Julian Corbett

(redirected from Sir Julian Corbett)

Corbett, Julian


Born Nov. 12, 1854, in Thames Ditton, county of Surrey; died Sept. 21, 1922, in Stopham, county of Sussex. English naval historian and theoretician.

Corbett graduated from Cambridge University and taught at Oxford University and the Naval College; he was chief of the historical section of the Committee for the Defense of the Empire. Corbett’s chief works deal with the combat actions of the sailing fleets of the late 16th to early 19th century. In the book Some Principles of Maritime Strategy (published 1911; Russian translation, 1932), he set forth the fundamentals of naval strategy. He allotted the main role in war to the navy and asserted that dominance on the seas is the condition for the achievement of victory; thus, as he saw it, the task facing the navy was the search and destruction of the enemy’s navy. His tenets were not confirmed in World War I; the decisive battles took place on land, and the mighty British surface line navy was unable to destroy the navy of the enemy. In the four-volume history Naval Operations: History of the Great War (Russian translation, 1941) he gave a detailed account of the actions of the British Navy at sea, paying much attention to the organization of convoys.


The Successors of Drake. London, 1900.
England in the Mediterranean, 1603–1713, vols. 1–2. London, 1904.
England in the Seven Years’ War, vols. 1–2. London, 1907.
The Campaign of Trafalgar. London, 1910.
References in periodicals archive ?
Inspired by Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond and the noted civilian strategist Sir Julian Corbett, they founded what was originally thought of as a correspondence society.
M Rodger's multi-volume A Naval History of Britain and the works of Sir Julian Corbett, is quite an achievement.
The second course of study, Strategy and War (S&W), views various periods of history, tying military theorists like Alfred Thayer Mahan and Sir Julian Corbett.
Michael Jones, without belaboring the point, relates General Douglas MacArthur's decisions during the reconquest of the Philippines to the precepts of Sun Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and Sir Julian Corbett.
The culminating personality in developments of military and naval thought is Sir Julian Corbett, who was himself influenced by Clausewitz.
According to the author, traditionally maritime powers, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, have generally adopted a more offensive posture in their quest for sea power, mainly in terms of gaining "command of the sea" or in influencing development on the continent, as reflected in the works of American and British sea-power theorists Alfred Mahan and Sir Julian Corbett.
Among naval strategists, Philip Colomb was the first in the Anglophone world to draw attention to the idea as a broad strategic principle, and his thinking developed into an exchange of differing opinions between such well-known writers as Alfred Thayer Mahan and Sir Julian Corbett.
Geoffrey Till follows with discussion of Sir Julian Corbett, and John Hattendorf similarly with Alfred Thayer Mahan.
9) One can as easily invoke the history of the Royal Navy, which the Japanese knew well, and the theories of Sir Julian Corbett, as any attachment to esoteric Asian military theory to understand why the Japanese might disperse their forces to coax an inferior enemy to battle.
Like Sir Julian Corbett, who never served in the Royal Navy yet became Britain's foremost theorist on joint strategy, Potholm's work deserves our attention because of his distinguished credentials.
In fact, maritime theory already exists, in the work of Sir Julian Corbett, on the basis of which maritime strategy can be defined and then the principles of space theory developed.
It is well known that Alfred Thayer Mahan, as he himself made clear, was significantly influenced by Baron de Jomini's work and that Sir Julian Corbett was equally influen ced by Clausewitz's On War.