Academic journal article Military Review

From Flintlock to Rifle: Infantry Tactics, 1740-1866

Academic journal article Military Review

From Flintlock to Rifle: Infantry Tactics, 1740-1866

Article excerpt

FROM FLINTLOCK TO RIFLE: Infantry Tactics, 1740-1866, by Steven T. Ross. 218 pages. Frank Cass, London. (Distributed by International Specialized Book Services. Inc.. Portland, OR.) 1996. $37.50.

In this excellent book, Steven T. Ross purports to examine evolving infantry tactics from the age of Frederick the Great through the American Civil War and the Austro-Prussian War. He does more than this, however, as he also provides a general survey of the evolution of military thought and practices, along with the technological, political and social changes impacting the transformation of warfare from a form in which the infantry was the "queen of battle" to that of combined arms operations. This book is basically a reissue of the 1979 first edition with an excellent new introduction providing a very useful discussion of books that have enhanced our understanding of this warfare period.

The two themes that highlight this book are flexibility and initiative. As the period progressed, military organizations were provided the means to adapt their formations and resources to meet changing topographical and enemy situations. Concurrently, commanders and individual soldiers gained the authority to conduct combat operations and activities that best fit the situation. …

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