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John B. Hattendorf, D.Phil., L.H.D., F.R. Hist.S.

John B. Hattendorf, D.Phil., L.H.D., F.R. Hist.S.

Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History
Chairman, Maritime History Department, and Director, Naval War College Museum
Maritime History
(401) 841-6020
(401) 841-7074


John B. Hattendorf is the Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History at the U.S. Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, a position he has held since 1984, where since 2003 he has also additionally been Chairman of the Maritime History Department and Director of the Naval War College Museum
Hattendorf holds degrees in history from Kenyon College (1964), Brown University (1971), and the University of Oxford, where he completed his D.Phil. in war history at Pembroke College in 1979. A U.S. naval officer during the Vietnam War era (1965-1973), he served at sea in three destroyers and earned a commendation from the Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet, for his combat service. Ashore, he served as an officer at the Naval History Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and at the Naval War College. As a civilian academic, he has been visiting professor at the National University of Singapore, a visiting scholar at the German Armed Forces Military History Research Office, and visiting fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford University. He is author or editor, co-author or co-editor, of more than 40 books and numerous articles in the field of maritime history, including being editor-in-chief of the multivolume Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History (2007), which was awarded the Dartmouth Medal of the American Library Association in 2008. His most recent work is a three-volume series on U.S. Naval Strategy: Selected Documents from the 1970s through the 1990s. His scholarship has been recognized with the award of an honorary doctorate of humane letters, the Caird Medal of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and the K. Jack Bauer Award from the North American Society for Oceanic History. In 2009, the Navy League of the United States awarded him its Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement and the USS Constitution Museum Foundation awarded him its Samuel Eliot Morison Award.
Additionally, Hattendorf has served on the Secretary of the Navy’s Advisory Subcommittee for Naval History from 2003 to 2008. He was its vice-chairman in 2005, then chairman for three years, 2006-2008. For “superb management abilities, innovative thinking, and outstanding leadership during his tenure” as chairman, he was awarded the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award. He is the immediate past-President of the North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH), the national organization for historians, museum, archives, and library professionals in the broad field of maritime history. He serves on the Board of Advisors of the Canadian Forces College. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in England and has been a member of Council of the Navy Records Society in the UK, corresponding member in the USA for the Society of Nautical Research (UK), a former vice president of the Hakluyt Society, founding president of the American Friends of the Hakluyt Society, and an honorary corresponding member of the Royal Swedish Society for Nautical Sciences, the Académie du Var in France, and the Portuguese Navy’s Academia de Marinha.

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