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Lord Methuen and the British Army: Failure and Redemption in South Africa

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Overview

This study analyzes the readiness of the British military establishment for war in 1899 and its performance in the South African War (1899-1902). It focuses on the career of Field Marshal Paul Sanford, 3rd Baron Methuen, whose traditional military training, used so effectively in Queen Victoria's small wars, was put to the test by the modern challenges of the South African War. A subsidiary aim of this work is to correct and refine the historical consensus that Methuen's campaing in the South African War was plagued by practical errors and poor judgement. The South African War was a crucial transitional episode in the history of the British army. Unlike Great Britain's other expeditions, it required the concentrated resources of the entire empire. It was a modern war in the sense that it employed the technology, the weaponry, the communications, and the transportation of the second industrial revolution.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This study analyzes the preparedness of the British military establishment in 1899 and its performance in the South African War (1899-1902). It focuses on the career of Field Marshal Paul Sanford, 3rd Baron Methuen, whose traditional military training<-->used so effectively in Queen Victoria's small wars<-->was put to the test by the modern challenges of the South African War. Through detailed examinations of Methuen's campaigns, it demonstrates that although neither Methuen nor the British army was prepared for modern warfare, they were able to make the necessary transition to defeat the Boers and propel the British army into the 20th century. Distributed in the U.S. by ISBS. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714649047
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/31/1999
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Times Literary Supplement- 2nd July 1999- " Stephen Miller offers readers a largely traditional military history, highlighting afresh, from the new perspectives afforded by Methuen"s experience, the watershed the Boer War has long been seen to represent".

The Journal of Military History, Vol 64, No 3, July 2000

"Miller"s assessment of the British Army"s failure is not novel. His carefully researched, informed, well-written case study of Lord Methuen, however, provides a trenchant and convincing example of that failure. It also helps to restore Methuen"s historical reputation."

The International History Review, Vol 22, No 2, June 2000

"A study of Methuen is to be welcomed, especially as his papers have been so little used by historians. ... Miller has made a commendable addition to the historiography of the South African War."

Solidiers of the Queen

"informative, interesting and significant addition to Boer War Studies

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