Sir John Fortescue holds a pre-eminent place amongst British military historians, his enduring fame and legacy resting mainly on his life’s work “The History of the British Army”, issued in 20 volumes, which took him some 30 years to complete. In scope and breadth it is such that no modern scholar has attempted to cover such a large and diverse subject in its entirety; but Sir John did so with aplomb, leading to a readable and comprehensive study. According to Professor Emeritus of Military History at King’s College, Brian Bond, the work was “the product of indefatigable research in original documents, a determination to present a clear, accurate, and readable narrative of military operations, and a close personal knowledge of the battlefields, which enabled him to elucidate his account with excellent maps. Most important, however, was his motivation: namely, a lifelong affection for the old, long-service, pre-Cardwell army, the spirit of the regiments of which it largely consisted, and the value of its traditions to the nation. An important part of his task was to distil and inculcate these soldierly virtues which, in his conservative view, contrasted sharply with the unedifying character of politicians who habitually meddled in military matters.” ODNB. This first volume covers the period from the battle of Hastings in 1066 to the end of the Seven Year’s War in 1713. It includes the battles at 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. A MUST READ for any military enthusiast. Author — Fortescue, J. W. Sir, 1859-1933. Text taken, whole and complete, from the second edition published in 1910, London, by Macmillan and Co. Original Page Count – XXXV and 593 pages. Illustrations — Numerous.
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