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Colomb, Philip Howard

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1831-1899) UK naval officer and author of several works on naval strategy; he was the main author [with a number of colleagues, see Checklist] of The Great War of 189–: A Forecast (2 January-21 May 1891 Black and White as "The Great War of 1892"; dated 1893 but 1892), a highly detailed Future War description of a very wide-flung "Great War" which begins in the Balkans with an attempted assassination, leading to a conflict where Germany must battle on two fronts; luckily, Belgium (which blocks the way to France) is essentially undefendable; and Russia proves fatally weak. The authors' prognostications, some of them clearly of very high quality, falter in the depiction of an England allied with Germany and at war with France. The text – told as a series of documentary-style reports from various capitals and fronts, usually signed by one of Colomb's various collaborators – is unusually vivid. [JC]

Vice-Admiral Philip Howard Colomb

born Knockbrex, Kirkcudbrightshire: 29 May 1831

died Botley, Hampshire: 13 October 1899


  • The Great War of 189–: A Forecast (London: William Heinemann, 1892) [dated 1893 but published 1892: supporting authors included Colonel John Frederick Maurice (1841-1912), Frederic N Maude, Archibald Forbes (1838-1900), Charles Lowe (1848-1931), David Christie Murray (1847-1907) and Francis Scudamore: first appeared January-21 May 1891 Black and White as "The Great War of 1892": hb/]


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