Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

Richard Gimblett 

Adjunct Professor
Twentieth Century naval warfare, navies and foreign policy,
military leadership and command


Phone: (819) 997-3720



B.A. (1979) (RMC)
M.A. (1981) (Trent)
Ph.D. (2000) (Laval)

Curriculum Vitae




Dr Richard Gimblett is the Command Historian of the Canadian Navy. His MA thesis led to a major re-interpretation of the origins of the Canadian Naval Service, and his dissertation similarly fostered a new understanding of the postwar Navy and especially the incidents of 1949. He is recognized as a pre-eminent chronicler of the Canadian Navy in the late Cold war and post-Cold War periods.

He served for 27 years in the Canadian Navy prior to becoming an independent historian and defence policy analyst. His service included ships of various classes on both coasts, including as Combat Officer of HMCS Protecteur for operations in the Persian Gulf during the war of 1991, following which he co-authored the official account of Canadian participation in the Gulf War, published under the title Operation FRICTION: The Canadian Forces in the Persian Gulf, 1990-1991. His last in-uniform appointment was to the Directorate of Maritime Strategy, as lead writer of Leadmark: The Navy's Strategy for 2020. He is working with the Directorate of History & Heritage (NDHQ/DHH) in writing Volumes I (1867-1939) & III (1945-1968) of the Official History of the Royal Canadian Navy. His Operation Apollo: The Golden Age of the Canadian Navy in the War Against Terrorism, published in June 2004, has been recognized with the 2004 Robert I. Hendy award of the Navy League of Canada and the 2005 Silver Medallion of the Naval Officers? Association of Canada.

He has been invited to appear before both the Senate and House of Commons defence committees, and contributed naval analyses for the Conference of Defence Associations, the Council for Canadian Security in the 21st Century and the Royal Canadian Military Institute. His various affiliations include: President of the Canadian Nautical Research Society; President of the Ottawa Branch of the Naval Officers Association of Canada; Adjunct Professor of History at Queen's University; Fellow of the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute; Research Fellow with the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies at Dalhousie University; Visiting Faculty of the Canadian Forces College; and Research Associate with the CF Leadership Institute.