The Wandering Army

Huw J. Davies


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Yale University Press
11 October 2022
ISBN: 9780300217162
384 pages

From the publisher

A compelling history of the British Army in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries-showing how the military gathered knowledge from campaigns across the globe

"Superb analysis."-William Anthony Hay, Wall Street Journal

At the outbreak of the War of Austrian Succession in 1742, the British Army's military tactics were tired and outdated, stultified after three decades of peace.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 J. 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 war zones 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.