David Kohnen, Ph.D.

Director John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research
Cmdr., U.S. Navy, Retired
David Kohnen Photo


David Kohnen earned the PhD with the Laughton Professor of Naval History in the War Studies Department at the University of London (King’s College London). He is the author of 21st Century Knox: Influence, Sea Power, and History for the Modern Era (Naval Institute Press, 2016) and Commanders Winn and Knowles: Winning the U-Boat War with Intelligence (Enigma Press, 1999). Looking to the future, Kohnen examines the underlying influence of history upon “sea power” in, Two Kings and a Navy: U.S. Navy Admiral Ernest J. King, the Anglo-American Special Relationship, and the Fifty Years War at Sea, 1901-1946 (under contract, Naval Institute Press).

Areas of Expertise

  • Afghanistan
  • Amphibious Warfare
  • Civil War
  • Civil-Military Relations
  • Cold War
  • Command and Control
  • Deterrence
  • Diplomacy
  • Europe
  • Ground Warfare
  • Immigration
  • Intel
  • International Relations
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Japan
  • JPME
  • Maritime History
  • Maritime Strategy
  • Middle East
  • Military Planning
  • Operational Warfare
  • Peace Operations
  • Piracy
  • Revolutionary War
  • Special Operations
  • Submarine Warfare
  • Surface Warfare
  • United Nations
  • Vietnam War
  • War of 1812
  • Wargaming
  • WWI
  • WWII

Professional Highlights


Director, John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research

The John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research fosters academic partnerships among maritime historians worldwide. Educating practitioners and the public, the Hattendorf Historical Center conducts original documentary research on the influence of history upon "sea power."


Ph.D., University of London, King’s College, 2013, War Studies (Maritime and Naval History)

M.A., Naval War College, 2007, National Security and Strategic Studies

M.A., Old Dominion University, 1997, History

B.A., University of Iowa, 1993, History

Related Credentials

Outside of his scholarly work, Kohnen contributed to the award winning historic warship exhibits and remains involved with historic preservation efforts surrounding the former German submarine U-505 in Chicago and the battleship USS Wisconsin (BB-64) in Norfolk, Virginia. As a U.S. Naval Reserve sailor, he also completed two deployments afloat in Middle Eastern waters, two ashore in Iraq, and one supporting landlocked operations in Afghanistan. Kohnen presently serves as the Officer in Charge of the Reserve Faculty supporting the Executive Programs at the National Intelligence University in Washington, D.C.

News, Media, & Events

VIDEO: 45 Seconds on How Maps Inspire us to Learn

Jan. 13, 2020
News Publication

War Gaming Introductory Course

Jan. 13, 2020
1:00 p.m.
McCarty Little Hall, U.S. Naval War College, 686 Cushing Road, Newport, RI 02841

"The Most Complete Naval Victory": How America Smashed Japan at Midway

Nov. 09, 2019
The National Interest
Article Publication

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