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The Oxford History of the British Army Paperback – March 13, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The product of 20 noted military historians, this volume stretches the topic far beyond the purview of the battlefield. While including narrations of significant bloodlettings, each writer keeps in mind an army's strategic purposes--expressed in doctrines--which have evolved over the three centuries since Britain established a standing force. The social and financial contexts are critical as well, for how one recruits, trains, and pays for an army is as important as how sensibly, or stupidly, it is commanded. With such themes in mind, and backed by Oxford's typically profligate layout of colorplates, black-and-white photos, and maps, the interested reader will be hard pressed to find a better introduction than this. It opens with an overview of the dynastic and civil wars of England up to the Glorious Revolution, then concentrates on the age of Marlborough, the North American empire, Wellington, the Victorian empire, and then the twentieth century and its ranks of mass conscripts. Boxed features detail each period's distinctive tactic and defining battle, be it the square at Waterloo or the Maxim guns at Omdurman. With its felicity of text and variety of visuals, this volume will secure a prominent place among the library's war shelf wares. Gilbert Taylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'there has been a volte face: good use of 'highlight' features, illuminating diagrams of siege, campaign and capture ... At last we can see what actually happened in the battle of New Orleans.' Fiona MacCarthy, The Observer

`It has been some time since a major work on the British Army has been published. Now it has arrived, it has to be one of the most interesting ever produced. It comes from Oxford University Press and is compiled by a team of the most knowledgeable military historians in Britain under the leadership of David Chandler. Here in single volume is the essence of the glorious centuries in which Britain has been the world's leading nation.' Military and Aviation Book Society

'... a fine book: informative, interesting and attractive and well worth buying.' Soldiers of the Queen: The Journal of the Victorian Military Society. Issue 79 (Dec 94)

'...a highly readable and thorough history which will both entertain and educate.' Forces News. Dec '94

'Oh, what a lovely history! All the trials, tribulations, political in-fighting, famous battles and great names are there.' Michael Boon. Western Mail. Dec '94

' ... compelling volume ... The discussions are brought right up to date with a look at the army of the future.' Express and Echo. Dec '94

'has the advantage that each chapter can be read as a self-contained piece ... And another sensible layout feature is that special subjects throughout are treated in forty-two separate boxes. The chronology at the back of the book provides a concise reference to the significant dates in the Army's history and there is an excellent bibliography. The 250 or so illustrations ... are superb. An excellent publication ... The OUP is to be congratuled.' Frank O'Shanohun, The Officer, January/February 1995

`This is a book which everyone interested in the history of the British Army should read, and which every genuine military historian should possess. Lavishly and well illustrated, both in colour and in black and white, it is attractively designed and commands a list of distinguished contributors.' James Lunt, Army Quarterly and Defence Journal, Volume 125, No. 1, January 1995

`Its scope is comprehensive and its authority impressive. No review can do justice to the book's excellent layout. Well captioned black-and-white photographs buttress the text, and there are blocks of colour plates at regular intervals. This is an admirable book which commends itself to military historians and interested general reader alike.' Richard Holmes, The Battlefields Trust News, July 1995

`It is a serious work, copiously researched, designed to appeal as much to students of military history as the general reader.' Times Higher Education Supplement --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 13, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192853333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192853332
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,956,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 1996
Format: Hardcover
Drawing upon the scholarship of some of today's most
distinguished military writers, this handsomely produced
work recounts the evolution of the Army, in its social
and political context, from the medieval period to the
present day. Every major development and conflict is explained
thoroughly and special subjects such as the Imjin battle are
treated in 42 box features. The admirably comprehensive
text in enhanced with many rare drawings, maps, photos, a
generous selection of color plates, and more. Highly
recommended for general readers and specialists alike.
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