I'm writing a history of the colonial wars of the Napoleonic period, and I've hit a practical problem that I hope the collective wisdom of the forum might help me with! Prior to 1808, the Batavo-Javanese army placed 'Major' between Captain and Lt. Colonel. After 1808, it used something akin to the French model, wherein 'Major' lies between Lt. Colonel (Chef de Bataillon) and Colonel. As a result, some officers are promoted to Major, then again to Lt. Colonel, and then again to Major, again..before going on to be Colonel.
Furthermore, there is obviously a problem in English-language writing in any case, as in the British Army, for example, Major follows the first model, not the second, and this is very likely to cause considerable misunderstanding about the relative seniority of the ranks, and indeed it appears that the role of Major is not what was typical in the French army. So, has anyone bright ideas of how to avoid this confusion? I'm inclined to retain Major for the earlier usage, and perhaps some modification of Colonel for the later one? Any ideas gratefully received.