Britain’s use of extreme violence, which has traditionally been seen as confined to the colonial context, was actually quite common in Europe against other white people. This complicates notions of English/British commitments to international legal norms but also ideas about endemic racism and about British relations with Europe.  Our panel will look at Early Modern violence, the bombardment of Copenhagen, and the destruction of the French fleet at Oran in 1940. It will also ask whether this violence was part of the defence of international law and the balance of power in Europe. 


  • Professor Brendan Simms, Centre for Geopolitics
  • Dr David Trim, Andrews University
  • Dr Karine Varley, University of Strathclyde
  • Chair: Professor Sönke Neitzel, University of Potsdam

David Trim and Brendan Simms are the editors of ‘Harfleur to Hamburg. Five Centuries of English and British violence in Europe’, published by Hurst 2024.


Diplomacy, Security

Global Germany

Monday 10th June, 2024

Global Germany

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