Where Empires Collide: Dockyards and Naval Bases in and around the Indian Ocean

Date / time: 4 April, 11:00 am - 4:30 pm

Where Empires Collide: Dockyards and Naval Bases in and around the Indian Ocean

This one-day conference examines these themes: Were bases built to defend colonies, control colonies, or act as springboards to attack the enemy? Were they to suppress local forces, engage companies threatening the British East India Company or as adjuncts to European struggles? How useful were they in the 17th–20th centuries? What facilities existed and how were they resourced? What were the main influences on ship construction and the design of naval facilities? How did national bases differ? How developed and organised were they? What was the burden to the founding state? How dependent upon their hinterland were they? To what extent did they develop their own operating practices? How have their heritage opportunities been developed?


  • Philip MacDougall, In Support of Napoleon’s Great Adventure – the navy of Tipu Sultan. Its design, construction and purpose (Historian of C18 and C19 dockyards)
  • Karim Malak, The Anglo-Egyptian Naval Encounter: A new history of Egypt and Britain (Ph.D student New York Columbia University)
  • Patricia O’Sullivan, Out of the Shadows – the Police Force of Hong Kong’s Royal Naval Dockyard (Social historian of Hong Kong, 1841–1941)
  • Amit Gupta, Indian Naval Shipbuilding and Bases: The impact of heritage and being a successor state (USAF Air War College)
  • David Erickson, The Contribution of Simon’s Town to Diplomatic & Naval Affairs, 1795–1957 (Simon’s Town Historical Society)
  • Erik Odegard, Dutch, French and British planners and Trincomalee naval dockyard (Researcher, Mauritshuis, The Hague)
  • Richard Holme, Trincomalee in the twentieth-century: The use of floating docks in the Indian Ocean (M.Phil student University of Newcastle)
  • Robert Ivermee, The Hooghly River and the limits of colonial power: European dockyards and naval bases in Bengal (SOAS University of London/Catholic University of Paris)
  • Benjamin Jennings, ‘The richest and most fruitful island in the world’: The allure of Madagascar and French ambition at Fort Dauphin 1643–1674 (Ph.D student University of Hull)

Cost: £45.00 includes buffet lunch, teas and coffees Concessions £40.00 NDS members, retired, unwaged; £20.00 FT students

Location: National Maritime Museum, Romney Road, Greenwich SE10 9NF

Please pay by 28 March 2020 to the NDS Treasurer, 5 Beeby Way, MK43 7LW

Or:Go to PayPal website and ask to send money. Enter email: ndstreasurer@hotmail.co.uk; enter amount, Payee Reference: INDIAN OCEAN CONFERENCE, click OK; confirm your details to this email address.

The full booking form is at https://navaldockyards.org/conferences/