NEWPORT, R.I.–The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) awarded retired Rear Adm. James Vincent Goldrick, Royal Australian Navy, the 5th Hattendorf Prize for Distinguished Original Research in Maritime History in a ceremony at Spruance auditorium, March 2. The Hattendorf Prize is an international award that was established in recognition of Professor John B. Hattendorf’s legacy of scholarship and service at the Naval War College.
“It will be clear that I am greatly honored by this award and more so because the selection committee includes previous winners to include a number of their historians whom I have always deeply respected and admired and who themselves have done an extraordinary amount to get navies to understand themselves better,” said Goldrick. “But also, because they named the prize in honor of Professor John Hattendorf, who I owe a great deal and who has himself contributed so much for the understanding of navies.”
“I also value this award because of the link to the Naval War College,” he continued. “Three of my books, in fact, are directly the results of my association with the college and the 15 happy months I had as a research scholar.”
U.S. Naval War College President Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield presented him with the medal and discussed Goldbrick’s impact on naval history.
“Your acute historical understanding and your professional naval experience have worked in complementary and interlocking ways that have informed your scholarship in vividly recreating and understanding naval history in a period of rapid technological change,” said Chatfield. “We honor you today as a highly successful professional naval officer with an intimate and authoritative knowledge of how navies work, both in the past and in the present.”
“Moreover, you have been an inspiration and a mentor to young naval officers and naval historians around the world,” Chatfield continued.
Following his award, Goldrick gave his Hattendorf Prize lecture to the Naval War College students. The title of his lecture was “The Maritime Defense of Australia 1788-2022: Balancing Alliances and Autonomy as a Supporting Actor in the Global Maritime System.”
Goldrick spent 1992 as a research scholar at the Naval War College and is a professorial fellow of the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security.
Some of Goldbrick’s published books include “The King’s Ships Were at Sea: The War in the North Sea August 1914-February 1915,” “With the Battle Cruisers” (edited), “Reflections on the Royal Australian Navy” (co-edited), “Mahan is Not Enough” (co-edited), “No Easy Answers: The Development of the Navies of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,” “Before Jutland,” and “After Jutland.”
John Hattendorf, Ernest J. King Professor Emeritus of Maritime History, U.S. Naval War College, discussed Goldbrick’s career and influence that contributed to his selection.
“James Goldrick is both a successful flag officer and a talented historian,” said Hattendorf. “His historical work is notable for his profound understanding of the practicalities of naval life and his ability to evoke what naval life and operations were like during the First World War.”
The purpose of the award is to honor and to express appreciation for distinguished academic research, insight and writing that contribute to a deeper historical understanding of the broad context and interrelationships involved in the roles, contributions, limitations, and uses of the sea services in maritime history. Nominees are selected among distinguished academics for the quality and depth of their original scholarship over a long career.
Given at two-year intervals, the event includes the presentation of a bronze medal, a citation, and a monetary gift of $10,000 followed by the recipient providing a lecture at the Naval War College. The award is made possible with the support of the Naval War College Foundation.
You can view the award presentation and lecture on the NWC YouTube channel here: Hattendorf Prize Awardee & Lecture.