A Military Transformed?

Adaptation and Innovation in the British Military, 1792-1945

Date Published :
October 2016
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Editor :
Michael LoCicero, Ross Mahoney, Staurt Mitchell
Series :
Wolverhampton Military Studies
Illustration :
10 tables
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781909384460
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781911096702
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available


Between 1792 and 1945, the character of warfare changed. Battalions standing shoulder to shoulder during the Napoleonic era gave way to the industrialized, modern armies of the First and Second World Wars. The organization and operational methods of the major military powers dramatically altered during this period and the British forces were no different. From the transition of the Royal Navy's ships to oil from coal to the creation of an independent air force in 1918, the British military pioneered key innovations that affected the character of war on land, sea and air.

To date, many commentators and historians have focused on contemporary debates or specific historical examples. A Military Transformed? Adaptation and Innovation in the British Military from 1792 to 1945 brings many of these debates together and forms a broader picture. The complexity of change in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force is explored in chapters drawing on new and original research. Examples covered include the British military performance in the Napoleonic Wars, the developments of the Army medical services in the late-nineteenth century, the Royal Navy's introduction of the Whitehead torpedo in the 1870s, air power doctrine on the eve of the First World War, British Army reorganization in 1918 and amphibious operations in the Second World War.

Spanning the period of both peace and war this ground-breaking survey illustrates the different drivers for transformation and innovation. Culture, technology, tactics, organization, personality, doctrine, command and context have all shaped the speed and development of the British Forces. A Military Transformed? Adaptation and Innovation in the British Military from 1792 to 1945 shows that while it was neither a revolutionary nor a conservative organization, the British military certainly evolved and reacted to the character of warfare in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; even if change, at times, did not come easily.

About The Author

Michael Stephen LoCicero is an independent scholar who earned his PhD at the University of Birmingham in 2011. Previously employed as a contracted researcher by the National Archives and the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust, he is currently engaged in a wide-ranging number of academic and editorial activities including MA advisement for the University of Birmingham's respected MA programme, a visiting lectureship at the University of Wolverhampton and a commissioning editorship on behalf of Helion. His chapter on Brigadier-General Edward Bulfin appeared in Spencer Jones (ed) "Stemming the Tide: Officers and Leadership in the British Expeditionary Force 1914" in 2013.

Ross Mahoney is a PhD candidate at the Centre for War Studies, University of Birmingham where he is researching leadership development in the inter-war Royal Air Force. His research interests include air power studies, leadership and military culture. He is the convenor of The Second World War Military Operations Research Group and is West Point Fellow in Military History.

John Sadler is a military historian born and living in Northumberland. He has written extensively on a range of periods and is a battlefield tour guide. He also lectures on military history at Newcastle University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. With Rosie Serdiville he is co-author of Caesar's Greatest Victory: The Battle of Alesia 52 BC (Casemate 2016).


"The fifteen excellent essays in this handsomely-crafted volume serve as models of clarity and original archival research. They also provide an examination of technological advances and their impact on tactical and doctrinal development, the relationship between military and political spheres of influence and authority, and the identification and description of the prime movers in British military transformation. Each diverse chapter serves as a thread woven into a larger, relevant, and viable tapestry, confirming that historical studies can provide insight into contemporary military issues."

- International Bibliography of Military History

“ … the editors have done an excellent job of making this valuable volume as accessible as possible to the more general reader and it therefore succeeds on two levels; as an account as good as any you may find on the state of the historical debate on change in the British armed forces (certainly outside expensive and limited distribution academic titles) and as an thought provoking work the general military history reader can profit from.” Society of Friends of the National Army Museum Book Review Supplement

- Society of Friends of the National Army Museum

“ … really helps explain why military experts chose a course of action in the way that they did, and I thoroughly recommend it.”

- Wargames Illustrated

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