This book re-examines the campaign experience of British soldiers in Africa during the period 1874–1902—the zenith of the Victorian imperial expansion—and does so from the perspective of the regimental soldier. The book utilises a number of letters and diaries, written by regimental officers and other ranks, to allow soldiers to speak for themselves about their experience of colonial warfare. The sources demonstrate the adaptability of the British army in fighting in different climates, over demanding terrain and against a diverse array of enemies. They also uncover soldiers' responses to army reforms of the era as well as the response to the introduction of new technologies of war.

The morality of capacity-increasing technologies in the military

Throughout history, states have tried to create the perfect combatant, with superhuman physical and cognitive features akin to those of comic book superheroes. However, the current innovations have nothing to do with the ones from the past, and their development goes beyond a simple technological perspective. On the contrary, they are raising the prospect of a human-enhancement revolution that will change the ways in which future wars will be fought and may even profoundly alter the foundations upon which our modern societies are built. This book discusses the full ethical implications of these new technologies, making it a unique resource for students and scholars interested in the morality of warfare.

Refusing to adopt a binary vision, political theorist Jean-François Caron argues that, when analysed from an ethical viewpoint, the development and use of capacity-increasing technologies in the military is far more complex than it first appears, since it presents us with a significant moral dilemma. On the one hand, enhancing soldiers’ capacities can be interpreted as a moral obligation on the part of the military. On the other, such technologies might also end up harming fundamental moral principles of warfare. Without condemning them as evil and inadmissible, Professor Caron proposes a nuanced and balanced appraisal of capacity-increasing technologies in the military as a tool that ought to be used contingently on the respect of certain moral criteria.

War, the body and British Army recruits, 1939–45
Author: Emma Newlands

Civilians into Soldiers is an examination of British Army life during the Second World War. Drawing on a wealth of official records and servicemen’s personal testimonies it explores the ways in which male civilians were turned into soldiers through the techniques by which they were inducted into military culture. The book demonstrates that the body was central to this process. Using strict physical regimes, the military authorities sorted men into bodily types that reflected their cultural assumptions and sought to transform them into figures that they imagined to be ideal. However, soldiers’ bodies were often far from ideal and served to frustrate these designs. While recruits were willing to engage in practices and routines that they found desirable they also resisted the army’s demands by creating subversive bodily cultures. The book follows the chronological experiences of army personnel, from their recruitment and training to their confrontations with wounding and death, tracing the significance of the body throughout. It analyses the extent to which the British Army organised compliance and relied on consent to achieve its objectives, the ways in which resistance was manifested and experienced, and what can be drawn from these instances by way of larger observations about wartime society in general. By examining soldiers’ embodied experiences it also illuminates broader issues of gender, class, national identity and emotional life. As such, it makes a major contribution to military history, medical history and the social and cultural history of Britain in the Second World War.

Jean-François Caron

. A civilized nation cannot afford to throw away a single life. Captain James Chester, 1883 For many people, the prospect of super soldiers can be quite frightening. The current developments in military technology seem to indicate that we are about to experience a paradigm shift in warfare, namely that soldiers will look more like robots with

in A theory of the super soldier
Pitt Rivers and collecting ‘Primitive Warfare’
Christopher Evans

The British military contribution to the recording of the past during the nineteenth century has generally been overlooked and has really only been seriously appreciated by (Sir) Mortimer Wheeler. One of the twentieth century’s leading archaeologists, a flamboyant public personality and, himself, a very successful soldier serving in both world wars (eventually holding the rank of brigadier), Wheeler championed a number of military archaeologists, particularly Lieutenant-General Augustus Pitt Rivers – ‘the master’ ( Figure 4.1 ). Yet it should be recognised how

in Dividing the spoils
Emma Newlands

• 5 • Fear, wounding and death The overriding objective of the Allied forces in the Second World War was to fight the enemy: to defend areas under threat from Axis invasion and to liberate conquered territories.1 The resources that the British Army used for this were essentially human. The front-line soldier, whose body had been honed and primed for combat, now took his chances in battle. There all his skills, training and experience would be put to the test, and there he faced the prospect of being wounded or killed. Neil McCallum was deployed with the Eighth

in Civilians into soldiers
Abstract only
Emma Newlands

• 4 • Active service By 1945 over two million British Army personnel were serving overseas, including in parts of South Asia, North Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean.1 The civilian-turned-soldier, whose body had been rendered fit, ordered and productive through training, was now to fulfil his military obligations in the field of active operations. Fighting the enemy was not, however, his only challenge. The army Handbook of Military Hygiene, published by the War Office in 1943, stated that ‘the best of equipment and training will be of little avail if men

in Civilians into soldiers
Abstract only
Emma Newlands

Training stated that ‘the battlefield is the supreme test of training. When units are divided into small and scattered groups each man must be held responsible for his own fitness. Every individual should have the will to be fit, and every man must be taught what exercises he can do under the particular conditions existing at the time. He should realize that only if he keeps himself fit can he be an efficient soldier.’3 This chapter thus explores the various techniques by which the civilian body was adapted for military utilisation by focusing on the two main principles

in Civilians into soldiers
Abstract only
Emma Newlands

increasingly blurred.’ Whereas previously War Office officials had assumed that scientific research should be confined to periods between conflicts, as the war dragged on it became evident that victory would come only from the development of new equipment and strategies. As such, growing numbers of physiologists were inducted into war-related research, successfully applying their knowledge and investigative skills to develop new methods of fighting and killing the enemy, of protecting British soldiers from being killed, and new ways of treating the sick and wounded in order

in Civilians into soldiers
Abstract only
Emma Newlands

, checked the abdomen and re-examined the heart.7 At the end, the whole board • 27 • Newlands.indd 27 3/24/2014 4:53:25 PM Civilians into soldiers determined the man’s final medical grade. In cases of disagreement or doubt it was left to the chairman to make a final decision. The examinee would then be placed into one of the following four medical categories: Grade I – Subject only to such minor disabilities as can be remedied or adequately compensated by artificial means, attain the full normal standard of health and strength, and are capable of enduring physical

in Civilians into soldiers