Tag archives for British Army


Destructive & Formidable by David Blackmore [Book Review]

Destructive and Formidable: British Infantry Firepower 1642 - 1765 by David John Blackmore My rating: 5 of 5 stars Destructive and Formidable is a quantitative look at British infantry doctrine using period sources from the British Civil Wars of the seventeenth century up to just before the American War of Independence. If anything you can see the constancy, which drove the success in battle of British forces, even when outnumbered. Destructive and Formidable This has got all the detail you need to model infantry battles in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. There are comparative weights and rates of fire. Measured hit rates based on range, and commentary on doctrine and how certain tactics worked in certain situations but not others. In short everything you need to design a game (although there's clearly a morale factor, which Destructive and Formidable covers…
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The Last Hundred Days a Hundred Years On

Wednesday 8th August 2018 marks the hundredth anniversary of the start of the last hundred days of the first world war. Although the Hundred Days Campaign didn't actually last 100 days, it was five days short! The last hundred days are a little studied period of the war, and that's a shame because they represent the high point of the transformation of the British Army. In 1914 there were 100,000 regulars organised as an Imperial expeditionary force. By August 1918 there were millions of men under arms operating in a recognisably modern fashion in large scale operations. Mobile combined arms, not mud and blood Canadian vehicles preparing to move forwards during the Battle of Amiens 1918 (photo: Yukon Archives, Canada) There is a totally different narrative, Britain was the main participant in the allied campaign. Three British Armies (which included…
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A Hundred Years Before [Poetry]

War Memorial in Boubers-sur-Canche, France (photo: James Kemp) I wrote the first draft of A Hundred Years Before after visiting a cemetery in France in Boubers sur Canche near Arras. It wasn't one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries, it was an ordinary French commune cemetery, but it had over a hundred graves of French soldiers killed in action during August 1914. On reflection I realised that British soldiers, and before that the constituent nations fielded soldiers in the same place as the legions of WW1 we're currently remembering publicly. Let's not forget their forebears. A Hundred Years Before Here I stand now, near the border of France and Belgium. The cockpit of Europe. A hundred years before, others stood here. British soldiers who fought, and died, with the French against the Germans on this soil. Le sale Boche.…
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The Army of Charles II by John Childs [Book Review]

The Army of Charles II by John Childs My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book is just packed with fascinating details. It also has an easy to read narrative and is engaging, not your usual dry academic style often found when PhD theses become books.┬áThe subject is very well researched and referenced, as one would expect. There are detailed annexes on rates of pay, units, officers and the units in foreign pay as well as in the Army of Charles II. There are also chapters on the separate establishments in Scotland and Ireland. The Army of Charles II Charles II of England (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The post-restoration army of Charles II is the beginning of the British Army much more than the New Model Army was. The New Model Army (NMA) was a political force as much as a…
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Dunkirk – A different sort of war movie [movie review]

I went to see Dunkirk with my 11 year old son last week. I'd read some reviews beforehand and chose the IMAX version. It's an amazing movie that I think will bear watching again. I'll try to avoid spoilers. Dunkirk English: Royal Navy gunner covering the troops retreat at Dunkirk (France, 1940). Screenhot taken from the 1943 United States Army propaganda film Divide and Conquer (Why We Fight #3) directed by Frank Capra and partially based on, news archives, animations, restaged scenes and captured propaganda material from both sides. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The movie focuses on three stories, one on Land (over a week), one on the Sea (a day) and in the Air (an hour). The three stories are very personal perspectives and are interwoven, coming together near the end of the movie. There's no overview, or explanation of…
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