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Peninsular Preparation: The Reform of the British Army 1795-1809 (1963)

af Richard Glover

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1611,316,072 (4.25)Ingen
This book describes the rebirth of British military power and hence of the authority of her diplomacy. When England went to war with revolutionary France in 1793 her army was weak from ten years of neglect of discipline and training, from political interference in the selection of its officers and from the failure of her recruiting policies. To these disadvantages were added a cumbrous system of political control, divided counsels and inept strategy. The result was defeat in her attempted continental campaigns of 1793-95 and the loss of the respect of both her allies and her enemy. The work of reform began in 1795. From being the least feared of France's principal enemies, the British army became a force capable of winning the victories of the Peninsular War, of making a real and weighty contribution to the overthrow of Napoleon, and of compelling attention to Britain's voice in the Congress of Vienna which created the Europe of the nineteenth century. Professor Glover studies this transformation in detail.… (mere)
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I found this to be a very useful book, as the state of the Royal Army before it was committed to the Peninsula in 1808 is not covered intensively anywhere else. Thus the rating. We generally chuckle with Wellington when he quips "I hope the enemy trembles as I do when I read the Army List. But I can only hope they do it for other reasons!" and let it go at that. Dr. Glover laid out the whole process of reform started by the much-vilified Duke of York and traces the process to the other great man of army reform, Lord Castlereagh. Both men get their credit at last . This book should be read by far more Peninsular war buffs. It may add some depth to their musings. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 14, 2015 |
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To the memory of my friends of all ranks in the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders, of the Ninth (Highland) Brigade, Third Canadian Infantry Division, who are buried in North-west Europe.
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When Sir Charles Oman told how Wellington's army in Portugal in 1808 lacked transport for its artillery and commissariat, he quipped, with somewhat ponderous humour, ‘such little contretemps were common in the days when Frederick, Duke of York, with the occasional assistance of Mrs Mary Ann Clarke, managed the British Army.
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This book describes the rebirth of British military power and hence of the authority of her diplomacy. When England went to war with revolutionary France in 1793 her army was weak from ten years of neglect of discipline and training, from political interference in the selection of its officers and from the failure of her recruiting policies. To these disadvantages were added a cumbrous system of political control, divided counsels and inept strategy. The result was defeat in her attempted continental campaigns of 1793-95 and the loss of the respect of both her allies and her enemy. The work of reform began in 1795. From being the least feared of France's principal enemies, the British army became a force capable of winning the victories of the Peninsular War, of making a real and weighty contribution to the overthrow of Napoleon, and of compelling attention to Britain's voice in the Congress of Vienna which created the Europe of the nineteenth century. Professor Glover studies this transformation in detail.

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