialists and gain a 'whole war' perspective.

Anti-submarine warfare, blockades, ships and weapons, and the wars in the Pacific Speakers are among the topics being presented by speakers from around the world. The conference also covers the development of maritime power in the inter-war period and naval arms control laws.

The conference is being hosted by the university's Greenwich Maritime Institute (GMI) in collaboration with Global War Studies (GWS), the leading American journal on studies of the Second World War. Professor Chris Bellamy, Director of the GMI, says that neither location nor timing could be better. "This year marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings," he says, "but also the outbreak of the First World War, which too many people just see as mud and trenches when it was maritime power that ensured victory."

Professor Bellamy's keynote speech sums up the breadth of the conference, as he examines The whole world at war: three dimensions, two rounds. The other keynote speaker is Dr Kevin Smith, from Ball State University, Indiana, discussing New Directions in the Study of Maritime Warfare in World War II.

"This is a landmark conference that will finally get the two sides talking," Professor Bellamy adds. "We're delighted to have this collaboration with GWS, and to host it here. Where else should naval power be discussed if not at Greenwich?"

Story by Public Relations Picture:

USS Raleigh

off Mare Island Navy Yard, 1942 (copyright US Navy)