Horses in the British Army 1750 to 1950

Janet Macdonald

Date Published :
November 2017
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
30 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781473863712
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


These days horses are mainly used for leisure activities the non-rider knows little about them in a modern context, let alone a historical one. For those who would like to know more, this book encompasses the whole spectrum of horses in the British army over a 200-year period, from their acquisition and training, through their care and feeding and their transportation to theater of war overseas. Janet Macdonald describes how, until mechanization took over in the twentieth century, the British army used horses on a grand scale. The cavalry, messengers and officers rode horses, and horses pulled guns and wagons full of supplies. Their versatility made them almost as important as weaponry. But most men of the time were unlikely to know how to ride and had to be taught, and the horses had to be trained to tolerate situations in which the civilian horse would panic and run and this process is explained here in fascinating detail. Janet Macdonald's study promises to be the standard work on this neglected aspect of the British army's history.

About The Author

Janet Macdonald has published books on numerous subjects. Her first book on naval history was Feeding Nelson’s Navy: The True Story of Food at Sea in the Georgian Era; her second, the British Navy’s Victualling Board, 1793-1815: Management Competence and Incompetence. She took her MA in Maritime History at the Greenwich Maritime Institute, London, and her PhD at King’s College London, where she was awarded a Laughton Scholarship. Her thesis was on the administration of naval victualling. Her most recent books are From Boiled Beef to Chicken Tikka: 500 Years of Feeding the British Army, Sir John Moore: The Making of a Controversial Hero, Horses in the British Army 1750-1850 and Supplying the British Army in the First World War.


“The book apportions its attention well between central topics, such as transporting horses, and peripheral topics, such as equines in non-combatant units… Horses in the British Army offers an abundance of well researched and informed material”


“…an excellent account of the horse in British service… this book will prove a very valuable resource for those interested in logistics in the age of horse powered armies.”

- The NYMAS Review, Spring 2018

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