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Herbert F. Rosinski Papers

Biographical Notes

Herbert F. Rosinksi was born on January 30, 1903, in Konigsberg, East Prussia to Dr. Bernhard Rosinksi, a medical doctor and professor at the University of Konigsberg, and Sophie Leo Rosinki. He attended the Royal Wilhelms Academy and studied history, archaeology, and Egyptology at the Universitities of Tubingen, Konigsberg and Berlin. This was followed by visits to archeological sites in Greece and Egypt.

In 1925, the Rosinski family moved to Berlin where young Herbert continued his studies at the University of Berlin. He studied Japanese language and civilization at the University's seminar for Oriental languages and passed the Interpreters Examination with distinction entitled Studies on the Problem of Autarky in Japan. He continued post-doctoral studies there in the fields of political geography, economics, and sociology.

The 1930s were a period of great professional achievement and personal change for Rosinski. Intellectually, he was well on his way to making his mark in military studies, with a spate of articles to his name, lectures at the German Naval Staff College and Oxford University, and, in 1939, the European publication of The Germany Army , his seminal work. In 1934, he married Maria-Luise Tripp and the followingyear he was barred from intellectual and cultural activities because of his Jewish ancestry. (His maternal grandfather was Jewish.) He emigrated to London, England, in 1936 where he received a special grant from the Julian Corbett Prize Fund to pursue studies on Mahan, Corbett, and Castex. He was interned briefly as an enemy alien when England declared war on Germany in 1939.

Given wartime conditions in Europe, Rosinski emigrated to the United States in 1940. Upon arrival, he accepted an appointment at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He continued to lecture and write on naval, military, and foreign policy topics during the 1940s. His articles were published in Brassey's Naval Annual Yale Review, Infantry Journal, Military Affairs, and The American Historical Review . In 1944, a revised edition of The Germany Army was published. During this decade, he was affiliated with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy as a lecturer and with the Voice of America. In 1948-1949, he visited India where he lectured to Indian Army Generals and interviewed Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, a high point in his academic career.

The 1950s saw Rosinski a frequent lecturer at the National War College and the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. There he made the aquaintance of Read Admiral Henry E. Eccles who became a lifelong friend andintellectual mentor. In 1951, he began an affiliation with the Council on Foreign Relations which lasted a decade. Research and writing continued to absorb much of his time as he authored several unpublished studies, include The Evolution of Warfare, Halder Study and Power and Peace . He made four separate study tours of Europe in connection with research for these works.

Herbert Rosinski died on February 27, 1962, in New York, after suffering his second heart attack. Rosinski's works were reprinted in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Power and Humand Destiny , an adaptation of Power and Peace , was edited by Dr. Richard Stebbins and published in 1965; a new edition of The German Army in 1966; The Development of Naval Thought , a compilation of his contributions to Brassey's Naval Annual , edited by B. Mitchell Simpson III and published by the Naval War College Press in 1977; and a German version of his doctoral dissertation, Autarky in Japan in 1982.

Career Outline




Born, January 30, Konigsberg, East Prussia, Germany.


Attended Royal Wilhelms Gymnasium, Konigsberg.


Student at Universities of Tubingen, Konigsberg, Berlin, and Halle.


Postdoctoral studies at University of Berlin.


June 2, Marries Maria-Luise Tripp.


Lectures and writes on military and naval topics and Japan.


Barred from educational and cultural activities because of Jewish ancestry.


Emigrated from Germany to England.


Lectured at Oxford University.


Received grant from Julian Corbett Prize Fund for studies on Mahan, Corbett, Castex.


Interned as enemy alien upon outbreak of war with Germany. Publication of The German Army.


Admitted as visitor to U.S.; accepted appointment as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey.


Appointed lecturer at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.


Publication of Sea Power in the Pacific with W.B. Ellinger.


Publication of revised edition of The Germany Army.


Military analyst for the Voice of America.


Lectured at Naval War College, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and Canadian Institute of International Affairs.


Visited and lectured in India.


Visited and lectured in England and Switzerland; divorced from Maria-Luise Rosinski.


Council on Foreign Relations, New York, New York, Researcher.


Became naturalized citizen.


Council on Foreign Relations, New York, New York, Member.


Power and Peace Project sponsored by the Twentieth Century Fund.


Institute for Strategic Studies, London, England, Member.


Died, February 27, New York, New York.