Historian, Archaeologist & Broadcaster

Dr Sam Willis is an award-winning historian, archaeologist and broadcaster. His work takes him on adventures all over the world.

Latest Project: Weapons

Latest Project: I am currently filming a three-part series on the history of weapons for the BBC. From Viking axes to the Vickers machine gun, I explain how our history and identity has been shaped by weapons of war.

I have been an Anglo-Saxon warrior, a medieval monk, a swordsman, a crossbowman, an archer, a tudor assassin, a redcoat, a rifleman, an artilleryman, a policeman, and a First World War machine gunner. And it has been ace.

Film & TV


Histories of the Unexpected Podcast
Sam Willis Podcast


Shipwreck: A History of Disasters at Sea
The Glorious First of June: Fleet Battle in the Reign of Terror (Hearts of Oak Trilogy)
Fighting at Sea in the Eighteenth Century: The Art of Sailing Warfare
The Struggle for Sea Power: A Naval History of American Independence
Fighting Ships 1850-1950
Fighting Ships: From the Ancient World to 1750
The Fighting Temeraire: The Battle of Trafalgar and the Ship That Inspired J. M. W. Turner's Most Beloved Painting
In the Hour of Victory: The Royal Navy at War in the Age of Nelson
Fighting Ships 1750-1850
The Admiral Benbow: The Life and Times of a Naval Legend (Hearts of Oak Trilogy)
'Enthralling, endlessly enjoyable...' Waterstones.com
'A nautical tour de force ****' Mail On Sunday
'Willis is a magnificent describer of the realities of fighting ships at sea.' The Sunday Times