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Victoria's Generals (Hardback)

Military Biography Victoria Crosses

By Ian F W Beckett, Steven J Corvi
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
ISBN: 9781844159185
Published: 16th July 2009
Last Released: 29th July 2009

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The senior British generals of the Victorian era - men like Wolseley, Roberts, Gordon and Kitchener - were heroes of their time. As soldiers, administrators and battlefield commanders they represented the empire at the height of its power. But they were a disparate, sometimes fractious group of men. They exhibited many of the failings as well as the strengths of the British army of the late nineteenth-century. And now, when the Victorian period is being looked at more critically than before, the moment is right to reassess them as individuals and as soldiers. This balanced and perceptive study of these eminent military men gives a fascinating insight into their careers, into the British army of their day and into a now-remote period when Britain was a world power.

The book is an important contribution to the study of Victorian military history, well documented..... highly readable.

Military Illustrated
 Ian F W Beckett

About Ian F W Beckett

Professor Ian F W Beckett is Professor of Military History at the University of Kent. He has previously held chairs at the University of Northampton, the US Marine Corps University, Quantico, Virginia, the University of Luton and the US Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, was Chairman of the Army Records Society and is a Vice-President of the John Hampden Society. His publications include The Great War 1914-18, A Nation in Arms: A Social Study of the British Army in the First World War (co-editor), Ypres: The First Battle 1914 and Britain's Part-time Soldiers.


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The British Army was shocked by three military defeats in a week in South Africa in late 1899. The commanding General Sir Redvers Buller lost his nerve. 'Something must be done' was the cry across the Empire. Britain sent forth not one, but two military heroes. Field Marshal Lord Roberts and Major General Lord Kitchener spent their first five weeks in South Africa restoring morale, reorganising their forces and deceiving the enemy as to their intentions. In the next four weeks their offensive transformed the war: Kimberley and Ladysmith were relieved from Boer sieges and an enemy force of 4000…

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