The subjects of study range widely and interestingly. They include a discussion of the views of historians from the time of Herodotus to the nineteenth century, and an account of the Secret Service which, as the author says in his Preface, illustrates “the underworld of political and military intrigue which escapes notice in general histories”. Here, too, are Oman’s seminal reflections on “Column and Line in the Peninsula”. Along with his study of the Battle of Maida, also included in the book, this was the result of his investigation of British tactics before the Peninsular War, upon which he based his comprehension of Wellington’s method of warfare. The discussion of Napoleon’s use of cavalry draws from the whole period of the campaigns of 1800 to 1815, arising from the author’s endeavours to discover the principles according to which Napoleon’s generals handled cavalry during the Spanish War.
The reappearance of these absorbing studies by one of the great masters of British military history will be warmly welcomed by specialist historians and general readers alike.”-Print ed.
***Please Note: This is a Military Short History***
Two world war history books inside:
• The Forgotten Heroes: Untold Stories of the Extraordinary World War II - Courage, Survival, Resistance and Rescue Mission.
• World War One: A Concise History - The Great War.
Scott’s Other Books:
Unforgettable World War II: Aftermath of the Extraordinary Second World War
Unforgettable Vietnam War: The American War in Vietnam - War in the Jungle
Hitler's War and the Horrific Account of the Holocaust
On the Brink of Nuclear War: Cuban Missile Crisis - Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States
Bamford draws his title from the words of Captain Moyle Sherer, who during the winter of 1816–1817 wrote an account of his service during the Peninsular War: “My regiment has never been very roughly handled in the field. . . But, alas! What between sickness, suffering, and the sword, few, very few of those men are now in existence.” Bamford argues that those daily scourges of such often-ignored factors as noncombat deaths and equine strength and losses determined outcomes on the battlefield.
In the nineteenth century, the British Army was a collection of regiments rather than a single unified body, and the regimental system bore the responsibility of supplying manpower on that field. Between 1808 and 1815, when Britain was fighting a global conflict far greater than its military capabilities, the system nearly collapsed. Only a few advantages narrowly outweighed the army’s increasing inability to meet manpower requirements. This book examines those critical dynamics in Britain’s major early-nineteenth-century campaigns: the Peninsular War (1808–1814), the Walcheren Expedition (1809), the American War (1812–1815), and the growing commitments in northern Europe from 1813 on.
Drawn from primary documents, Bamford’s statistical analysis compares the vast disparities between regiments and different theatres of war and complements recent studies of health and sickness in the British Army.
These men depended on the king’s shilling for survival, yet pay was erratic and provisions were scant. Fed worse even than sixteenth-century Spanish galley slaves, they often marched for days without adequate food; and if during the campaign they did steal from Portuguese and Spanish civilians, the theft was attributable not to any criminal leanings but to hunger and the paltry rations provided by the army.
Coss draws on a comprehensive database on British soldiers as well as first-person accounts of Peninsular War participants to offer a better understanding of their backgrounds and daily lives. He describes how these neglected and abused soldiers came to rely increasingly on the emotional and physical support of comrades and developed their own moral and behavioral code. Their cohesiveness, Coss argues, was a major factor in their legendary triumphs over Napoleon’s battle-hardened troops.
The first work to closely examine the social composition of Wellington’s rank and file through the lens of military psychology, All for the King’s Shilling transcends the Napoleonic battlefield to help explain the motivation and behavior of all soldiers under the stress of combat.