Brian Ranft was born 14 July 1917 and educated at Manchester Grammar School and Balliol College Oxford. During World War II he served in the Royal Artillery, rising to the rank of major. He completed his D. Phil. At Oxford in 1967 with a thesis on The Naval Defence of British Sea-borne Trade, 1860 – 1905. After the war he joined the staff of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich rising to become Professor of History and International Affairs. He was also a visiting fellow at King’s College, London, where he taught naval history to several generations of postgraduate students. He was appointed Visiting Professor there in 1982. He died on 14 April 2001.
His published works include
• The Vernon Papers (Navy Records Society, 1958).
• Technical Change and British Naval Policy, 1860 – 1939 (Hodder & Stoughton, 1977).
• The Sea in Soviet Strategy with Geoffrey Till (Macmillan, 1983)
• Ironclad to Trident: 100 years of defence commentary: Brassey’s 1886 – 1986 (Brassey’s, 1986).
• The Beatty Papers Volume I (Navy Records Society, 1989).
• The Beatty Papers, Volume II (Navy Records Society, 1993).
• The Oxford Illustrated History of the Royal Navy, general editor Richard Hill, consultant editor Bryan Ranft (O.U.P.. 1995).
• Beatty, David, first Earl Beatty (1871-1936) in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004
• The Development of British Naval Thinking: Essays in Memory of Bryan Ranft, edited by Geoffrey Till (Routledge, 2006).
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