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Title: 'Destructive and formidable' : British infantry firepower, 1642-1765
Author: Blackmore, D. J.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2012
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This work is an examination of the effectiveness of British infantry firepower from 1642 to 1765, it establishes the manner in which that firepower was organised and managed and how it developed. In order to achieve this it has been necessary to develop and propose a new approach to the study of military history; practical military history, which uses a thorough understanding of the practices and procedures of the army to interpret and analyse contemporary writings on the subject. In doing so it has been possible to identify and analyse the effectiveness of the tactical doctrine and combat techniques of British infantry during the English Civil Wars and then to trace a continuous line of development of doctrine and technique from then until 1765, in the immediate aftermath of the Seven Years War, when this study concludes. It has also been possible to analyse the battlefield effectiveness of those techniques and to identify previously unrecognised aspects of them. It has also been possible to correct some long held misconceptions and to pinpoint times when key changes were brought about, such as the introduction of the organisation of platoons into firings. As well as identifying, for the first time, a single underlying tactical doctrine it has also been possible to clarify the manner in which the methods used to execute that doctrine changed. The work has identified the origins of platoon firing, its earliest form and its subsequent developments during the War of Spanish Succession, thereby correcting the long standing misidentification of the form that it first took and the idea that it remained largely unchanged from the 1680s to the 1740s. It has also identified when changes occurred and analysed the implications for the effectiveness of the firepower and, in some instances, been able to demonstrate in absolute terms, the effectiveness of that firepower. This work will enable military historians to achieve an understanding of how British infantry fought, how they achieved what they did, rather than simply what those achievements were. In using a practical military history approach it also proposes a new approach to military history that will enable an analysis of events to be given, rather than a simple narrative.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available