Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: 'The business of engineers' : the organization and education of military engineers during the eighteenth century
Author: Phillipson, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2669 9905
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis examines the organization and education of military engineers in the `long eighteenth century'. The period from 1789 to 1815 is addressed in particular detail, as it encompasses the creation of the Ecole Polytechnique, the Royal Military College, Royal Engineer Establishment, and other important changes driven by wartime expediency. A modern definition of military engineering is used to develop a wideranging analysis of the entire discipline, rather than the activities of particular military units. Austrian, British and French methods are compared to assess the influence of alliance and enmity in the context of both continental and maritime strategy. The extent to which imitation and innovation were employed is used to establish processes of knowledge acquisition in technical corps in order to see if one state led the field. The growth of corps of engineer officers and their progress towards military status in the first half of the century is examined alongside their relationships with various other corps contributing to engineering capability and the need for engineering knowledge within army staff structures. The employment of both officers and soldiers in departments of Quartermasters General is explained to correct previous misconceptions about Britain's Royal Staff Corps and the different titles used to define the roles of soldier engineers. Civilian education and military training systems are analysed in terms of their immediate practical value to the military capability of each state rather than against a theoretical knowledge-base advocated by authors of pedagogical texts. France, although widely accepted as the leading exponent of military engineering and state-organized education, was not widely imitated by Austria and Britain who, largely independently, developed organizational models to meet their own specific sociological and geo-strategical requirements. Austria made particular advances in bridging and mobility whereas Britain developed a strong staff system, supported by sound technical training, which gave their engineer departments particular strengths. This study makes important contributions to understanding the role of organization and training in developing military power in the eighteenth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available