The Art of War

No one understood the literary dimension of conflict better than Michael Howard.

Claims to civilisation: Michael Howard © Avalon Licensing.

The death of Michael Howard in November at the age of 97 was widely marked. To describe him as a military historian is true – indeed he was one of the very greatest – but to do so hardly captures the breadth and depth of a man who, before establishing the War Studies Department at King’s College London and the Institute for Strategic Studies, had fought with considerable bravery through Italy in the Second World War; became a fellow of All Souls, the Chichele Professor of the History of War at Oxford and then its Regius Professor; advised Margaret Thatcher, among many others; and did much to forward the case of gay rights at the Ministry of Defence. He was also a considerable aesthete, never quite losing, despite his great age, the bearing of an officer of the Coldstream Guards.

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