Britain's Citizen-soldiers and the South African War, 1899-1902
Author: Stephen M. Miller
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
This book spotlights Britain's “citizen army” to show who these volunteers were, why they enlisted, how they were trained—and how they quickly became disillusioned when they found themselves committed not to the supposed glories of conventional battle but instead to a prolonged guerrilla war.
Britain's Citizen-Soldiers and the South African War, 1899-1902
Author: Stephen M. Miller
This book spotlights Britain's "citizen army" to show who these volunteers were, why they enlisted, how they were trained--and how they quickly became disillusioned when they found themselves committed not to the supposed glories of conventional battle but instead to a prolonged guerrilla war.
Many histories have been written about the conflicts the British army was involved in between the Battle of Waterloo and the First World War. There are detailed studies of campaigns and battles and general accounts of the experiences of the soldiers. But this book by Anthony Dawson is the first to concentrate in depth, in graphic detail, on the experiences of the British cavalry during a century of warfare. That is why it is of such value. It is also compelling reading because it describes, using the words of the cavalrymen of the time, the organization, routines, training and social life of the cavalry as well as the fear and exhilaration of cavalry actions. Perhaps the most memorable passages record the drama and excitement of cavalry charges and the brutal, confused, often lethal experience of close-quarter combat in a mêlée of men and horses. Few books give such a direct inside view of what it was like to serve in the British cavalry during the nineteenth century.
Britain and the Memory of the Anglo-Boer War, from 1899 to the Present
Author: Peter Donaldson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The experience of the South African War sharpened the desire to commemorate for a number of reasons. An increasingly literate public, a burgeoning populist press, an army reinforced by waves of volunteers and, to contemporaries at least, a shockingly high death toll embedded the war firmly in the national consciousness. In addition, with the fallen buried far from home those left behind required other forms of commemoration. For these reasons, the South African War was an important moment of transition in commemorative practice and foreshadowed the rituals of remembrance that engulfed Britain in the aftermath of the Great War. This work provides the first comprehensive survey of the memorialisation process in Britain in the aftermath of the South African War. The approach goes beyond the simple deconstruction of memorial iconography and, instead, looks at the often tortuous and lengthy gestation of remembrance sites, from the formation of committees to the raising of finance and debates over form. In the process both Edwardian Britain's sense of self and the contested memory of the conflict in South Africa are thrown into relief. In the concluding sections of the book the focus falls on other forms of remembrance sites, namely the multi-volume histories produced by the War Office and The Times, and the seminal television documentaries of Kenneth Griffith. Once again the approach goes beyond simple textual deconstruction to place the sources firmly in their wider context by exploring both production and reception. By uncovering the themes and myths that underpinned these interpretations of the war, shifting patterns in how the war was represented and conceived are revealed.
Perceptions of the Great War have changed significantly since its outbreak and children's authors have continually attempted to engage with those changes, explaining and interpreting the events of 1914-18 for young readers. British Children's Literature and the First World War examines the role novels, textbooks and story papers have played in shaping and reflecting understandings of the conflict throughout the 20th century. David Budgen focuses on representations of the conflict since its onset in 1914, ending with the centenary commemorations of 2014. From the works of Percy F. Westerman and Angela Brazil, to more recent tales by Michael Morpurgo and Pat Mills, Budgen traces developments of understanding and raises important questions about the presentation of history to the young. He considers such issues as the motivations of children's authors, and whether modern children's books about the past are necessarily more accurate than those written by their forebears. Why, for example, do modern writers tend to ignore the global aspects of the First World War? Did detailed narratives of battles written during the war really convey the truth of the conflict? Most importantly, he considers whether works aimed at children can ever achieve anything more than a partial and skewed response to such complex and tumultuous events.
The British amateur military tradition of raising auxiliary forces for home defence long preceded the establishment of a standing army. This was a model that was widely emulated in British colonies. This volume of essays seeks to examine the role of citizen soldiers in Britain and its empire during the Victorian period.
This is a new history of Britain's imperial wars during the nineteenth century. Including chapters on wars fought in the hills, on the veldt, in the dense forests, and along the coast, it discusses wars waged in China, Burma, Afghanistan, and India/Pakistan; New Zealand; and, West, East, and South Africa. Leading military historians from around the world situate the individual conflict in the larger context of British domestic history and British foreign policy/grand strategy and examine the background of the conflict, the war aims, the outbreak of the war, the forces and technology employed, a narrative of the war, details about one specific battle, and the aftermath of the war. Beginning with the Indian Rebellion and ending with the South African War, it enables readers to see the global impact of British imperialism, the function of the army in the service of British political goals, and the evolution of military technology.
An essential starting point for anyone wanting to learn about life in the largest empire in history, this two-volume work encapsulates the imperial experience from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries. • Provides primary sources that give voice to the people who ran, opposed, and were subjects of the British Empire • Consolidates the most up-to-date research from established and emerging scholars in the field in many countries and at many institutions • Includes a detailed introduction that succinctly puts the British Empire into historical context • Offers a chronology of events and episodes important to both the rise and fall of the British Empire • Provides a broad range of perspectives that focus not only on the white men who controlled the British Empire but also on the many people—such as women, indigenous peoples, poor Europeans, and Christian missionaries—who formed it • Avoids simplistic assessments of British imperialism as merely "good" or "bad," emanating an objectivity that enables readers to develop their own ideas about the nature of the empire
This is the first systematic pan-European study of the hundreds of thousands of non-Germans who fought - either voluntarily or under different kinds of pressures - for the Waffen-SS (or auxiliary police formations operating in the occupied East). Building on the findings of regional studies by other scholars - many of them included in this volume - The Waffen-SS aims to arrive at a fuller picture of those non-German citizens (from Eastern as well as Western Europe) who served under the SS flag. Where did the non-Germans in the SS come from (socially, geographically, and culturally)? What motivated them? What do we know about the practicalities of international collaboration in war and genocide, in terms of everyday life, language, and ideological training? Did a common transnational identity emerge as a result of shared ideological convictions or experiences of extreme violence? In order to address these questions (and others), The Waffen-SS adopts an approach that does justice to the complexity of the subject, adding a more nuanced, empirically sound understanding of collaboration in Europe during World War II, while also seeking to push the methodological boundaries of the historiographical genre of perpetrator studies by adopting a transnational approach.
"The Great Gun Question" and the Modernization of Ordnance and Administration
Author: Daniel R. LeClair
From the Crimean War through the Second Boer War, the British Empire sought to solve the "Great Gun Question"--to harness improvements to ordnance, small arms, explosives and mechanization made possible by the Industrial Revolution. The British public played a surprising but overlooked role, offering myriad suggestions for improvements to the civilian-led War Office. Meanwhile, politicians and army leaders argued over control of the country's ground forces in a decades-long struggle that did not end until reforms of 1904 put the military under the Secretary of State for War. Following the debate in the press, voters put pressure on both Parliament and the War Office to modernize ordnance and military administration. The "Great Gun Question" was as much about weaponry as about who ultimately controlled military power. Drawing on ordnance committee records and contemporary news reports, this book fills a gap in the history of British military technology and army modernization prior to World War I.
Morale and Military Identity in the Sinai and Palestine Campaigns, 1916-18
Author: James E. Kitchen
Publisher: A&C Black
The First World War has often been understood in terms of the combat experiences of soldiers on the Western Front; those combatants who served in the other theatres of the war have been neglected. Using personal testimonies, official documentation and detailed research from a diverse range of archives, The British Imperial Army in the Middle East explores the combat experiences of these soldiers. The army that fought the Ottoman Empire was a multinational and multi-ethnic force, drawing personnel from across Britain's empire, including Australia, New Zealand, and India. By taking a transnational and imperial perspective on the First World War, this book ensures that the campaigns in Egypt and Palestine are considered in the wider context of an empire mobilised to fight a total and global war.
The British Army was shocked by three military defeats in a week in South Africa in late 1899. The commanding General Sir Redvers Buller lost his nerve. Something must be done was the cry across the Empire. Britain sent forth not one, but two military heroes. Field Marshal Lord Roberts and Major General Lord Kitchener spent their first five weeks in South Africa restoring morale, reorganising their forces and deceiving the enemy as to their intentions. In the next four weeks their offensive transformed the war: Kimberley and Ladysmith were relieved from Boer sieges and an enemy force of 4000 under General Cronje was captured on the Modder River. A long and bitter guerrilla war ensured in a terrain ideally suited to fast-moving Boer commandoes. On the dark side, deeds were committed of which no civilised empire priding itself on justice and fair play could be proud. The comradeship-in-arms of Roberts and Kitchener, their differing yet complementary personalities, their strategic and tactical decisions are described and assessed using a wide variety of sources including, personal papers and official correspondence. By these mens resourcefulness the British Army, despite its unpreparedness and poor leadership at many levels, won a remarkable victory in the first of the twentieth century Peoples Wars.
The British Expeditionary Force at the start of World War I was tiny by the standards of the other belligerent powers. Yet, when deployed to France in 1914, it prevailed against the German army because of its professionalism and tactical skill, strengths developed through hard lessons learned a dozen years earlier. In October 1899, the British went to war against the South African Boer republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State, expecting little resistance. A string of early defeats in the Boer War shook the military’s confidence. Historian Spencer Jones focuses on this bitter combat experience in From Boer War to World War, showing how it crucially shaped the British Army’s tactical development in the years that followed. Before the British Army faced the Boer republics, an aura of complacency had settled over the military. The Victorian era had been marked by years of easy defeats of crudely armed foes. The Boer War, however, brought the British face to face with what would become modern warfare. The sweeping, open terrain and advent of smokeless powder meant soldiers were picked off before they knew where shots had been fired from. The infantry’s standard close-order formations spelled disaster against the well-armed, entrenched Boers. Although the British Army ultimately adapted its strategy and overcame the Boers in 1902, the duration and cost of the war led to public outcry and introspection within the military. Jones draws on previously underutilized sources as he explores the key tactical lessons derived from the war, such as maximizing firepower and using natural cover, and he shows how these new ideas were incorporated in training and used to effect a thorough overhaul of the British Army. The first book to address specific connections between the Boer War and the opening months of World War I, Jones’s fresh interpretation adds to the historiography of both wars by emphasizing the continuity between them.
The South African and Vietnam Wars provoked dramatically different reactions in Australians, from pro-British jingoism on the eve of Federation, to the anti-war protest movements of the 1960s. In contrast, the letters and diaries of Australian soldiers written while on the South African and Vietnam battlefields reveal that their reactions to the war they were fighting were surprisingly unlike those on the home fronts from which they came. Australian Soldiers in South Africa and Vietnam follows these combat men from enlistment to the war front and analyses their words alongside theories of soldiering to demonstrate the transformation of soldiers as a response to developments in military procedure, as well as changing civilian opinion. In this way, the book illustrates the strength of a soldier's link to their home front lives.
This book offers an account of this understudied conflict dating from the early stage of European colonialism in Africa, and unpacks the complex regional relationships between different communities in the first half of 19th century.