by DR HUW J. DAVIES As Christmas approaches, I’ve been casting around for a suitable topic to help draw to a close Defence-in-Depth’s first four months – something light-hearted and suitably tongue-in-cheek. By the looks of the title of this post, I’ve found one. Last week, a young Lieutenant (that’s Loo-tenant, rather than Lef-tenant) posted a… Read More Was Clausewitz the first military blogger?
by DR HUW J. DAVIES Hidden away in a tiny archive in Connecticut, I found, to my surprise, a diary of a Grand Tour of Europe conducted in the 1770s. I might not have looked at it, had the catalogue not specified its author as a cavalry Captain in the British Army. With nothing left… Read More Learning and Innovation in the Eighteenth Century British Army
by DR HUW J. DAVIES ‘From the Archives’ is a new regular feature on Defence-in-Depth. Archives are the lifeblood of historians. Papers, correspondence, diaries and journals constitute the primary material on which historical analysis is based. This feature is designed to fulfil two objectives. Our authors have selected an archive that has yielded an important… Read More From the Archives: The Causes of the First British Invasion of Afghanistan, 1839-42.
by DR HUW J. DAVIES A few weeks ago, I visited Stratfield Saye, the Berkshire country estate of the Duke of Wellington. Acquired in 1817 as a reward for the decisive victory he gained at Waterloo two years earlier, grand plans were drawn up to knock down the old house and erect an enormous palace… Read More What did officers read before Clausewitz?
by DR HUW J. DAVIES Two hundred years ago, diplomats from the Great Powers of Europe were redrawing the map of Europe. In April, Napoleon Bonaparte had abdicated, the French Empire defeated. Now it remained for Great Britain, Royalist France, Austria, Prussia and Russia to determine the fate of Europe. Napoleon’s escape from his exile… Read More The Concert of Europe: The Rise and Fall of the First United Nations
by DR HUW J DAVIES History is a dangerous thing. Parallels between contemporary events and history are all too easy to arrive at. In unskilled hands, historical events can be manhandled to seemingly deliver lessons and solutions to apparently intractable contemporary problems. This is ‘instrumentalising’ history. In reality, history can be misleading, its so-called ‘lessons’… Read More The Instrumentalisation of History
by DR HUW J. DAVIES Two hundred years ago, a small British force attacked the east coast of the United States, first burning Washington on 24 August, and then moving on to Baltimore, commencing a bombardment of Fort McHenry guarding the entrance to Baltimore Harbour on 13 September. The vision of the American flag lit… Read More The Star Spangled Banner & the End of America’s First Cold War?