Military History

Understanding how the military instrument of power has been used is a core part of RUSI’s mission and legacy with profound lessons and implications for today’s decisions and tomorrow’s policies.

Elizabeth Thompson: | National Gallery of Victoria - The 28th Regiment at Quatre Bras - Google Art Project

A core part of RUSI’s work and mission is its appreciation and acknowledgement of military history as an integral element of our values, the Institute’s own history, and our legacy. In establishing RUSI, the founders explicitly accepted and acknowledged how an understanding and analysis of military history was essential in shaping contemporary policy and decision-making. This is as true today, as it was in 1831.

This topic page draws together journal articles, commentary and seminars on warfare and the armed forces from a historical perspective. We also showcase resources from the RUSI Library of Military History and recent winners of the Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History and Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize. The themes, subjects and spread of analysis that we cover under the umbrella of military history is unavoidably and unapologetically wide.


A military history-themed event is hosted every month

Russia’s War on the Eastern Front of 1914: Precedents for the Current Ukraine Conflict
Developing Amphibious Doctrine: The British Experience, 1756–1763
The Royal Navy’s Roles during the ‘Crimean’ War
The Falklands Campaign 1982 – Its Origins, War and Diplomacy
The Geopolitics of Britain’s Antarctic Empire 1942–1961 and its Falklands Legacy
The Anglo-Spanish War: Britannia’s First Attempts to Rule the Waves
The Malayan Emergency – Gerald Templer’s Role and Legacy
The Boer War 1899–1902: Scorched Earth, Concentration Camps and ‘Methods of Barbarism’
Louis Allen and the History of a Battle in the Burma Campaign
Inescapable Entrapments: Dutch and British Decision Making in Afghanistan
The 9/11 Attacks from a Historical Perspective

RUSI Library

The RUSI Library of Military History includes monographs, maps, journals, magazines and more. The collection forms a unique repository of books on military history with a strong emphasis on nineteenth and twentieth century works.

RUSI Library Catalogue

The RUSI Library of Military History is home to over 30,000 volumes. You can search what is available using this online catalogue.

RUSI Digital Collections

The digital collections include unique and rare materials from the RUSI Archive, Special Collections and Artworks, making available the heritage and legacy of the Institute from its founding in 1831 for a worldwide audience

  • Archive Adventures: Student Engagement and Discovery

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  • Women, the Institute and the Collections

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  • Temporary Lieutenant Colonel Neville Bowes Elliott-Cooper - The Victoria Cross...

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Awards and prizes

Celebrating excellence in the writing of military history

Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History - annual award

This Medal is awarded on an annual basis to the best English language writing on military history.

Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize - annual award

Dating back to 1874, the Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize reflects and reinforces the Institute's status as a uniquely placed platform for free thinking debate.

Latest publications

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