The Naval War College Museum 8 Bells Lecture Series 2016-2017
Hosted at Seamen’s Church Institute, 18 Market Square, Newport
12 p.m.
Free and Open to the Public. No reservations required.

Upcoming Schedule:

USS MonitorThursday, April 6th “The USS Monitor and The Mariners’ Museum,” presented by Howard Hoege and John Quarstein. Whenever you see a turret on a modern navy warship think of the iconic Civil War ironclad, the USS Monitor. Rated as one of the top five deadliest experimental warships in naval history, the Monitor is in the same league as today’s USS Zumwalt. The Monitor’s design was a combination of several pivotal changes in naval technology during the first half of the 19th century. So, when the ship needed a commander, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles selected scientific officer Lieutenant John Lorimer Worden for the task. Worden will captain the Monitor to fame when she fought the CSS Virginia (previously the USS Merrimack) during the Battle of Hampton Roads on 9 March 1862. Worden went on to be a rear admiral and the commandant of the U.S. Naval Academy. His legacy is the story of how new technology can be proven a success under the efficient and dynamic leadership of men like the beloved captain of the USS Monitor.

Stories such as Worden’s continue to be shared at The Mariners’ Museum and Park which “connects people to the world’s waters – to our shared maritime heritage – because through the world’s waters, we are connected to one another.” Named “America’s National Maritime Museum,” because of the depth and breadth of its collection, the Museum is able to tell stories of exploration, commerce, conflict, technology and innovation, inspiration, and recreation from multiple cultures around the world. It is the Museum’s goal to show how that we are, as a people and as individuals, a lot more alike than we are different.

Howard H. Hoege III is the President and CEO of The Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, Virginia John V. Quarstein is the director of the USS Monitor Center at The Mariners’ Museum and Park.
Cassandra in OZ coverThursday, May 4th “Cassandra in Oz: Counterinsurgency and Future War,” by Conrad Crane. When Conrad Crane retired from active duty to become a research professor, he never expected to become a modern Cassandra, fated to tell truth to power without being heeded. After the world transformed on 9/11, he warned the Army that it was not prepared to execute stability operations, counterinsurgency, and the eventual reconstruction of Iraq. Crane’s work attracted the attention of Generals David Petraeus and James Mattis, and he soon found himself in charge of a team tasked with creating the groundbreaking Field Manual 3-24/Marine Corps Warfighting Publication 3-33.5 Counterinsurgency, the very counterinsurgency doctrine he had pleaded for. A unique blend of traditional and modern theory, this manual would prove to be essential to the success of the Surge in Iraq that changed the course of the war. Crane’s account of the creation and implementation of the manual addresses its many criticisms, details what went wrong in Iraq, and explains how the new doctrine was never properly applied in Afghanistan. From the debates over the content to the ways it was used in the field, Cassandra in Oz covers lessons that should be gleaned from years of global war and displays the American military as a learning organization at its best.

Dr. Conrad C. Crane is the Chief of Historical Services for the Army Heritage and Education Center at the Army War College. A retired Army officer who taught history for 12 years at West Point, he has written widely on airpower and landpower issues. In 2008 he was selected as the International Archivist of the Year by the Scone Foundation, and in 2016 he was awarded the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize by the Society for Military History for lifetime contributions to the field.
Thursday, June 1st: Stories from Midway - A Model-maker's Odyssey, presented by Professor Angus K. Ross.

Some eighteen years ago, then Commander Angus Ross Royal Navy along with a couple of others embarked on a project designed to assist the College in honoring the participants of the Battle of Midway by producing some cameo displays of the various ships and aircraft involved. The original aim was simply to contribute to a backdrop of artifacts designed to inform and entertain participants and visitors at the annual social events that used to be held to commemorate the battle. In addition to adding authenticity and style to the events themselves, the displays began to be retained in the public areas of the College over the summer months, so as to form a more lasting tribute. However what began as a simple quest to research and produce a series of accurate models quickly became something far more meaningful.

As something of an amateur historian and inspired by the 2005 publication of Jonathan Parshall’s "Shattered Sword" that did so much to illuminate the Japanese perspective on the events, Ross quickly became entranced by the inter-twined nature of the individual stories on either side. The fate of the pilots of the aircraft that he was modeling, the paths that were crossed and the opportunities missed – it seemed that everyone had links to parts of the battle in ways that were surprising and unique. More and more the subjects merely became tools with which to tell these incredible stories. As the missions were researched, the hopes and fears of the participants leapt off the pages and slowly but surely the true, human side to warfare became revealed in far greater detail than might otherwise have been the case. Whole aspects of the battle that had been overlooked by the major histories made more sense at the unit level and hopefully will serve to enrich our overall understanding of those tumultuous days.

As of the 75th anniversary, the project is far from finished and likely will continue for many years. This lecture will therefore not be a "blow-for- blow" account of what happened at Midway, nor will it necessarily cover the major decisions made by the commands but it will attempt to explain some of the great stories uncovered in the process of building the displays. It will also touch on the ongoing dilemma of the historian or storyteller in dealing with areas where the record is simply incomplete.

Professor Angus K. Ross is a retired Royal Navy Commander, currently teaching on the faculty at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport RI. An Anti-Submarine Warfare specialist, he joined the Royal Navy in 1975 and, after completion of basic training and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Zoology and Oceanography, he served variously in HM Ships around the world, from 1976 until 1996, when he arrived in Newport. He has taught ever since on the Joint Military Operations Faculty, where he gained a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the War College in 1998. Following his retirement from active duty in Feb 2000, Professor Ross and his family settled in the U.S., and he has continued with his teaching and research activities with the College of Distance Education. In 2005, he gained a second Master’s Degree, this time in European History from Providence College and he is intent on pursuing Ph.D studies in the same subject, looking specifically at Great Britain’s naval transformation in the run up to the First World

For more information, call Liz DeLucia, Director of Education, at 401-841-7276.

For more information about The Seamen's Church Institute, visit

The Naval War College Museum is open from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday-Friday (year round), and from 12:00 noon to 4:30 pm Saturday (June-September). The museum is closed on holidays. The Naval War College Museum is wheelchair accessible and free and open to the public, however reservations are required and photo ID must be presented for all visitors 16 years old and over. To make a reservation please call (401) 841-4052 seven (7) business days prior to your visit. The museum is accessible to visitors through Gate 1 of the Newport Naval Station.
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