Bibliography, Index, Chronology, ill (plates, col, b/w) maps. p.452.
From longbow, pike, and musket to Challenger tanks, from the Napoleonic Wars to the Gulf campaign, the Duke of Marlborough to Field Marshal Montgomery, The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Army recounts the history of the British army from its medieval antecedents to the present day. Drawing on the latest scholarship, this survey shows how British fighting forces have evolved over the last five centuries. The continuities revealed are sometimes surprising: narrow recruitment patterns, friction between soldiers and civilians, financial constraints and recurrent political pressure for economies are constant themes. Commanders, campaigns, battles, organization, and weaponry are covered in detail within the wider context of the social, economic, and political environment in which armies exist and fight. The British army has been remarkably successful in fighting terms, losing only one major war (of American Independence 1775-83). As one of the engines of empire it has been active all over the world, as well as shaping the internal destiny of the nation in civil war and revolution. Its history is charted in a sequence of chronological chapters, each containing special feature articles, beginning with the medieval, Elizabethan, and Restoration army and moving on through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the two world wars of the twentieth. The book concludes with accounts of the army of British India, the amateur military tradition, the British way in warfare, and an assessment of what the future may hold in the light of the Options for Change review. Extensively illustrated in black and white and colour, and with a detailed chronology and further reading lists, this is the definitive one-volume history of the British army for specialists and non-specialists alike.