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18th Century Warfare - 'Gentlemanly Warfare'

Came about due to cultural restraints, a moral reaction to the 17th Century wars of religion. States tended to have more limited tax and recruitment bases. Constitutional limits existed on the size of armies and how they could be...
deployed. Small yet professional armies and the use of mercenaries were commonplace.

Limited warfare whereby governments encouraged military commanders not to risk large, expensive armies.

1784 Kettle War - Dutch Republic vs Habsburg Monarchy.
The State and it's Sinews of War: Men, Money and Munitions.

Changes arose due to rapid population growth across continental Europe. Larger armies were becoming the new 'norm' with Napoleon boasting of having an "income of 200,000 men a year."
The professionalization of state bureaucracies - tax revenue increases, new financial institutions arise such as national banks which manage loans, debts, credits and so forth to allow for the funding on these large standing armies.
Huge technological advancements were made across the 18th Century on land, and at sea.

"It is no cause for wonder that once war became more popular, it should have become more violent" (Howard).
1792-1902: a decade of warfare inspired by the French revolution. "The nation in arms" - a radical new approach to the conduct of warfare including citizen armies, conscription, and large scale production.
"Unlike the limited wars of the 18th century, the purpose of ideological war became the complete overthrow of the enemy... massive territorial gains... often involving the overthrow of the existing conservative order." (Sheehan)
The Napoleonic Wars:

Napoleon becomes Emperor of France in 1804.

French victory over Austrian-Russian forces at Austerlitz, 1805.
Prussian defeat at Jena, 1806 & Russia at Friedland, 1807.
1808-14: Peninsula War 'Spanish Ulcer'.
1812: Ill-fated French invasion of Russia.
1813: Napoleon is defeated at Leipzig - the largest battle in Europe before 1914.
1814: Invasion of France
1815: Napoleons final defeat at Waterloo

The post-war settlement: the Congress of Vienna and the Concert of Europe.
A key feature was undoubtedly, huge armies, the French army which invaded Russia consisted of 685,000 men. Another feature was large casualty figures, with 5-7 million dying between 1803-1815.
"At its apogee, the Napoleonic way of war threw armies of unprecedented size on country-smashing campaigns of conquest through decisive manoeuvre and, usually, battle. The soldiery was articulated into an autonomous corps d'armee and led by the Corsican mastermind himself...
variously aided and frequently abetted by his Imperial Headquarters and, after 1804, his Marshalate. In its prime, that is to say 1805-07, the Napoleonic style appeared to restore the power of swift decision as an instrument of foreign policy." (Gray).
The American Civil War, 1861-65.

An object lesson in the impact of industrialization on warfare - railways, steamships, telegraphs and the sort. New artillery and rifle technology come about with heavy casualties, notably against heavily entrenched positions.
"We are not only fighting hostile armies, but a hostile people and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war" (Sherman)
German Efficiency:

Post defeat by Napoleon in 1806 the Prussian Military creates the first 'General Staff' - a body of rigorously trained military experts with common methods and doctrine. This new professionalism gave the Prussian military a decisive advantage against...
Denmark (1864), Austria (1866), and France (1870-71).

These Prussian victories facilitated the unification of Germany in 1871.
Naval Warfare in the 19th Century:

The Royal Navy is dominant from 1805 until the Second world war. The 19th century saw huge revolutions in naval technology. Steam-power gave navies speed, maneuverability, heavier armaments, revolving turrets and amour.
New theories of naval warfare came about. Mahan argued that fleets of warships would dominate the seas; Jeune Ecole argued for the use of small, powerfully equipped torpedo-boats (and later submarines) to combat larger battleship fleets.
A British Way In Warfare:

Combination of maritime, economic and diplomatic power to achieve Britain's goals. Major wars were bad for commerce, and commerce was essential for Britain.

A traditional distrust of large standing armies. Reliance upon the Royal Navy for security.
Provide financial support to allies to fight the costly land battles on the continent. Intervene only through naval power.

"Small Wars" for colonial security/expansion. Britain was most happy to engage in these, it's clear British interests are global in spread.
New Zealand (Maori) wars 1845-72
Anglo-Burmese wars 1824-1885*
Anglo-Persian war 1856-57
Anglo-Zulu war 1879
First Boer war 1880-81
Mahdist war 1881-99

and so on.
"If the British lacked troops of their own, or allies who possessed an army, their ability to intervene in continental affairs was limited" (David French).
The Boer War:

Expected to be a short, cheap war with an easy victory. 3 defeats suffered during 'Black Week' which saw Britain dedicate more men and resources. 300,000 troops and a budget rise from £117 to £205*
Crisis of Defence Policy:

Troops are taken away from other Imperial frontiers such as the British Raj. This forced Britain's hand leading to the formation of alliances with Japan (1902), France (1904), and Russia (1907).

Splendid isolation to the era of alliances.
Total War:

"By 1914, the political, economic, social, technological and doctrinal trends of the 19th century had collapsed into a recipe for catastrophe" (Sheehan).

States regimented industry, the economy and domestic populations.
Technology provided weapons of unprecedented power.

Napoleonic doctrines of manoeuvre, and decisive battle died in the statement of the Western Front.
Here's some tables I made earlier:
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