Main Image Credit Professor Michael Clarke, Richard Overy and the Duke of Wellington at Apsley House
The 2022 shortlist for – and winner of – RUSI’s Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History have been celebrated with an Apsley House reception and presentation ceremony on 22 November.
Recognised by judge Michael Clarke as “a worthy and unanimous winner of the medal for 2022", the award was presented to Richard Overy, for his book Blood and Ruins, covering The Great Imperial War, 1931-1945.
Describing his intent, Richard said “I wanted to write a history of the Second World War that had something new to say.” He continued: “I put the war into a much wider global context and with a much longer background, based on the idea that it was the last gasp of the imperialism that had characterised global politics since the mid-nineteenth century.”
The award was presented at a reception hosted by His Grace, the Duke of Wellington, at his ancestral London home Apsley House. RUSI was founded in 1831 by the first Duke of Wellington to further understanding of military strategy.
Today RUSI is a world-leading independent forum for informing and improving policy and public debate on defence, security and international affairs. The current Duke of Wellington maintains the close links forged by his ancestor, serving as a Trustee and Senior Vice-President of the Institute.
The winning book
Blood and Ruins: The Great Imperial War, 1931-1945
Richard Overy sets out in Blood and Ruins to recast the way in which we view the Second World War and its origins and aftermath. He argues that this was the 'great imperial war', a violent end to almost a century of global imperial expansion which reached its peak in the ambitions of Italy, Germany and Japan in the 1930s and early 1940s, before descending into the largest and costliest war in human history and the end, after 1945, of all territorial empires.View the publication