Until Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army set the standard for the British Army Britain was badly served by her land forces. The fleet had protected this island from invasion, and had it not been effective and reasonably efficient there is little doubt that a determined force of moderate size could have landed, and captured the seat of government in London with little resistance from the land forces of James I or Charles I.This book looks at the army Cromwell built, and how it was organised, trained and how it operated. Firth gives the background to the military situation on the eve of the English Civil War, and then explains why the New Model Army was needed, both by Cromwell and by the nation. He delves into the infantry, the cavalry and the artillery and gives a good account of siege warfare, still a part of operational technique. Firth goes on to give details of the administration of the army: how it was paid, how it was fed and watered, how it was clothed, equipped and mounted. He also describes the social aspects of this army – care of the wounded and old soldiers (something completely revolutionary), and he accounts for the discipline in the army. Last of all he looks at religion and politics in the army. of which much has been written, and which here is explained in the most straightforward manner, something that many modern writers fail to do.
C H Firth
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SB xviii+444pp nc index .22 b&w illustrations 2004 N&MP Reprint of Original Edition.
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