Sir Winston S Churchill
The British Army is the land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England and Scotland and was administered by the War Office from London.
Throughout its history, the British Army has seen action in a number of major wars involving the world's great powers, including the Seven Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War, World War I and World War II. Repeatedly emerging victorious from these decisive wars has allowed Britain to influence world events with its policies and establish itself as one of the world's leading military and economic powers.
Red coat or Redcoat is a historical term used to refer to soldiers of the British Army because of the red uniforms formerly worn by the majority of regiments. From the late 17th century to the early 20th century, the uniform of most British soldiers, (apart from artillery, rifles and light cavalry), included a madder red coat or coatee. From 1870 onwards, the more vivid shade of scarlet was adopted for all ranks, having previously been worn only by officers, sergeants and all ranks of some cavalry regiments.
Today we will look at some brief history and some images in connection with the Seven Year war.
The Seven Years' War was a world war that took place between 1756 and 1763. It involved most of the great powers of the time and affected Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines. In the historiography of some countries, the war is alternatively named after combatants in the respective theaters: the French and Indian War (North America, 1754–63), Pomeranian War (Sweden and Prussia, 1757–62), Third Carnatic War (Indian subcontinent, 1757–63), and Third Silesian War (Prussia and Austria, 1756–63).
The Kingdom of Great Britain was one of the major participants in the Seven Years' War which lasted between 1756 and 1763. Britain emerged from the war as the world's leading colonial power having gained a number of new territories at the Treaty of Paris in 1763 and established itself as the world's pre-eminent naval power.
The war started poorly for Britain, suffering several defeats to France in North America during 1754-55 and losing Minorca in 1756. The same year Britain's major ally Austria switched sides and aligned itself with France; and Britain was hastily forced to conclude a new alliance with Frederick the Great's Prussia. For the next seven years these two nations were ranged against a growing number of enemy powers led by France. After a period of political instability, the rise of a government headed by the Duke of Newcastle and William Pitt provided Britain with firmer leadership allowing it to consolidate and achieve its war aims.
In 1759 Britain enjoyed an Annus Mirabilis with success over the French on the Continent (Germany), in North America (capturing the capital of New France), and in India. In 1761 Britain also came into conflict with Spain. The following year British forces captured Havana and Manila, the western and eastern capitals of the Spanish Empire and repulsed a Spanish invasion of Portugal. By this time the Pitt-Newcastle Ministry had collapsed, Britain was short of credit and the generous peace terms offered by France and its allies were accepted.
The number of casualties suffered by British forces were comparatively light, compared to the more than a million fatalities that occurred worldwide.
France and Spain both considered the treaty that ended the war as being closer to a temporary armistice rather than a genuine final settlement, and William Pitt described it as an "armed truce". Britain had customarily massively reduced the size of its armed forces during peace time, but during the 1760s a large military establishment was maintained—intended as a deterrent against France and Spain. The Bourbon powers both sent agents to examine Britain's defences believing that a successful Invasion of Britain was an essential part of any war of revenge.
The British victory in the war sowed some of the seeds of Britain's later conflict in the American War of Independence. American colonists had been delighted by the huge swathes of North America that had now been brought under formal British control, but many were angered by the Proclamation of 1763, which was an attempt to protect Native American territory - and prevent European settlement. Similarly the issue of quartering the British regular troops became a thorny issue, with colonists objecting to their billeting in private homes. Events such as these contributed to a drift apart between the British government and many of its subjects in the Thirteen Colonies.
The war had also brought to an end the "Old System" of alliances in Europe, in which Britain had formed grand coalitions against Bourbon ambitions in Europe. In the years after the war, under the direction of Lord Sandwich, the British did try to re-establish this system but European states such as Austria and the Dutch Republic now saw Britain as a potentially greater threat than France and did not join them while the Prussians were angered by what they considered a British betrayal in 1762. Consequently when the American War of Independence turned into a global war between 1778–83, Britain found itself arrayed against a strong coalition of European opponents without a single major ally.
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