The Wandering Army: The Campaigns that Transformed the British Way of War
Publisher: Yale University Press (January 3, 2023)
Hardcover: 384 pages
A compelling history of the British Army in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—showing how the military gathered knowledge from campaigns across the globe
At the outbreak of the War of Austrian Succession in 1742, the British Army’s military tactics were tired and outdated, stultified after three decades of peace. The army’s leadership was conservative, resistant to change, and unable to match new military techniques developing on the continent. Losses were cataclysmic and the force was in dire need of modernization—both in terms of strategy and in leadership and technology.
In this wide-ranging and highly original account, Huw Davies traces the British Army’s accumulation of military knowledge across the following century. An essentially global force, British armies and soldiers continually gleaned and synthesized strategy from warzones the world over: from Europe to the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Davies records how the army and its officers put this globally acquired knowledge to use, exchanging information and developing into a remarkable vehicle of innovation—leading to the pinnacle of its military prowess in the nineteenth century.