On October 10, 2021, 1:30-3:00 p.m. Eastern US Time, Professor Hew Strachan addressed the Mackinder Forum on “Heartland vs Rimland, Continental vs Maritime Power: The Geopolitics of the First World War”.
ABSTRACT: When Halford Mackinder gave his famous lecture on the geopolitics of ‘Euro-Asia’ in 1904, he warned of the challenge that the economic development of the ‘heartland’ would present to maritime empires and to the exercise of naval power. In 1976, Paul Kennedy went further. He argued in The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery that during the First World War Mahan had been eclipsed by Mackinder and maritime by continental power. This talk takes issue with that idea as overly deterministic. At a personal level, Mackinder’s lecture was less an acceptance of a pre-determined outcome and more a warning to Britain. It had to rethink how to make maritime power work. At a broader level, the First World War did not ‘prove’ that continental power would triumph over maritime power, a point which was carried forward into the Second World War and after.
READING: may be found here.
BIOGRAPHY: Hew Strachan, FBA, FRSE, Hon. D. Univ (Paisley) has been Wardlaw Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews since 2015. He is a Life Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he taught from 1975 to 1992, before becoming Professor of Modern History at Glasgow University from 1992 to 2001.He was Chichele Professor of the History of War at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls College 2002-15 (where he is now an Emeritus Fellow), and Director of the Oxford Programme on the Changing Character of War 2003-2012. He was a Commonwealth War Graves Commissioner 2006-18 and a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum 2010-18, and a member of the national committees for the centenary of the First World War of the United Kingdom, Scotland and France. In 2010 he chaired a task force on the implementation of the Armed Forces Covenant for the Prime Minister and has been a member of the Covenant Reference Group since its inception. In 2011 he was the inaugural Humanitas Visiting Professor in War Studies at the University of Cambridge and became a specialist adviser to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the National Security Strategy. He is a Lieutenant in the Queen’s Bodyguard for Scotland (Royal Company of Archers). He was knighted in the 2013 New Year’s Honours for services to the Ministry of Defence and in 2014 was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Tweeddale. In 2016 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize for Lifetime Achievement for Military Writing. His recent publications include The Politics of the British Army (1997); The First World War: To Arms (2001); The First World War: a New Illustrated History (2003); and The Direction of War (2013).