Jan 3, 2023
Basil Liddell Hart (1895-1970) was described by President John F. Kennedy as the “captain who taught generals”. Dr Bradley Potter joins Beatrice and Paul to discuss Liddell Hart, captain of the First World War who took to writing about war with the aim of preventing a repetition of its great slaughter.
The tools of strategy explored by Liddell Hart ranged from city bombing, manoeuvre warfare to diplomatic means to deflect war or a transition to lasting peace. The 'lasting peace’ concept cost him dearly in terms of reputation as he was an appeaser of Hitler in the 1930s, but after the Second World War his reputation recovered. Liddell Hart was the father and grandfather of a particular family of strategic analysts, steeped in the study of history rather than ahistorical theories. His pupils include Brian Bond, Sir Michael Howard, the Australian Robert O’Neill and, arguably, General André Beaufre in France, who each in turn had their disciples to the legacy of the Liddell Hartian approach to strategic studies was passed. Second generation heirs included strategic analysts such as Sir Lawrence Freedman and Azar Gat.
This podcast introduces Dr Bradley Potter, Adjunct Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.