This work, which is a classic, covers the history of the British Army from the Norman Conquest down to the Cardwell reforms of 1870, when commission by purchase was finally abolished. The very last chapter of the work looks at the British Army up to 1914.
Naval and Military Press have reprinted this valuable and timeless work in its entirety, faithful to the originals in all respects. The contents of the individual volumes are as follows:
Vol. I – from the Battle of Hastings to the end of the Seven Year’s War (1713). Includes such battles as Bannockburn, Crecy, Agincourt, Flodden, the battles of the English Civil War, Dunkirk Dunes, Tangiers, and the battles during Marlborough’s campaigns. The volume also traces the development of European Armies, infantry, cavalry and artillery, and the specific changes in Britain during the period.
Vol. II – covers from the 1713 to 1763 and includes the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, the scandals of the reign of King George I, the war with Spain and the dispute over the Austrian Succession, and the Battles of Fontenoy and Culloden. It also covers the situation in India and the contest for mastery with the French. The expansion into North America is described and the differences that arose between the French and the British, together with Wolfe’s campaigns in North America. The volume includes much material on the development of the British Army, and the problems that arose with regard to recruitment and conditions of service at that time.
Vol. III – continues the story from 1763 to 1792. The continuing problems in North America are joined by the growing pains of Empire. The loss of the Americas is covered in detail, as is the state of the British Army, especially in the light of Cornwallis’ disastrous contributions to the American failure. Developments in India follow, and again Cornwallis makes a contribution to failure.
Viol IV Part I – Deals with the French Revolution from 1789 to the Treaty of Amiens in 1798. It includes British operations in the Netherlands, the West Indies, South Africa and Ireland. The whole European area is described with the French and Allied nations included. Naval matters are also included, and the campaigns in Egypt and the Mediterranean are treated in detail. At the same time a close eye is kept on developments within the British Army.
Vol. IV Part 2 – continues the theme of the previous part, and goes up to 1801. The examination of the British Army is also expanded, and an important appendix gives exact details of British Army pay.
Vol. V – the period 1803 to 1807. Detailed treatment of the situation and operations in the East Indies and Ceylon, the West Indies, Europe and the Mediterranean. There are important chapters on conditions at home,and the air of war-weariness that was appearing. Finally, there is a description of operations in South America.
Vol. VI – 1807-1809. The Napoleonic War continued, with further details of operations in Egypt and in the Mediterranean. The Swedish situation is covered, the British expedition to Copenhagen and operations in Portugal. The Spanish theatre is also examined in fine detail.
Vol. VII – 1809-1810. This volume is concerned mainly with these two years in the Peninsula, but also covers the expedition to the Scheldt, and operations in the East Indies, Mauritius and Java.
Vol. VII – 1809-1810. Maps
Vol. VIII – 1811-1812. This volume covers two more years of the campaign in the Peninsula, together with the War with the United States. There are details of many battles, including Barosa, Badajoz, Fuentes de Onoro, Albuera, Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca and others of fame during the Peninsula War.
Vol. IX – 1813-1814. The French invasion of Russia is followed by descriptions of the situation in the Peninsula, and in North America. Throughout developments in Europe are covered so that the picture of the war for the reader in these years is complete, and second to none in detail.
Vol. X – 1814-1815. The whole of Europe was aflame in these two years, and Fortescue writes most effectively of the military activity and the political background. Italy, the Peninsula, the Low Countries and the American War are all interwoven from the British point of view in a tour de force of military history. He then includes a really valuable summary of events in Europe from 1803 to 1814 before setting out to describe the culminating battle at Waterloo. From the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball to the exhaustion on the night after the battle, Fortescue maintains a pace and directness which is fascinating to read.
Vol. XI – 1815-1838. Fortescue looks at the British Army in 1815, and particularly the recruit in England. Every detail of his life is included, and the picture is an important one for all who are interested in this period of military and social history. The War with Nepal, the Pindari War, the War in Ceylon and the War with Burma all occupy the subsequent pages followed by the Ashanti campaign and the Kaffir War of 1834-35. This volume also includes details of Home Affairs and Foreign Policy.
Vol. XII – 1839-52. This volume is mainly concerned with India, and covers operations in Afghanistan and on the Khyber Pass, together with internal security operations in India itself. There is also a section dealing with the revolt in Australia and operations in New Zealand. Finally there is a description of the Kaffir War and the Boer revolt.
Vol. XIII – 1852-1870. This volume includes the Crimean War, the War in Persia and the Indian Mutiny and the campaign in China. It then goes on to look at the Ambela and Abyssinian campaigns, and the Wars in New Zealand. Finally Fortescue looks at affairs in Great Britain and the position of the East India Company. He then turns his attention to the new army from 1870 to 1914, and includes the territorial system, the new social engineering going on for men’s wefare in the army, The series ends however with an important look at the end of the era of purchase, and what the army was going to do next.
Map Volumes- includes all six separate map volumes that came with the original work.