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Queen Victoria’S Paladins

Garnet Wolseley and Frederick Roberts

John Philip Jones

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Sachbuch / Biographien, Autobiographien


QUEEN VICTORIAS PALADINS The unique feature of this book is that it is a dual biography. Garnet Wolseley (18331913) and Frederick Roberts (18321914) were the most important British soldiers during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. They both became field marshals and were both raised to the peerage and entered the House of Lords. Wolseley and Roberts were Queen Victorias paladins. Their reputations were built on the expeditions they led. Wolseley commanded forces in North America and Africa; Roberts commanded in Afghanistan and, at the end of his career, in South Africa. Both men were army reformers, and Roberts dedicated his retirement to a campaign to introduce a brief period of compulsory army service for all physically fit young men, with the objective of building a large reserve of partially trained soldiers. However, this proposal was not acceptable to any British government. Both Wolseley and Roberts left extensive well-written personal memoirs, and their campaigns also generated a substantial literature. They both attracted followers. The officers who surrounded themsome of them highly talentedbecame known as the Wolseley Ring and the Roberts Ring. Queen Victorias paladins devoted their lives to the British Empire. They demonstrated formidable strategic and tactical skills and won a succession of wars against brave but militarily backward opponents. This book compares Wolseley and Roberts as commanders. It also touches on whether Wolseley and Roberts can be compared with generals like Wellington and Montgomery, who won their battles against large, well-organized, and well-armed enemy armies. It is by no means certain that Wolseley and Roberts would have done well in such different circumstances.



North America, government, literature, memoir, Africa, British, retirement, Field Marshals