by DR HUW J DAVIES This is the first of several posts running on Defence-in-Depth over the next few weeks arising out of the Military Learning and Innovation Roundtable held at the Joint Services Command and Staff College on Wednesday 17 June 2015. The roundtable explored the various ways in which militaries have learned, adapted,… Read More Informal Learning in the British Army in the Eighteenth Century
by DR HUW J. DAVIES The repercussions of the Battle of Waterloo were many and varied. Principally, it was a victory for the peace treaty obtained at Vienna and secured the balance of power in Europe. It also gave Viscount Castlereagh the opportunity to propose the Concert of Europe, on which I have written about… Read More “Nothing so Melancholy…” The Repercussions of Waterloo
by DR HUW J. DAVIES 200 years ago, almost to the hour, the battle of Waterloo commenced. The dramatic final showdown of 22 years of war, Waterloo had all the makings of a swashbuckling drama. It was the only occasion when Wellington and Napoleon encountered each other. Having escaped from the tiny Mediterranean island of… Read More Why was Waterloo important?
by Dr HUW J. DAVIES ‘Napoleon has humbugged me, by God; he has gained twenty-four hours’ march on me’. With these words, uttered in an anteroom at a ball famously hosted by the Duchess of Richmond three days before Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington, commanding an allied army composed of Dutch, Belgian, German, and British… Read More The Road to Waterloo
by DR HUW J. DAVIES Over the last few months, I have written on a number of occasions about how the British Army learned from its experiences – successful and unsuccessful – during the wars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This is important because accepted historiographical analysis has it that the British Army was… Read More Mechanisms of Knowledge Exchange in the Eighteenth Century British Army
by DR HUW J. DAVIES In 1799, the British Government assembled an expeditionary force for use in a joint operation with the Russians against French held Dutch ports. The campaign, commanded by the Duke of York, was a dismal failure, blighted by poor intelligence, inter-service friction and competing agendas on the part of the allied… Read More Forgotten Battles: The Anglo-Ottoman Campaign in Egypt, March-September 1801
by DR HUW J. DAVIES On Friday afternoon, I was asked if I would participate in a discussion on the BBC News Channel on ‘how history will view the recent campaign in Afghanistan’. I’m usually asked to participate in interviews that are way outside my comfort zone. This, whilst not entirely fitting within it, was… Read More Was it worth it? How History will view the British Campaign in Afghanistan
by DR HUW J. DAVIES John Campbell, Fourth Earl of Loudoun, has a bad reputation. Seen by historians as incompetent and ineffective in command, he also raised regiments of Highlanders to help suppress the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745/6. He participated in some of the more brutal suppression methods employed by the British Commander-in-Chief, the Duke… Read More From the Archives: The Loudoun Papers at The Huntington Library, California.
by DR DAVID WHETHAM I have noted elsewhere that while drones (or RPAS – Remotely Piloted Air Vehicles – as the military prefer to call them) receive a lot of bad press, a lot of this is actually to do with one specific role they are associated with – targeted killing. When used alongside other… Read More Remote Killing and Victory in War
by DR HUW J. DAVIES This month marks the conclusion of my first decade teaching at Staff College. In that time, I can think of two years that stand-out as containing fundamentally unexpected events, that have caused quite drastic adjustments to what I talk about when I teach. Those years were 2011 – the year… Read More Hot Potatoes for 2015