Sunday, 5 February 2012

Military Thought

British Military Thought

The British army in the period 1815-1854 is traditionally viewed as being stagnant in thought and reform, perhaps best being summed up by General Sir George Brown’s resignation over the introduction of a new drill manual in the 1830s. Whilst Hew Strachan has challenged this view,[1] suggesting that the British army had a lively internal debate over reform and modernisation, Peter Burroughs has suggested that even though reform did take place, the army was perhaps more conservative than Strachan suggests.[2] This chapter will examine the origins of military thought in the British army leading up to the Crimean War and also the army’s perception of the French, its traditional and chief European rival. Origins of the domestic understanding of the French army will also be discussed as well as military thought in the French army.

Military Thought in Britain

It was French rather than British figures who were the basis for much military thought in Britain in the first half of the 19th century: Napoléon I (1769-1821) and Baron Henri-Antoine Jomini (1779-1869) were the central figures. Jomini’s Traité des grande opérations militaires (1809) and Précis de l’art de guerre (1838), despite never being fully translated into English nor critically studied, were considered the standard text on strategy if not largely applicable to the British army, into the 1850s and indeed was taught at Sandhurst as late as the 1860s.[3] William Napier (1785-1860) and Sir John Burgoyne (1782-1871) were both early readers of Jomini – Napier had reviewed his Traité in 1826 for example.[4] It was not just Jomini who was admired in Britain: Jean-Baptiste de Gribeauval, the great French artillery reformer, was taught at the Military Academy in Woolwich[5]; Paul Thiébault, organiser of the French staff and writer of several influential treatises on the subject, was taught to the students in the Senior Department at Sandhurst training for their staff certificates[6]. Jomini was considered Britain’s ‘paramount authority on the Theory of Warfare’ and it was considered hard, if not impossible, to openly question his thinking, so entrenched was the unquestioning belief in Jomini.[7]

Britain, unlike France, did not produce many original thinkers in the period 1815-1854. The doyennes of military intellectuals were the Napier brothers, William and Charles (1782 – 1853); the former from his exhaustive History of the War in the Peninsula and South of France and the latter from his military exploits, especially in India.[8]  William was something of a disciple of Jomini calling his Traité ‘unquestionably one of the most profound, original, and interesting [books] that has appeared in our day’. He was also a Whig and it was because of his liberal politics that he admired Napoléon I, something that his brother Charles thought would get him into trouble. His history of the Peninsula War along with the published despatches of Wellington were the most popular military books of their day and were considered to together form the basis of all an aspiring officer ever needed to know.[9] Williams’ History did not attempt much in the way of analysis or critical thought, however, perhaps because he felt Jomini had written the de-facto text on military thought and further erudition would thus be useless. He concluded, unlike Jomini, that politics were not a part of war or military systems and that it had been politicians who had led to the defeat of Sir John Moor at Corunna; Wellington also blamed the interference of politicians in purely ‘military matters’ for the disaster in Afghanistan (1842).[10] William wrote for the United Service Magazine with his own name and using his pseudonym, ‘Elian’ would bombard newspapers like The Times and the military press alike with vigorous defences of his own writing and especially that of his brother.[11]

Charles Napier was a popular commander and ‘hero figure’ following his victorious Scinde Campaign (1844) and was considered a somewhat controversial figure following the publication of his thoughts.[12] He was openly critical of the British army and the British administration in India; the liberal-minded Saturday Review of Politics called him pugnacious and not afraid to speak his mind when he thought something had to be said, and more importantly done about what appeared to be errors or ‘wrongs’, which included flogging, the harshness of British martial law and the poor treatment of the Indian Sepoys (and other colonial troops).[13] He was also interested in reforming the education of army officers, suggesting that Britain’s traditional reliance on ‘gentlemen’ officers was outdated and that poorly educated officers had no place on the battlefield.[14] For that, the Review asserted, his country should be grateful rather than condemnatory.[15] Sir Charles’ thoughts on the governance of India and especially his critical thought with regards to the organisation of the British forces in India (Crown and Company) were influential in France: Lieutenant Masquelez of the Zouaves wrote a lengthy and supportive discussion of Charles’ opinions regarding the British army in India as a model for a colonial army.[16]

The major problem faced in Britain with regards to the development of military thought was anti-intellectualism which more conservative elements of the army saw as an advantage, claiming that neither Wellington nor Frederick the Great had been ‘scientifical officers’, whereas reformers deplored the lack of any military thought and the lack of education and therefore professionalism of British officers other than in the products of Royal Military Academy at Woolwich.[17] The death of Wellington in 1852 allowed negative comparisons with the perceived professionalism of French and Prussian armies, which led to increased calls for the improvement in the standards of military education in both the military and domestic press. Reformers often saw military education as the ‘panacea’ or cure-all for all the ills of the British army, an interpretation that The United Service Magazine viewed with distrust. However, the United Service generally agreed with the thrust of the reformer’s arguments, especially with regards to anti-intellectualism at Horse Guards.[18]

Military thought was disseminated through a variety of journals; the Naval and Military Gazette, the United Service Gazette and Colburn’s United Service Magazine being the most prominent. All were reform-minded – especially the United Service Gazette – and critical of the conservatism in the army displayed particularly under the tenure of the Duke of Wellington as Commander-in-Chief (1842-1852). The United Service Magazine had been established in 1827 by Sir John Philipart as The Naval and Military Magazine to fill the void left by earlier titles such as the Royal Military Calendar; two years later the title changed to The United Service Journal when Henry Colburn purchased it. The title changed again in 1842 to The United Service Magazine under the editorship, again, of Sir John Philipart.  It now became vociferously radical and reform minded, launching scathing attacks on the Duke of Wellington and the Horse Guards. Henry Colburn also owned the military newspaper The Naval and Military Gazette that was published weekly and was, like Colburn’s other title, reform-minded and edited by Philipart.[19]

The United Service Gazette was established in 1833 as the major, and perhaps only, rival of the United Service Journal. Whilst the United Service Journal and later Magazine was conservative politically, the Gazette was radical, claiming that Wellington was ‘the greatest enemy’ of the British army. Yet despite contrasting political outlooks, both clamoured for reform; the Magazine argued for change using existing structures whilst the Gazette wanted rout and branch reform, which both championed following the death of Wellington in 1852. In Lord Hardinge, the new Commander in Chief, they found a ‘friend to improvement’ (i.e. modernisation and reform) in the army. Indeed, support for reform under Hardinge not only came from the military presses, but the domestic too, notably The Times and its editor John Thadeus Delane.[20]

Reforms in the British army tended to be reactions prompted by developments in France, every development over the channel being viewed with suspicion. For example in 1838 the French introduced the revolutionary Delvigne rifle for use by the newly created Bataillons des Chasseurs à Pied. The British army was so alarmed by this that it ordered the replacement of the ageing Baker rifle with the rather unsuccessful Brunswick rifle in 1840.[21] Two years later the French converted their flintlocks to percussion firing; Britain almost immediately following suit. Similarly the new French infantry drill manual of 1831- actually inspired by the British 1824 Field Exercises - resulted in a reform of the British infantry drill in 1833.[22]

Military Thought in France
In the decade and a half following Waterloo, military thought in France was polarised between those who believed that Waterloo was to be ignored and that the French military should adhere strongly to the doctrines of Napoléon I (as they had demonstrably worked for 25 years), and those who saw Waterloo as a disaster and wanted immediate army reform to avoid such a disaster ever happening again. Moreover, unlike the British army in the same period, the French army had a more political character, having been used and abused by the various regimes in France from 1789-1851 for their own ends. In both countries, the army was kept apart from society at large as the establishment was conscious that soldiers might have to be used against their own people. Similarly, in both countries, soldiers were viewed as the ‘lowest of the low’ and in the period 1830-1852 governments in France and Britain did their best to reduce or at least limit military expenditure.

The most prominent French army thinkers in the period 1815-1854 were Jomini and Maréchal Thomas Bugeaud (1784-1849); the former writing from his experiences of the Napoleonic wars and a study of history, and the latter from the more recent events in North Africa. Other important French theorists included the Napoleonic veterans Maréchals Auguste de Marmont (1774-1852) and Laurent de Gouvion St Cyr (1763-1830), General Charles-Antoine Morand (1771-1835) and the revolutionary Charles Ardant du Picq (1821-1870); only the writing of Marmont was translated into English. All of them argued for greater tactical flexibility and mobility on the battlefield, what St Cyr dubbed ‘the tactics of common sense’. Furthermore, all were critical of Napoléon I in terms of delegation and flexibility of thought and action.[23]  Other lesser writers included General Rogniat whose writings, when translated into English, sparked a major controversy in the British military press  - such as declaring the bayonet ‘useless’ - that rumbled on for the best part of two years.[24] The French army was as equally enamoured of Jomini as the British army (above), but unlike the British, they were able to think critically of their major writers. More importantly, unlike the British, the French were able to define ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics’.[25] Furthermore, French officers kept up to date with Jominis’ writing whereas the British contented themselves with his two early books; for example Jomini was aware of the power of the new rifle and wrote at length about it.[26] Awareness of rifled muskets and artillery was brought home after the Crimean war and spawned considerable discussion on the future of warfare and perhaps a rejection of earlier thinking such as that of Bugeaud.[27]

Despite their obsession with Jomini and Bugeaud, French military thinkers were not unreceptive to outside influences; as previously noted Charles Napier was discussed in print in France and Sir Patrick MacDougall’s[28] book on military thought – in a large part based on Jomini – was translated into French.[29] It was a Polish officer in French service that translated Clausewitz into French in 1845 and wrote a lengthy discussion on him.[30] A complete edition was published in French in 1851, and Edouard la Barre Duparcq wrote a critical commentary on Clausewitz, published in 1853, which made him more accessible to British readers.[31]

Military thought in France was disseminated through the official organ, the Journal Militiare Officiel, and a variety of journals including the Journal des Sciences Militaires (founded in 1824 by its editor, J. Corréard, a former officer of engineers, who later developed a flourishing military publishing house in Paris and became a respected military historian in his own right), Le Spectateur Militaire, Revue d’Artillerie and the Journal des Armes Spéciales et de l’État Major. The technical-minded Journal des Sciences Militaire and the more general Spectateur Miliatire were both cautiously welcoming of reform and innovation whilst the Revue Militaire was deeply conservative. The Journal de l’Armée was a reactionary, ultra-Bourbon publication founded in 1833 by half-pay officers from the former Bourbon army.[32]  French officers, unlike their British counterparts, were not afraid of publishing treatises or pamphlets on military matters, especially those touching on reform or containing new ideas. Whilst the Spectateur Militaire published reform-minded and theoretical papers, the majority of the material published was historical, as military thinking in France suggested that experience – personal or that of others – was the only way to learn.[33] It also published some lively correspondence and reviewed the latest military books, pamphlets and ideas from across Europe. In addition to these quarterly journals there was the official weekly army newspaper, the Moniteur de l’Armée, established in 1840 by the Minister of War, Maréchal Nicolas Soult (1769-1851) to combat the Bourbon Sentinelle de l’Armée. Despite being the ‘official’ newspaper of the French army and spending nearly every edition refuting the Sentinelle, it was not unversed to promoting reform in the French army especially in terms of education.[34]

The greatest period of reform in the French army was during the 1830s and 1840s under the able guidance of Maréchal Soult. Soult served as Prime Minister of France on three occasions (1832-1834, 1839-1840, 1840-1847) and Minister for War twice (1830-1834 and 1840-1844). He also held the prestigious title of ‘Marshall-General of France’, which was revived for him by Louis-Philippe.[35] He had the enthusiastic support of members of the royal family including the eldest son of King Louis-Philippe (1773-1850, reigned 1830-1848), Ferdinand-Philippe, Prince Royal, Duc d’Orleans (1810-1842) and his brothers the Duc d’Aumale (1822-1897), and Duc du Namours (1814-1896).  All three were in the French military and were able and capable officers but it was the ambitious Duc d’Orleans who led reform, being the progenitor of the Chasseurs à Pied. He reintroduced lancers into the French army and established large-scale manoeuvres and training camps. He was also critical of the post-1815 settlement and wanted to reverse the Treaty of Vienna. His untimely death in 1842 robbed France of a popular and reform-minded figure.[36] The most radical changes to the French army came after 1845 with the publication of a new drill manual for the Chasseurs à Pied, which coincided with the publication of Bugeaud’s first book on tactics. This led to a growing awareness of the rifle, and by extension standards of French musketry, open-order fighting and increased battlefield flexibility and mobility resulting in proposals to train the entirety of the French infantry the Chasseur style drill unsuccessfully in 1844 but successfully in 1852.[37]

Despite military thought apparently flourishing in France, reform in the army was held back by a perennial lack of funding and the inherent conservatism of the French military system. Napoléon I had established ‘consultative committees’ to manage each arm of service in 1801, whose members were drawn from the senior ranks of their respective arms. Indeed, this Napoleonic tendency toward centralisation was further tightened during the July Monarchy.[38] Whilst, in theory, this meant that men at the top of their game and with the most experience were to manage each arm of service, in practice it meant in wartime that most members were absent but also that that these men were by their nature conservative. In addition, because of the inherited traditions of the French army; the Artillery committee was not only responsible for artillery but also the design of all the rolling stock used, as well as all the firearms and edged weapons. Thus, the Infantry and Cavalry were not ultimately in control of their own armament and there was no multi-arm discussion of tactics and strategy.[39] For example, the rifle designed by Claude Etienne Minié underwent trials between 1850 and 1851, proving itself superior to the existing smoothbore infantry musket and the existing rifled Carabine à Tige. The Infantry Committee therefore recommended it adoption as well as the sword-bayonet (which was to replace the existing encumbering sabre and bayonet combination). In turn their proposals were put forward to the Artillery Committee who rejected the Minié rifle. Disappointed, Minié then patented his rifle and sold rights to produce it in other countries, such as in Britain. The Infantry Committee still wanted the Minié rifle, however, and appealed directly to Napoléon III who seeing the benefits of the Minié, overruled the Artillery Committee and also personally funded its development to the tune of one million Francs. It is likely that without this intervention the Minié rifle would never have been developed in France. The weapon was finally adopted in 1853 and issued to the battalions of Chassuers à Pied.[40]

Military Perception of the French
Reform-minded commentators in Britain from as early as the 1790s, leading on from the debâcle in Flanders, had admired the French army, especially its organisation and specialist branches such as the staff, commissariat and artillery. The French army was considered the ‘model’ upon which army organisation should be based and Napoléon I an organisational and tactical genius.[41]  This respect for the organisation of the French army would continue up to the Crimean war. [42]  It was not just Napoleon I who was admired in Britain but also men like Maréchal Joachim Murat  (1767-1815) who was the ‘doyenne’ of the Cavalry and the dashing hero which all Light Cavalry officers should try to emulate and were measured; Maréchal Michel Ney (1769-1815), ‘the bravest of the brave’[43]; Maréchal Soul as a soldier, administrator and politician[44] and Baron Dominique Larrey (1766-1842), the pioneer of battlefield medicine.

Following Waterloo, and especially after the marriage of Victoria and Albert, all things ‘German’ became the vogue at Horse Guards: the Prussian infantry were considered the foremost in Europe and the best cavalry was Austrian.[45] ‘Prussian’ uniforms became the fashion, with Prince Albert designing a shako based on ‘best practice’ of various German states and the wearing of tight-fitting coatees with stiff, high collars, which looked good on parade but were of little use in the field.[46] Admiration of ‘Prussian’ thinking continued with the translation of major German writers, such as Bismarck, into English in the 1820s and indeed Bismarck’s thinking on cavalry still influenced writers after the Crimea war.[47] Colonel John Mitchell in the 1840s was a vocal supporter of ‘German’ military thought and was an early champion of Clausewitz, utterly dismissing French thinkers of the same period. This support of German thinkers came from Mitchell’s long-standing admiration of Frederick the Great.[48] Indeed, Frederick’s principles were at the basis of both French and British military thinking and he was well respected in both countries. The French, unlike the British, however, had gone some way to modify Frederick and introduce greater flexibility, for example the work of Guibert, something that was perhaps criticised in Britain since Guibert had modified Frederick’s principles.[49]

The French army became fashionable again for study in Britain following the arrival of another Bonaparte on the European stage – Napoléon III, who ascended to power as President of the short-lived Second Republic in 1848 before heralding-in the glamorous Second Empire in 1852. Despite the love for all things ‘German’, various attempts were made to emulate the French because the French army was then the only army engaged on active campaigning and learning many hard lessons as a result. In 1833, for example, Lord Fitzroy Somerset (later Lord Raglan) suggested copying the French Corps d’État Major (General Staff) and Charles Napier suggest re-establishing the wagon train based on the French Train des Équipages in 1843.[50]  In the 1830s and 1840s there were suggestions from cavalry reformers for the British light cavalry to emulate the French, copying the Chasseurs à Cheval who were considered by reformers to be the foremost light cavalry in the world because of their showing in the various campaigns in North Africa. [51] This thinking would continue into the 1850s,[52] and the suggestion of emulating the Chasseurs d’Afrique was seriously raised again after the Crimean War by reform-minded officers. This was because of the poor showing of the British cavalry compared to the French cavalry during that campaign, especially with regards to equine mortality; the role the cavalry had in the Crimean war and therefore would have in future operations.[53] Cavalry reformers such as Edward Louis Nolan even went as far to propose the adoption of the French cavalry drill manual of 1829 and French methods of equitation to the British cavalry, but met with little success.[54] Thus, the British armies’ infatuation with Jomini and other French writers during the 1830s-1850s does not seem as odd as it may first appear – there was a long-standing respect for the French army and furthermore, the French army was considered a model upon which to base British army reform because of its recent experience of active service, primarily in North Africa and also in Europe.

Domestic Perception of French
The British domestic press tended to be more jingoistic than its military counterpart; whereas the British military press viewed developments in France with suspicion, the domestic press could build itself up into a patriotic frenzy, for example, over the introduction of the Carabine à Tige in 1848 in France leading to widespread fears of imminent invasion, especially in the Tory press.[55] Even The Times and the radical Daily News were not immune from the ‘invasion craze’ of 1848.[56] Most liberals, however, considered all the fears of invasion as ‘humbug’ and Punch Magazine poked fun at the ‘invasionists’ much to the chagrin of The Times.[57]

The French army was viewed with interest during its campaigns in North Africa and French soldier such as the elite Zouaves or Chasseurs à Pied caught the popular imagination across Europe with was has been described as ‘Zouave Mania’.[58] The Zouaves appeared in cheap, often saccharine, commercial prints,[59] and cardboard toy soldiers,[60] and the Zouave image was used in popular advertising.[61]  The popular press enjoyed describing the individual merits, acts of bravery and uniforms.[62] Articles on the Zouaves even appeared in apparently genteel magazines such as the Lady’s Newspaper,[63] in various works of historical fiction,[64] and in popular songs.[65] The Zouaves themselves produced several notable memoirs, either as a result of their popularity or as one of the driving forces of the craze.[66] French soldiers in North Africa were seen as romantic adventurers, with a glint in their eye and an eye for both the enemy and a good-looking lady.[67]

Distrust of France and the view of French soldiers as ‘baby eating monsters’ began to be laid to rest in 1854, when British troops met their French counterparts for the first time in an atmosphere of peaceful cooperation.[68] This direct contact enabled old prejudices to be put to rest, as well as ghosts from the past based on prejudice or national jingoism.[69] Despite the high-hopes of future cooperation with France, there was still a feeling of mistrust directed towards the French; Queen Victoria in her diary in February 1854 noted misgivings with the alliance and even thought there still could be a French invasion.[70] Again, direct contact would influence perceptions. Following the state visit of Napoléon III and Eugénie in April 1855, Victoria felt compelled to write ‘That he [Napoléon III] is a very extraordinary man with the greatest qualities there can be no doubt…’[71] Britain and its Royal Family (apart from Prince Albert) were won over by Napoléon III, and the visit sparked the life-long friendship between Victoria and Eugénie, and, by inference, France.[72]

Napoléon III was a highly controversial figure, and his perception in Britain varied widely. During the revolution of 1848 which overthrew King Louis-Phillipe in favour of the short-lived Second Republic, he was seen as the ‘Napoleon of Peace’, the strong-man who could ‘save’ France from the ‘red peril’ of socialists and rebuild French pride.[73] Louis-Napoléon, however, was viewed with grave distrust as a potential warmonger due to the Bonapartist party trading on his name and the reputation of his uncle, Napoléon I, the ‘great disturber of the peace’.[74] Following Louis-Napoléon’s overwhelming election as President of France the British press was full of praise for him, however.[75] Indeed, The Times had supported Louis-Napoléon’s election for President against General Cavaignac, who had been deeply censured in the British press for his brutal suppression of the Parisian mob in the ‘red days of June’ 1848.[76] British liberals and radicals, such as Richard Cobden MP, welcomed Louis-Napoléon’s election as beneficial for ‘the poor of France’ and Cobden admired his various political works such as The Extinction of Pauperism.[77] The fears of invasion, however, were re-kindled in 1851 when Louis-Napoléon mounted his coup d’état to extend his tenure as president and again in 1852 with the proclamation of the Second Empire. The Times, contrary to its earlier support, under its editor John Delane, led the majority of the attacks on Louis-Napoléon – especially because of the perceived ’savagery’ of his coup - via its editorials and also ‘letters from Paris’ which were written by Delane under a pseudonym.[78] The popular and radical MPs, Richard Cobden and John Bright (virtual folk-heroes through their support of parliamentary reform and abolition of the Corn Laws) led a vigorous counter-attack to The Times.[79] Both men were in favour of free trade and were pacifists – something for which they would be attacked during the pro-war hysteria of 1853-1854. Cobden had actually met Napoléon III, and Bright proposed that ‘the channel should not separate this country from France…Frenchmen and Englishmen should no longer consider each other as naturally hostile nations’. This close Anglo-French friendship was described by Cobden as an entente cordiale.[80]

Many liberals and radicals in Britain viewed Napoléon I as a ‘great man’; he was described as being ‘the man of the nineteenth century’ and the figurehead of all those who sought ‘liberty’ by the famous American Unitarian minister, theologian and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) as part of a lecture cycle entitled ‘The uses of Great Men’ to a crowded lecture in Leeds.[81] Napoléon III, therefore, was considered by these liberals to be continuing his uncles’ work of social reform.[82] This view of Napoléon I was long-standing especially in liberal and radical circles: in 1801 the Unitarian clergymen Rev. Robert Aspland and Rev. Dr. Joseph Toulmin had described Napoléon I in similar terms as Emerson, for which they were arrested and one fellow minister was even transported to Australia for his political sympathies with the French revolutionaries.[83] It should be remembered that Unitarians and other radicals had supported the French revolution of 1789, and had been persecuted as a result; famously the arson attack on Rev. Dr. Joseph Priestley’s house and chapel in Birmingham or the wrecking of Cross Street Chapel, Manchester.[84]

Criticism of the conduct of the Crimean War and the British army was led by The Times, principally by its editor, Delane, and special correspondents William Howard Russell and Thomas Chenery. Russell, supported by Delane (despite his previous anti-French sentiment) was unfailing in his criticism of the British army and unquestioning in his praise of the French army.[85] Russell had previously worked for the Morning Chronicle and also contributed to Household Words. Fierce criticism of the conduct of the war came from two other major metropolitan titles, the Daily News and the Morning Chronicle, both of which were liberal in politics, the latter being described in the 1840s as a ‘dissenters organ’. Indeed, both the Daily News and the Morning Chronicle were edited by Unitarians who were liberal in politics: John Lalor, the editor of the Morning Chronicle, also edited the Unitarian denomination’s principal newspaper The Inquirer which was radical in its politics.[86] The Morning Chronicle was considered to be the only major rival of The Times.[87] The Daily News had been founded in 1846 by social commentator and author Charles Dickens, and amongst those who wrote for the Daily News was Harriet Martineau (sister of the Unitarian minister and theologian Rev. James Martineau and friend of Florence Nightingale), who would write her own damning book on the conduct of the Crimean War,[88] for which Colonel Sir George Bell (1st Royals) said she should have been awarded the Legion d’Honneur.[89] Dickens would later launch his own literary campaign against the perceived corruption and miss-management of the British army through Household Words, which he founded and edited.[90] The ‘special correspondent’ in the Crimea for the Daily News was the radically minded Edwin Lawrence Godkin, who like W. H. Russell, would later report on the American Civil War. He would also found the newspaper The Nation.[91] The ‘special correspondents’ for the Morning Chronicle included Charles Duncan who reported on the Turkish armies’ campaigns against the Russians.[92] In the provinces criticism came from the radical Manchester Guardian and the liberal, nonconformist Leeds Mercury. The Manchester Guardian had established in 1819 by Unitarian businessmen in the wake of the ‘Peterloo Massacre’. It’s main rival was the arch-Tory newspaper the Manchester Examiner and Times.  The Guardian was owned and edited by Unitarians and championed free trade, parliamentary and social reform throughout the nineteenth century.[93]

Criticism of the British army also came from literary sources, from the pens of social commentators and satirists such as Anthony Trollope, the aforementioned Dickens and William Makepeace Thackery. Both Thackery and Trollope highlighted the snobbish ‘heavy swells’ of the British officer class, who were more interested in the social cachet a commission would bring them rather than doing any real soldiering, such as Trollope’s Sir Felix Carbury.[94] Dickens and Thackery  - both members of the Army Reform Association (formed in 1855) -lampooned the old age of British generals, their eccentricities and incompetence through figures like the grotesque General Sir George Granby Tufto in Vanity Fair.[95] During and after the war Elizabeth Gaskell used her own novels to highlight the plight of the ordinary solider and in particular army wives.[96] The United Service Magazine thought Dickens writing to be ‘amusing’ and designed to ‘disgust the professional men’ who were his core readers into arguing for army reform for which ‘there was room’. The USM continued, however, that the attacks from Dickens were perhaps unfair and damaging to the army, made the British army look weak ‘before foreigners’ and went as far as to call for censure upon Dickens.[97]  Criticism of the conduct of the war also came through various middle-class domestic journals such as the Quarterly Review or the Edinburgh Reivew. Thus, to the middle class readers of newspapers such as The Times or Household Words, the notion of the incompetence of the British army during the Crimean war would already have been sewn through works of popular literature, making these readers more likely to believe the damning dispatches of Russell et al, and therefore accept the perceived superiority of the French.

The military perception of the French army during the years 1815-1854 was, unlike domestic perception, generally favourable. From the Napoleonic wars onwards, the French army had been viewed by reform-minded British army officers as being the ‘model’ upon which to base reform. This was because Napoleon I had, for 25 years, won a series of stunning victories and therefore his military system had been to work. The French army was also admired because, unlike the British army, it promoted its NCOs and Officers based on merit and ability rather than by wealth or accident of birth.

[1] H. F. A. Strachan, Wellington’s Legacy. Reform of the British Army 1830-1854 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984).
[2] P. Burroughs, ‘An Unreformed Army?' in D. Chandler and I. Beckett, eds, The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Army (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 160-188. See also I. F. W. Beckett, The Victorians at War (London: Hambledon & London, 2003), chapters 17 and 18. 
[3] H. F. A. Strachan, European Armies and the Conduct of War, chapter 5; H. F. A. Strachan, From Waterloo to Balaklava: tactics, technology and the British Army 1815-1854 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), pp. 1-4; ‘Military Education’, The United Service Magazine no. 217(December 1846), pp. 494 – 496.
[4] Strachan, Waterloo to Balaklava, pp. 6- 7.
[5] ‘The Remarks upon the improvements proposed to be introduced in Artillery Carriages’, The British Military Library, vol. II, no. xxvi (November 1800), p. 451.
[6] ‘Military and Naval Matters: Thiebualt’s ‘An explanation of the duties of several État-Majors in the French Army’’, The Monthly Review, or, Literary Journal, vol. 38 (1802), pp. 104-105; Lieutenant-Colonel J Campbell, A British Army: As it was, – is, – and ought to be (London: T  & W Boone, 1843), p. 137; Strachan, European Armies, pp. 124-130.
[7] ‘General de Jomini and the Spectateur Militaire’, The United Service Magazine for 1856, part III (1856), pp. 201-205.
[8] W. F. Napier, A History of the War in the Peninsular and the South of France; H. A. Bruce MP, Life of General Sir William Napier (London: John Murray, 1864); W. N. Bruce, Life of General Sir Charles Napier (London: John Murray, 1885).
[9] Strachan, Waterloo to Balaklava, p. 3 -4.
[10] Ibid, p. 4-6.
[11] Strachan, Wellington’s Legacy, p. 27.
[12] ‘Thanks to the Army of the Scinde’, The Spectator, no. 816 (February 1846), pp. 6-7; ‘Conquest of the Scinde’, The Edinburgh Review: Critical Journal, vol. 79 (1844), pp. 476-544; Lieutenant-General W. F. P. Napier, Life and Opinions of General Sir Charles Napier (London: John Murray, 1857); Strachan, Wellington’s Legacy, pp. 28-30.
[13] ‘Sir Charles’ Opinion of the Sepoy’, United Service Magazine for 1851, part 1 (1851), p. 475; ‘Sir Charles Napier’s objection to flogging’, The Medico-Chirugical Review and Journal of Practical Medecine, vol. 49 (1846), pp. 113-116; ‘Military Punishment as regards to Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates’, United Service Magazine for 1843, part III (1843), pp. 562-563.
[14] Lieutenant-General Sir W. Napier, Life and Opinions of General Sir Charles Napier (London: John Murray, 187), vol. 2, pp. 244-250.
[15] ‘Sir Charles Napier on Indian Misgovernment’, The Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art (15 August 1857).
[16] Lieutenant A. E. A. E. Masquelez, Journal d’un Officier des Zouaves. Suivi de considérations sur l’organisation des Armées Anglaise et Russe (Paris: J. Corréard, 1858).
[17] ‘Editorial: Colonel Mitchell’, John Bull (27 December 1841); ‘Military Education’, The United Service Magazine for 1857, part II (1857), pp. 159-166 & pp. 340-346; Campbell, A British Army, passim.
[18] J. M. Spearman, Notes on Military Education (London: Parker, Furnivall & Parker, 1853); ‘Military Education’, The United Service Magazine for 1849, part II,  (1849), pp. 561- 565; ‘Military Education: The Panacea for all our Shortcomings and Deficiencies’, The United Service Magazine for 1857, part II (1857), pp. 1-11; ‘Military Education’, The United Service Magazine for 1857, part II (1857), pp. 159-166 and pp. 340-346.
[19] H. F. A. Strachan, Wellington’s Legacy: Reform of the British Army 1830-1854 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984), pp. 19-30.
[20] Ibid.
[21] A. L. Dawson, French Infantry of the Crimean War (Nottingham: Partizan Press, 2011), pp. 305-308; Strachan, Waterloo to Balaklava, pp. 34-38.
[22] Strachan, Waterloo to Balaklava, pp.16-17.
[23] P. Griffith, Military Thought in the French Army 1851-1851 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1989), pp. 54-62; Dawson, French Infantry, pp. 90-111.
[24] ‘The Rogniat Controversry’, Naval and Military Magazine, vol. IV (1828), pp. 530-552; ‘The Rogniat Controversy’, The United Service Magazine for 1829, part 1 (1829), pp. 265-277; ‘The Rogniat Controversy’, The United Service Magazine for 1829, part 3 (1829), pp. 17-22, pp. 156- 161 and pp. 657-672.
[25] General J. Jomini, ‘Étude sur des Grand Combinasions de la Stratégie et de la Tactique’, Le Spectateur Militaire, vol. IX (1830) pp. 393-403;L. de Fruston ‘Le Maréchal Bugeaud Considéré’, Spectateur Militaire, vol. 36 (1861), pp. 91- 119; Strachan, Waterloo to Balaklava, pp. 3-6.  
[26] B. de Martray, ‘Examen d’un opuscule du General Jomini sur la formation des troupes pour le combat’, Journal de l’Armée Belge, tome 11 (1856), pp. 27-37.
[27] Colonel d’Azémar, ‘Système de Guerre Moderne ou Nouvelle Tactique avec les nouvelles Armes’, Spectateur Militaire, vol. 26 (1859) and vol. 27 (1859); de Fruston, ‘Maréchal Bugeaud’, pp. 91-93.
[28] MacDougall was the son in law of Sir William Napier and first Commandant of the Staff College in 1856).
[29] Sir P. L. MacDougall, The Theory of War (London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans & Roberts, 1856). Translated into French with a commentary by Capitaine J-A Mackintosh as Considérations Nouvelles sur l’Art du Guerre chez les Anglais par MacDougall (Poitiers: Henri Oudin, 1862).
[30] L. de Szafraniec Bystrzonowski, ‘Resumé des Principes De La Geurre du Général Clausewitz’, Le Specateur Militaire, vol. 39 (1845), pp. 532- 558 and pp. 656-675.
[31] E. de la Barre Duparcq, Commentaires sur le traité De la Guerre de Clausewitz (Paris: J. Corréard, 1853);  Strachan, Waterloo to Balaklava, p. 8.
[32] Griffith, Military Thought, pp. 60-64.
[33] Ibid, p. 63.
[34] Ibid, pp. 64-65.
[35] Dawson, French Infantry, p. 13.
[36] M. Price, The Perilous Crown: France Between Revolutions (London: MacMillan, 2007), pp. 270-271; Griffith, Military Thought, p. 61; Dawson, French Infantry, p. 27 and p.145.
[37] Dawson, French Infantry, pp. 102-111.
[38] Griffith, Military Thought, pp. 89-91 and pp. 156-160.
[39] Ibid, pp. 156-164
[40] Dawson, French Infantry, pp.308-309; L. Delpérier, ‘Les armes des Troupes à Pied de la Garde Impériale 1854-1856’, Gazette des Armes,, no. 151 (Mars 1986), pp.60-62.
[41] ‘Essay on Bonaparte’s Military System’, The Monthly Review, vol. 64 (1811), pp. 505-510; ‘Elements of the Art of War’, The Royal Military Chronicle, vol. 2 (1811), pp. 439 –444; ‘Military and Naval Matters: Thiebualt’s ‘An explanation of the duties of several État-Majors in the French Army’’, The Monthly Review, or, Literary Journal, vol. 38 (1802), pp. 104-105.
[42] Lieutenant-Colonel J Campbell, A British Army: As it was, – is, – and ought to be (London: T  & W Boone, 1843), passim.
[43] ‘Historical Notice on the life of Marshall Ney’, The Morning Chronicle (26 December 1815); ‘Sir Charles Napier and Marshall Ney’ The Dundee Courier (14 September 1853).
[44] ‘Marshal Soult’, The Morning Chronicle (24 November 1815); ‘Express from Paris’, The Morning Chronicle (1 December 1851); ‘Marshal Soult’, The Morning Chronicle (3 December 1851); ‘Death of Marshall Soult’, The York Herald (6 December 1851).
[45] ‘The French and German Armies at the commencement of the Revolutionary War and at the Present Moment’, The United Service Journal and Naval and Military Magazine for 1832, part 3 (1832), pp. 435-441; ‘Sketches of the Military and Statistical Position of Prussia’, The United Service Journal and Naval and Military Magazine for 1832, part 3 (1832), pp. 442-448; ‘Sketches from the Austrian Cavalry Service by a Ci-Devant Huszar Officer’, The United Service Magazine and Naval and Military Journal for 1842, part 1(1842), pp. 495- 508.
[47] Lieutenant-Colonel N. L. Beamish, On the Use and Application of Cavalry in War (London: T. & W. Boone, 1855). Beamish continued the British armies’ adulation of German armies by translating and considerably enlarging F. W. Bismarck Lectures on the Tactics of Cavalry (London: William H. Ainsworth, 1827). See also ‘The Uses and Application of Cavalry in War’, The United Service Magazine for 1855, part 2 (1855), pp. 583-585.
[48] Strachan, Waterloo to Balaklava, pp. 7-10.
[49]Ibid, p.6.
[50] Colonel W. M. S. McMurdo, Sir Charles Napier’s Indian Baggage-Corps: A reply to Lieutenant-Col Burlton’s Attack (London: Edward Moxon, 1850); ‘Military Transport’, Journal of the Royal United Service Institute for Defence Studies, vol. 13 (1860), pp. 279-281.
[51]Light Cavalry in the Field’, United Services Journal for 1831 (1831), pp. 512-515;  ‘Lancers and Light Dragoons’, Colburn’s United Service Magazine for 1831, part 2 (1831), pp.  69 – 76; Strachan, Waterloo to Balaclava, p. 87; Strachan, Wellington’s Legacy, pp. 235-238.
[52] Strachan, Waterloo to Balaklava, p. 79; J. Roemer, Cavalry: its history, management, and uses in war (New York: Van Norstrand, 1863), p. 37.
[53] ‘Armament of the Cavalry’, The United Service Magazine for 1855, part 3 (1855), pp. 546-547.
[54] L. E. Nolan, Cavalry. Its history and tactics  (London: Bosworth & Harrison, 1860), chapter 6.
[55] ‘The Earl of Ellesmere on our National Defences’, The Examiner (1 January 1848); ‘National Defences’, The Manchester Times and Gazette (1 January 1848); The New Monthly Magazine, vol. 94 (1852), pp. 175-176; ‘The French Carbine’, The Manchester Times (7 January 1850).
[56] ‘Our National Defences’, The Times (11 January 1848); ‘Editorial’, Daily News (5 January 1848).
[57] ‘Public Meeting in Leeds’, The Times (28 February 1848); ‘London Taken by the French’, Daily News (6 January 1848).
[58] L. Delpérier, L’Epopée des Zouaves’, Napoléon III Magazine, no. 1 (2008), p. 61. See also L. Delpérier, ‘Second Empire: Les Zouaves’ Tradition Magazine, no. 46 (November 1990), pp. 10 – 14.
[59]These are often idealised images of a soldier and his family, dubbed ‘images d’epinal’. The most popular were those produced by Lalaisse or Dumarescq of Paris. Of the prints by Lalaisse, 13 showed the Zouaves of the Imperial Guard and 12 the Zouaves of the Line. Dumarescq depicted five Guard Zouaves and two Line. For a complete list of iconography of the Second Empire army see: Commandant Sauzey, Iconographie du Costume Militaire (Tome III) Deuxieme République et Napoléon III (Paris: R. Chapelot et Compagnie, 1903).
[60] Musée de l’Armée (Md’A), Paris, Acc. 53.86.4290D , Popular Art,  Zouave puppet. Md’A, Acc. 53.86.1789C , Popular Art,  cardboard toy soldiers. The most prodigious manufacturer of cardboard toy soldiers were Messrs. Pellerin of Paris.
[61] Delpérier, ‘L’Epopée’, p. 64. One of the best-known uses of a Zouave to advertise tobacco was by Braunstein Frères of Paris.
[62] ‘Extracts from Soldiers’ Letters’, Daily News (7 August 1854).
[63] ‘A Zouave and his cat’, A Lady’s Newspaper (25 November 1854).
[64] L-H Boussenard, Le Zouave de Malakoff (Paris: Combet et Compagnie, ND). Louis-Henri Boussenard used the letters from Lieutenant Jean Bourgueil to his wife, and the letters of Captain Champaubert and Sergent-Clairon Bec-Salé as the basis of his book.
[65] ‘French Military Matters’, Dublin University Magazine, vol. 54 (1859), p. 523.
[66] For example, J. J. G. Cler, Souvenirs d’un Officer du 2eme de Zouaves (Paris: Michel Lévy et Frères, 1859); F. Maynard, Souvenirs d’un Zouave devant Sebastopol (Paris: Librairie Nouvelle, 1856); A-E-A-E Masquelez, Journal d’un Officier des Zouaves  (Paris: J. Corréard, 1858); L. Noir, Souvenirs d’Un Zouave sous la tente (Paris: Librairie Achille-Fauré et Co., 1868).
[67] The most colourful depictions of Zouaves appear in popular magazines aimed at women, such as A Lady’s Newspaper. For example: ‘A Zouave and his cat’, 25/11/1854; ‘A Zouave’, 28/12/1854; ‘The Zouave’, 31/3/1855.
[68] ‘The Anglo-French Alliance’, Blackburn Standard (19 July 1854). See also ‘French Soldiers in English Ships’, The Bradford Observer (20 July 1854) and ‘Embarkation of the French Expeditionary Army for the Baltic’, The Standard (17 July 1854).
[69]‘The French Expeditionary Force for the Baltic’, Morning Chronicle (17 July 854); F. Robinson, Diary of the Crimean War (London: Richard Bentley & Co., 1856), p 105; P.  Warner, ed, A Cavalryman in the Crimea. The Letters of Temple Godman, 5th Dragoon Guards (Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2009), p. 22.
[70] J. Sweetman, Raglan. From the Peninsula to the Crimea (Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2010), p.174.
[71] R. Sencourt, Napoleon III. The Modern Emperor (London: Ernest Benn Ltd, 1933), p. 157.
[72] F. Bresler, Napoleon III. A Life (London: Harper Collins, 2000), pp. 282-285; Sencourt, The Modern Emperor, pp. 155-164; D. Seward, Eugénie. The Empress and her Empire (Stroud: Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2004), pp. 76-81.
[73] ‘The Napoleon of Peace’, The Manchester Times and Gazette (4 January 1848).
[74] ‘The State of the Continent’, The Times (3 October 1848).
[75] ‘France’, The Times (11 November 1848); ‘The Manifesto of Prince Louis Napoleon’, The Times (30 November 1848); ‘The Presidential Election in France’, The Times (14 December 1848); ‘Proclamation of the President of the French Republic’, The Times (22 December 1848).
[76] ‘The National Assembly of France’, The Times (27 October 1848); ‘The State of the Continent’, The Times (30 October 1848); ‘France’, The Times (16 November 1848).
[77] ‘Reform Meeting at Manchester’, The Times (12 January 1849).
[78]J. M. Thompson, Louis Napoleon and the Second Empire (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1965), pp. 138-140; ‘The French Revolution’, The Times (3 December 1851); ‘The French Republic’, The Times (3 December 1851); ‘The anniversary of the day which extinguished Liberties in France’, The Times  (2 December 1852).
[79] Thompson, Louis Napoleon, pp. 240 - 241.
[80] Ibid.
[81] ‘The Uses of Great Men’, Leeds Mercury (8 January 1848); ‘Mr Emerson’s Lecture on Napoleon’, Leeds Mercury (8 January 1848); ‘Mr Emerson’s Lecutre’, The Bradford Observer (13 January 1848).
[82] ‘Annus Mirabilis’, The Times (1 January 1849); ‘The Nephew of the Emperor’, The Times (13 February 1849).
[83] R. V. Holt, The Unitarian Contribution to Social Progress in England, (London: Lindsey Press, 1952), pp. 116-127.
[84] Ibid, pp. 104-127.
[85] T. Coates, Delane’s War. How front-line reports from the Crimean War brought down the British Government (London: Biteback, Publishing Ltd., 2009), passim.
[86] Holt, Unitiarian Contribution,  pp. 19-20.
[87] ‘The London Times in Trouble’, The Nation (18 January 1866) pp. 77 – 78.
[88] H. Martineau, England and her Soldiers (London: Smith, Elder & Co, 1856).
[89]B. Stuart, ed, Soldier’s Glory. Being ‘Rough notes of an Old Soldier’ (Tunbridge Wells: Spellmount, 1991), p. 268.
[90] ‘The modern “Officer’s” Progress’, Household Words, vol. 1 (March – September 1850), pp. 304-307, pp. 317 -320, pp. 353-356.
[91] W.M. Armstrong, The Gilded Age: The life and Letters of E. L. Godkin (New York: University of New York Press, 1974), passim.
[92] C. Duncan, A Campaign with the Turks in Asia (London: Smith Elder & Co., 1855), passim.
[93] Holt, Unitarian Contribution, p. 20.
[94] L. James, Crimea 1854-1856. The War with Russia from Contemporary Photographs (London: Hayes Kennedy, 1981), pp. 35-37.
[95] Ibid; W. M. Thackery, Vanity Fair: A novel without a hero (Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1848), part 3.
[96] S. Markovits, ‘North and South, East and West: Elizabeth Gaskell, the Crimean War, and the Condition of England’, Nineteenth-Century Literature, Vol. 59, no. 4 (2005), pp. 463-493.
[97] ‘Editorial: The Modern Officers Progress’, United Service Magazine for 1850, part III (1850), pp. 206-209.

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