School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
Dr Duncan Redford is the Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Modern Naval History and is also the Subject Specialist in Modern Naval History at the National Museum of the Royal Navy. He is currently completing a book The Navy and the Nation 1870-1980 which examines the relationship between the Royal Navy and British national identity. This Leverhulme Trust funded project looks at two related themes. The first theme considers ‘The Navy as a symbol of defence and of empire’ – the Navy’s position as the nation’s defensive shield, and how this has changed since the late Victorian period as Britain’s naval pre-eminence and global position have declined. The second theme of ‘Conceptions of island-hood’ will explore how attitudes to Britain’s island status have changed since the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. This research will also form the basis of his contribution to the naval port towns project.
Duncan Redford joined the Royal Navy in 1991. After officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College as well as onboard HMS Broadsword and HMS Boxer, he was selected to attend the Royal Naval Engineering College, Manadon, Plymouth where he completed a BA (Hons) in Maritime Defence, Technology and Management. A volunteer for submarine service, he served on HMS Torbay, Tireless and Turbulent between 1996 and 2001. In 2001 Dr Redford left the Navy to study for an MA in War Studies at King’s College London. Having won the Laughton Naval History Scholarship at King’s College London in 2002, he was awarded his PhD in 2006 for his research into ‘The Cultural Impact of Submarines on Britain 1900-1977’. In 2008 he was awarded a prestigious 3 year Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship in partnership with the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, University of Exeter.
Dr Redford’s research interests cover all aspects of British naval history, especially during the 19th and 20th centuries, British defence policy and armed forces corporate culture as well as identity issues and he welcomes enquiries regarding PhD supervision in these areas.
- Submarine: a cultural history from the Great War to Nuclear Combat (London: I. B. Tauris, 2010)
Journal articles and book chapters
- ‘Naval culture and the Fleet submarine, 1910-1917’, in D. Legget (ed) Re-inventing the ship: science, technology and the maritime world, 1800-1914 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011) (forthcoming).
- ‘Collective Security and Internal Dissent: The Navy League’s Attempts to Develop a New Policy towards British Naval Power between 1919 and the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty’, History¸ Jan 2011, vol. 96, No. 1, pp. 48-67.
- ‘From pre to post dreadnought: recent work in naval history’, Journal of Contemporary History, Oct 2010, Vol. 44, No 4.
- ‘Sea-blindness: It’s not just a PR issue’, Naval Review, Aug 2010 Vol 98 No 3, pp. 237-243.
- ‘Inter and Intra Service Rivalries in the Battle of the Atlantic’, Journal of Strategic Studies, Dec 2009 Vol. 32 No 6, pp. 899-928.
- ‘Does the Navy matter? Aspects of national identity and the Navy’s vulnerability to future budget cuts’ www.rusi.org/militaryhistory Sept 2009.
- ‘The “Hallmark of a first class Navy”: The nuclear-powered submarine in the Royal Navy 1960-77’, Contemporary British History, Jun 2009, Vol. 23 No 2, pp. 181-198.
- ‘The March Crisis 1943 in the Battle of the Atlantic: Myth and Reality’, History, Jan 2007, Vol. 92, No 1, pp. 64-83.