Professor Richard Harding’s work takes the form of articles, monographs, edited books and chapters in books and has connected him internationally with scholars and navies.

Flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar


Professor Richard Harding is considered a leading organisational and naval historian. His research is focused on how navies have responded to changing operational and political needs. Acknowledged within the naval circles as having produced ground-breaking work on amphibious warfare, he has also been noted as almost single-handedly rewriting the naval history of the mid-eighteenth century.

Harding’s work is both national and international, the impacts of which were made clear in his role as Chairman of the Society for Nautical Research, as trustee of the Royal Naval Museum where he was subsequently appointed to the management board, as it evolved into the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Here Harding worked on the curatorial committee, ensuring that the history of the Royal Navy was presented to as wide a public as possible. As Chairman, he led the Centenary Events of the Society across the UK, which aimed to widen the audience and public understanding of maritime history.

Professor Harding has been asked to contribute to the development of a new gallery at the National Maritime Museum where his influence upon an exhibit, upcoming in October 2013, on the Battle of Trafalgar has been pivotal.

The development of naval leadership is the subject of Professor Harding’s current research for which he has co-edited a volume on naval leadership 1650-1950. The research is moving into a new phase of a longitudinal study of a cohort of officers who entered the Royal Navy in 1965 in order to explore how leadership and followership developed in a period of major organisational and social change.


… we have consulted a wide range of sources – none, though, more useful than the volume you edited in 2008: A Great and Glorious Victory: New Perspectives on the Battle of Trafalgar… (it) has been of great assistance in our work.

James Davey, Curator of Naval History, National Maritime Museum