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Title: From drill to doctrine : forging the British Army's tactics 1897-1909
Author: Evans, Nick
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 3921
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract. From Drill to Doctrine. Forging the British Army's Tactics 1897-1909 This thesis examines the development of the Army's tactics from the 1897-8 "l Frontier Campaigns until the publication of Field Service Regulations (FSRs) 1909.- It scrutinises how the 3 tactical factors of firepower, mobility and protection, together with experience from the NW Frontier, the South African War and Manchuria caused British tactics to develop. The thesis shows that the Army's attitude towards low-level initiative developed significantly. Increased firepower made tactical extension essential. This prevented commanders controlling and made subordinate initiative vital. Developing initiative among subordinates caused the Army's disciplinary, educational and training systems to alter. The thesis finally examines doctrine's development, a system of fundamental principles designed to guide commanders, who now had to use initiative, in increasingly complex combat. This was caused by greater firepower, longer ranges, smokeless ammunition and wider extensions. This thesis demonstrates that the Army developed doctrine in the modem sense. Consequently changes occurred in the staff system, professional education and general training. The thesis argues that the Army's firepower grew quantitatively and qualitatively with the introduction of independent and Indirect Fire. Weapons were now developed doctrinally. The Army attached great significance to mobility and manoeuvre, seeing these as the means whereby it could defeat superior numbers. Cavalry roles developed to stress operational level manoeuvre rather than battlefield shock. It examines protection, arguing that the need for tactical extension and fieldcraft, both impelled by greater firepower, enforced initiative. The thesis argues that contemporaries felt that the 3 wars all taught broadly 2 All other abbreviations are in the Glossary similar lessons and that the resulting doctrine matched the short war which armies expected.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available