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Destructive and Formidable (Paperback)

British Infantry Firepower 1642 - 1765

English Civil War Frontline Books P&S History Frontline: 17th-19th Century

By Dr David Blackmore
Frontline Books
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 14 line diagrams
ISBN: 9781399014502
Published: 11th March 2022


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In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the British Army's victories over the French at battles such as Blenheim in 1704, Minden and Quebec in 1759, and over the Jacobites at Culloden in 1746, were largely credited to its infantry's particularly effective and deadly firepower. For the first time, David Blackmore has gone back to original drill manuals and other contemporary sources to discover the reasons behind this.

This book employs an approach that starts by considering the procedures and practices of soldiers in a given period and analyses those in order understand how things were done and, in turn, why events unfolded as they did. In doing so, he has discovered a specifically British set of tactics, which created this effectiveness and allowed it to be maintained over such a long period, correcting many of the misconceptions about British infantry firepower in the age of the musket and linear warfare in a major new contribution to our understanding of an important period of British military history.

As featured in

The Bookseller

As featured in.

The Society for Army Historical Research 2015 Christmas Book List

As featured in 'further reading'

Military History Monthly, March 2017

Blackmore has brought several important new topics to light and has added stress to older ones.

Journal of the Societyfor Army Historical Research 94 (20166), 74-81

An important review recommended to those who study doctrine and tactics.

Friends of the National Army Museum

An easy read, interesting, and full of useful background knowledge.

Skirmish Magazine

Required reading for anyone who owns a Brown Bess musket!

Classic Arms & Militaria

An important study, and essential reading for anyone interested in the British army of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Military History Monthly

The author's findings correct many of the misconceptions about British infantry firepower in the age of the musket and linear warfare. A useful and fine contribution to the understanding of an important period of British military history.

Military Modelling Magazine

About Dr David Blackmore

Dr David Blackmore is a former curator at the Royal Armouries and the author of Arms and Armour of the English Civil Wars, British Cavalry of the Mid-18th Century and many other articles and contributions to books, including So Bloody a Day, which was released in 2019.

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