Seminars meet each weekday morning, with afternoons free for course-related field trips, individual study, or exploring the many places of interest in and around the city.
Please note that OUDCE reserves the right to alter course content and/or cancel field trips in accordance with government guidance.
We will start the course by looking at war, the roles of an army and the evolution of a standing army as one of the defining characteristics of the modern nation state. Then, in part 2, we will consider the birth of the British army from the nucleus of Cromwell’s New Model Army, its rejuvenation under Charles II and its ill-fated role during the Glorious Revolution - covering the period 1625-1685.
In part 1 we will look at the army’s maturity and subsequent decline during the Age of Marlborough in the 18th century 1685-1783. In part 2, we will examine the tumultuous period of the French Wars 1793-1815, during which Wellington’s Redcoats progressed to become one the finest and most respected fighting forces in the world.
We will look in detail at Britain’s army in the19th Century. The multifariousness of its tasks and its (sometimes controversial) role in building the British Empire – Sahib and Khaki, the colonial wars and Imperialism 1816-1902.
We will study the Great War, Haig and Tommy 1902-1919 and consider the validity of Alan Clarke’s assertion that “lions were led by donkeys”. Then in the part 2, we will look at the difficult inter-war years and the equally challenging readjustment back to a war footing under the arrogant, unlikeable, but ultimately successful Montgomery – 1919-1945.
In part 1 we will conduct an examination of the British army in modern wars from the challenges of the final colonial campaigns, to the controversial role in Northern Ireland and finally, the army’s crucial role in NATO and the Cold War from 1945-1990. In the final session we will look at the nation’s and army’s role in, and the asymmetric nature of, the War on Terror 1990-2016.