As we approach the 80th anniversary of 'D-Day' and the Normandy landings, we will all see many familiar accounts of the largest and most complex amphibious operation in history. This talk will break through a few popular myths about the long road to Normandy and explore the full 30 year story going back to the failed Gallipoli campaign during the First World War. In doing so, it will challenge the colourful assessment that British interwar planners did little more than consume a lot of ink and 'much gin'. Based upon the latest research, the talk will show that while containing elements of truth in some areas, those maligned experts set the conditions required to defeat Nazi Germany and liberate western Europe. Featuring the tale of a real-life James Bond, the conversation will highlight the role of many forgotten heroes who saved countless later lives, even before the war they feared came into being.

Matthew Heaslip

Dr Matthew Heaslip is a Senior Lecturer in Naval History at the University of Portsmouth. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Royal Navy's Strategic Studies Centre. His research focuses on the application of naval power in littoral environments, both in peace and war. In particular, he explores how the twentieth century Royal Navy exploited its global dominance through gunboat diplomacy, amphibious operations, and imperial policing. His first book Gunboats, Empire and the China Station explores the Royal Navy's operations in 1920s East Asia and examines some of the most violent clashes involving British service personnel during the interwar period. He has also published on a range of topics, including the subject of the conversation: the road to D-Day.

Important Information

Ticket cost: £8

Venue: The barn

Matthew's talk will be followed by a chance for the audience to ask questions. 

Bar open from 7pm

Access information HERE