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Introducing the Second World War Research Group


The Second World War Research Group (SWWRG) formed in September 2014 as a research group in the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London (KCL). It brought together academics based at KCL researching the Second World War. Since that time, the Group’s membership has expanded to include scholars from other institutions and from countries as wide ranging as the USA, Canada, Italy, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and South Africa. In 2016, the SWWRG incorporated The Second World War Military Operations Research Group and set up the SWWRG North America. The SWWRG holds an annual conference and convenes a termly seminar series at KCL. You will find many resources on our website, so please take a moment to explore the site. You can also follow out activities via Twitter and Facebook.


The Second World War Research Group is an international organisation that brings together scholars researching the broad period of the Second World War. The group aims to promote innovative research on the conflict and its global aspects and acts as a forum for:

  • Bringing together new perspectives on the conflict:

  • Publicising recent and current research into the conflict and its global impact:

  • Encouraging collaboration in research across the scholarly community academic disciplines; and

  • Providing an organisational hub for conferences, seminars and other events relating to the conflict.


The activities of the SWWRG is managed by a committee consisting of two Directors and two Assistant Directors. These are:

  • Dr Jonathan Fennell (Director) – Jonathan’s research takes a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the British and Commonwealth Armies in the Second World War. His publications include empirically grounded studies that have contributed to the understanding of the Second World War and the field of military history more generally.

  • Dr Andrew Stewart (Director) – Andrew’s work examines both diplomatic and military history themes relating to the Second World War, primarily drawing upon the experiences of the members of the British Empire/ Commonwealth. He has published on British relations with the Dominions during the war, British strategic direction and the operational history of the Normandy campaign.

  • Dr Richard Hammond (Assistant Director) – Richard’s research focuses on British relations with Fascist Italy, including Italian influences on British imperial defence before the war, and their grand strategy during it. He has also published extensively on operational history in the war, particularly relating to the Mediterranean theatre, and issues of inter-service rivalry.

  • Dr Ross Mahoney (Assistant Director) – Ross’ research focuses on several key themes: air power, leadership and command, military culture, military transformation and professional military education. He has published and lectured widely on the subject of air power with particular reference to the history of the Royal Air Force.

Regional Groups

The SWWRG seeks to promote research on the Second World War around the globe. To support this aim, the Research Group is in the process of establishing a number of regional groups designed to co-ordinate efforts in specific parts of the world. In 2016, the SWWRG set up the SWWRG North America. The Co-Directors are Dr Mary Kathryn Barbier, Dr Jacob Stoil and Dr Robert Engen. Further details about these groups can be found here.


If you are interested in becoming a member of the SWWRG, please enquire via our Contact page, giving your name, affiliation and research interests. Alternatively, you can send an email to:

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