George Washington earned a place in the pantheon of leaders who led both militarily and politically through the storms of revolution. Combining a determination to destroy the status quo with exceptional tactical skill, the General transformed an insurgency into the first triumph of a new country. Our special this time surveys Washington’s military triumph at Yorktown.
Overshadowed by Culloden the following year – the battle that finally terminated the century-old Jacobite cause – Prestonpans is little known. Chris Bambery describes how an army of Highland Scots outmanoeuvred the Redcoats at the marshes of the Firth of Forth.
With his description of the events at Portsmouth, Atkinson once again justifies a New York Times review of a previous volume which described his work as ‘a tapestry of fabulous richness and complexity… Atkinson is a master of what might be called “pointillism history”, assembling the small dots of pure colour into a vivid, tumbling narrative…’.
Patrick Boniface on the deaths in combat of regal warriors. On 17 June 1682, the Swedish Prince Charles, also known as Carl, became King of Sweden at the age of 15 following the death of his father, Charles XI. During his 36-year reign, Sweden would go on to lose between 10% and 20% of its population […]
War and violence are the last things one would associate with that 19th-century doyenne of English literature, Jane Austen. Ambles in the countryside, flirtatious glances, frocks with lace and frills, and the relentless pursuit of wealthy bachelors are the more likely images conjured by her name.
Yet conventional interpretations of the novelist’s work lack reference to a crucial context – that of war. For most of Jane Austen’s life, Britain was involved in conflicts of varying existential significance across the globe.
Culloden has been frequently presented as a battle fought by an incompetent, ill-equipped, and badly led Jacobite army wielding swords against superior, professional Redcoats armed with muskets. A new book by Murray Pittock, Bradley Professor of History at the University of Glasgow, challenges this consensus. Murray shows that Government forces actually won the battle by blade, while the Jacobites, though few in number, were professionally managed and […]
Look at that bling – who was he? Hailed by historians as ‘a second Alexander’ and ‘the Napoleon of the East’, Nader Shah was Shah (monarch) of Persia from 1736 to 1747. He was a gifted military commander and used his prowess to build a huge empire that included Iran, Afghanistan, the North Caucasus, northern India, and much of central […]
Robbie MacNiven explores the fate of the Scots who survived Culloden. On a bitterly cold April afternoon in 1746, on moorland just east of the town of Inverness, the power of Scotland’s Highland clans was forever broken. The Battle of Culloden Moor marked not just the final defeat of Charles Edward Stuart and his Jacobite […]
James Wolfes’ victory at Quebec gave the British dominion over North American. It was the victory of an army forced to adapt fast to the demands of colonial warfare in the wilderness The Battle of Quebec on 13 September 1759, below, showing the deployment of the British (shown in red) and French forces (shown in […]
The War of the Austrian Succession found the British Army run down and neglected, its proud military traditions grown sclerotic. Yet in May 1745, at Fontenoy in Belgium, 15000 British redcoats mounted a doomed assault every bit as courageous as Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg The ‘mousetrap’: the Battle of Dettingen, 27 June 1743. George II […]