Michael (Mike) Curtis is an ex Royal Navy Submariner Officer, who having joined straight from school as an Apprentice, served in the Surface Fleet on board Frigates and Destroyers before embarking on a career in Submarines after promotion to Officer. His Submarine operational career was with Diesel Electric Submarines, he has been to sea on Nuclear Submarines as a Trials Officer. Having joined his first Submarine as the Electrical Officer, a fundamental shift in engineering policy through-out the Royal Navy saw him converting to a Weapons Engineer Officer (WEO) and a more tactical role.


On leaving the Royal Navy, his career switched to the commercial world including; a manufacturing company, working for the defence research industry and running his own consultancy. He now spends his time as a guest speaker on-board cruise ships and to shore based clubs on a variety of subjects. Other interests include; supporting the A1 trust (builders of the Tornado Steam engine), model railways, gardening and green bowling. 




  • World of Submarines:  a series of talks centred on all aspects of Submarines.


  1. History of Boats. Submarines are referred to as boats; this talk takes us through the history of their development from very beginnings through 2 World Wars to modern day Nuclears.

  2. Warhorses of the Deep. We look in depth through the compartments of a diesel- electric Submarine, and learn how Submarines are built  

  3. Life on Board. Living and working conditions in a Submarine, how Submariner’s are trained.

  4. The Attack. How the Submarine and the Command Team would set up an attack on a battle group containing a carrier.

  5. Silent Strike. Submarine types, propulsion including how a nuclear system works, weapons available, how does a Submarine defend itself?

  6. Looking and Listening. How does a Submarine use its sensors to gather information and intelligence and use it; on the surface, at periscope depth, when deep

  7. Ready for Sea. Repair and maintenance required to keep a Submarine at sea, preparing for sea and loading weapons, watch keeping and being an Officer of the Watch.


  • Switzerland in Winter, based on a rail tour called “The Glacier Express” -  covering how the Alps were formed, how the country of Switzerland was created, photos and videos of the snow covered Alps and spectacular scenery during various train journeys, and places visited: St. Moritz, Zermatt, Kandersteg etc.


  • Tornado, from Dream to Steam. The project to build the 1st steam railway engine, Tornado, in Britain for the last 50 years, also some early progress on the next project “The Prince of Wales – a P2 class locomotive”.


  • Russian/Artic Convoys of WW2: a series of talks will examining the need of these convoys through building a convoy to their success or not?

  1. The Beginnings. Why the need for the convoys, WW2 the early years, impact of 1941, the big three – Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin, convoy codes and details.

  2. Tactics and Conditions. How a convoy is formed, protecting the convoy, the enemy forces ranged against the convoy, conditions within a convoy.

  3. Tragedies and Triumphs. Prelude and changes in Northern Europe during the early years of WW2, PQ series of convoys including the infamous PQ17, restarting of convoys with the JW series, decisive sea battles on the convoy routes.

  4. Turning the Tide. What happened in Europe after 1941, the battle for Murmansk – one of the destinations, how the wolf packs were tamed, and Red Army resurgence, in hindsight and in memory.


  • Mediterranean: A series of  talks, from 200million years BC and the creation of the Mediterranean Sea to its present day.  

Ancient Mediterranean.

  1. Cradle of Civilisation. See how continents form and move, the world evolves with powerful forces, the Mediterranean Sea is reborn, the ascent of humans, communities grow.

  2. Age of Empires. The early empires emerge and expand leading to conflict, worship of the gods and lasting monuments to this day

  3. Quest for Power. Carthage and Rome and the Punic wars, Hannibal, how Rome gradually becomes master of the Mediterranean, Southern Europe and North Africa.

  4. End of Antiquity. Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony, the rise of Christianity, the migration period of Northern tribes into Southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin, the decline of Rome.

Modern Mediterranean.

  1. The Middle Ages. The legacy the Romans left behind, events taking shape in North Africa, stirrings in Arabia and the Age of Islam, the Eastern Roman Empire.

  2. Renaissance. The growth of Venice, impact of the black death, the Great Christian Schism, the Reconquista of the Iberian (Spanish) peninsula, the Crusades, the Ottomans, Renaissance in Europe.

  3. Early Modern. Venice continues to dominate, the Ottomans grow, the islands of the Mediterranean, the Spanish Hapsburgs, religious upheaval, French domination and the French revolution.

  4. World at War. The age of Napoleon, the scramble for Africa, Ottoman Empire stalls, the British are coming, World War 1 and 2, the Mediterranean of today.


  • Mediterranean Islands: a series of talks examining the history of the major islands in the Mediterranean Sea.

  1. Western Mediterranean. How the Mediterranean Sea was formed, dried out and was reborn, Gibraltar, the Balearic Islands.

  2. Northern Mediterranean. History of Corsica and Sardinia.

  3. Southern Mediterranean. History of Malta and Sicily.

  4. Eastern Mediterranean. History of Cyprus and Crete.




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