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.
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.
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
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.
‘returned man’ is a curious specimen and difficult,
he demands attention on every occasion. 1
The sudden ending of hostilities in
November 1918 and the need to repatriate Canadian veterans quickly made
it imperative that Ottawa formulate a broader soldier
Experience and narratives in the Low Countries (1567–1648)
Chaplains and soldiers:
experience and narratives
in the Low Countries (1567–1648)
Breda and related matters
The Surrender of Breda (Las lanzas) is surely one of the most famous images to
come down to us from the Eighty Years’ War.1 Art historians have established
that, since it was painted some ten years after the event, Diego de Velázquez
sought inspiration from a number of maps and accounts of the war, one of
which – and perhaps the most important – was that of Ambrogio Spinola’s
confessor, Herman Hugo (1588–1629).2 The fine
fellow adventurers a fraternity
select beyond measure. They had served a cause greater than self.
The ‘reality’ Hamilton-Browne and Hyatt
described gives us parallel images of imperialism as it was cobbled
together or reconstructed in memory by two soldiers of fortune.
Hamilton-Browne knew New Zealand for five years in the 1870s, and
southern Africa for about twenty-five years after; Hyatt sailed around
as J. Noel Paton’s
Home carries a range of meanings: about the nature of man as
warrior, of woman as the homemaker who merely waits, about the reverence
of the strong for the gentle or weak, about the domestic nature of the
British soldier, the domestic respectability of the working classes, and
many more. The meanings operate at different levels and are interwoven
in a series of complex
Old soldiers and their families
The Irish in the British forces
In 1830, when Ireland comprised about one-third of the population of
the United Kingdom, over 40 per cent of the British army consisted of
Irish recruits. This over-representation of the Irish continued throughout
the rest of the nineteenth century.1 The Irish were essential to the army’s
strength yet we are still lacking a full-scale study of their role and its paradoxes.2 Historians of the Irish in Britain have almost totally ignored them.
For local but not unique reasons, the case of Stafford
uniformed man had been highly ambivalent. While the volunteer male soldier was held in very high regard from 1914 onward, perceived as the epitome of manliness having proved his readiness to fight, his predecessors were often dismissed as dissolute ‘ne’er-do-wells’, and the presence of working-class uniformed soldiers and sailors in public was troubling. 4 The eponymous soldier in Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘Tommy’ (1890) is turned away first from a theatre, which goes on to admit a drunk, and from a public house, being informed ‘We serve no red-coats here.’ ‘We aren’t no