View Full Version : From the Scottish Highlands to San Marina, California

02-11-2015, 05:15 PM
From the Defence-in Depth blog a revisionist account of General John Campbell, Fourth Earl of Loudoun, who formed the first British light infantry unit, during the early years of the French and Indian Wars (1756-1758). Roger's Rangers get a mention too and that the tactics he recommended were those Loudon had used in Scotland after the 1745 rebellion:http://defenceindepth.co/2015/02/11/from-the-archives-the-loudoun-papers-at-the-huntington-library-california/

The link is to a short article and the main research paper (12 pgs) is at:https://www.academia.edu/7078647/British_Strategic_and_Tactical_Development_During_ the_French_and_Indian_War_1754-1759

Military reform is never easy, even more so when at war and far from your national command and source of finance:
Loudoun was a reformer. The army he inherited was corrupt, poorly commanded and lacked training. It was ill-equipped and ill-acclimated to warfare in dense terrain in the forests of North America. When he assumed command, even senior colonial generals were subordinate to green-behind-the-ears British subalterns. He began the slow and tedious process of reforming the British Army in North America.

Loudoun enacted all of these reforms, in the face of local, regional and political opposition. He did so diligently and effectively, although his demeanour regularly put noses out of joint. Under his command, the British Army in North America was transformed from a thoroughly ineffective fighting force into one capable of adapting and innovating in the terrain it found itself in, and to the enemy it fought.The California connection? The library used for the author's research is there. The Huntingon Library.

There are threads in this section on light infantry tactics (in 2007 http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2688 ) and colonial era scout units (in 2013 http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=19656 ). Maybe others too.