Mr Harry Richards
I have been working for the University of Portsmouth since January 2018. I am based at RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire, where I teach the history of war and military aviation, international security and relations, and the future of armed conflict.
My research focuses on the history of intelligence during the First World War, with a particular interest in the cultural significance of espionage. My broad research interests include:
- Espionage in the First World War
- Popular fears and emotions
- Xenophobia and anti-alienism
- The social and cultural history of warfare
- Professional Military Education
Since 2022, I have been the host of Air Power and International Security, which is a podcast aimed at people interested in how air power and technology influence war and security. Each episode features an interview with a practitioner or academic during which we discuss their experiences or research. The show is freely available on all the major podcast platforms.
I previously taught at Keele University as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. I delivered introductory modules on modern history and historiographical debates, as well as more specific ones that looked at the First World War. Prior to my PhD research at Keele I studied for an MA in the History of Warfare at King's College. My MA dissertation was later published in 2017 in Intelligence and National Security.
I have two projects that I am currently working on.
- Spy Fever during the First World War
This research aims to expand on my PhD research and prepare my thesis for publication. It looks at how popular fears of German espionage were generated, perpetuated, and experienced by British society at war. It is currently under review with Oxford University Press.
- Herbert Seabury Hunt Ashmead-Bartlett diaries.
Ashmead-Bartlett worked as an intelligence officer on the home front during the First World War. He fought in France, witnessed the Easter Rising, and worked to defend Britain against the Zeppelin threat. His wartime diaries are therefore a very interesting and valuable source. I am currently working with a colleague to publish an edited version of these incredible sources. We have been in discussion with the Army Records Society, who have agreed to publish it sometime in 2024-5.
I teach classes on the early use of Air Power in the First World War, the interwar period and the development of Air Power theories in the UK and US, and the Bomber Offensives carried out in the Second World War. As well as classes on the history of air power, I also teach on modules covering space and cyber power.
I am the convenor of a course delivered to Warrant Officers as they transition to commissioned officers. As part of this, I have designed a war game that consolodates the classroom learning from across the course.
Along with my colleague, Dr Clare Stevens, I have also been working to completely overhaul the online components of all PMET courses delivered at RAF Cranwell and RAF Halton. We have carried out extensive research into best pedagogical practices in Professional Military Education and Active Blended Learning, and collated feedback from a wide array of learners. This has resulted in an 11,000 word report given to the RAF about how the University of Portsmouth can improve the education of its personnel.