Dr Alan M. Anderson received his PhD in War Studies from King’s College London in 2016 under the supervision of Professor Andrew Lambert. His PhD thesis analyzed the laws of naval warfare in Great Britain and the United States from 1899 to 1909. While studying at King’s, he received the Rear Admiral John D. Hayes Pre-doctoral Fellowship from the US Naval History and Heritage Command for 2013-14. He has been BritishNavalHistory staff since 2016.
This seminar was presented 12 January, 2017 as part of the King’s Maritime History Seminar organised by the British Commission for Maritime History and hosted by the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War.
The selection and role of then-Vice Admiral Sir John A. (‘Jacky’) Fisher as technical naval delegate for Great Britain at the 1899 Hague Conference has been largely misunderstood and mischaracterized. This paper presents a corrected and more nuanced analysis of Fisher’s appointment, role, and positions taken at the Conference. Contrary to traditional interpretations, Fisher’s conduct at the 1899 Conference does not support the view that he was a wild-eyed opponent of peace. The outlandish statements generally attributed to him at the Conference, which form the foundation for the traditional analysis of Fisher and his views regarding the laws of war, were part of Fisher’s efforts to deter war.