How Prepared for a Major Overseas War Was Victorian Britain by 1850?

1290 Words Nov 6th, 2014 6 Pages
How prepared for a major overseas war was Victorian Britain by 1850?

The British Army experienced huge change during the Napoleonic period (1793 to 1813), which influenced greatly their preparations for war in 1850. At the start of the French Revolutionary wars in 1793 Britain had a small poorly run army, made up of only 40,000 men. The commanders were not properly trained merely give the roles due to their social class and family history. However, by the end of the period the numbers had vastly increased and actually peaked at 250,000 men. The armed forces experienced such changes in this period because warfare changed, war became more industrial and Britain had to accommodate for this. Prior to this period they had mainly been
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These new weapons meant that the army was more prepared for a large-scale war. Britain’s Military had both grown in size since the turn of the century and advanced the technology it used both suggesting they would be prepared for an overseas war.

The industrial revolution also helped prepare Victorian Britain for a large-scale overseas war in the form of steam ships. Steam ships allowed the British navy to sail further and faster than before. Before the industrial revolution in the 18th century the navy used Wind powered ships. These could only travel with the wind; this made travel slow and difficult. Huge crews were required to run them and this meant that overseas wars were dangerous. It was difficult to transport troops around the world to the battle and it took too long. Any reinforcements or rations needed would take too long to reach the troops. Therefore, the steamboats, which could travel against the wind and faster than the old ships, would prepare Britain enormously for an overseas war. They would carry more men and artillery and do so faster. They also helped with communication within the military. It meant new orders could travel around all of the different regiments more quickly allowing better preparation and

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