The Long Arm of Empire: Naval Brigades from the Crimea to the Boxer RebellionHardback
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- Publisher: Constable
- Format: Hardback | 368 pages
- Dimensions: 77mm x 102mm x 20mm | 675g
- Publication date: 1 September 1999
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0094788405
- ISBN 13: 9780094788404
- Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
Richard Brooks examines the strategic importance of the Naval Brigades and their human side from personal testimonies. They were introduced by the Royal Navy as a land warfare force to help the regular British Army during the the 19th century.
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Richard Brooks specialized in military history and theory of war at Oxford. He is the author of a number of books, including The Long Arm of Empire: Naval Brigades from the Crimea to the Boxer Rebellion.
A set of splendid fighting anecdotes about the naval brigades sent ashore by the Royal Navy in the century from the first Burma war of 1824 to the peace of Versailles in 1919. In the Crimea, for example, the Navy provided some 40 percent of the artillery besieging Sebastopol; and of the 45 Victoria Crosses awarded between the end of the Crimean war and the outbreak of the Great War, 29 were for service with naval brigades. One of them went to Captain Peel (son of the prime minister) who fought at Lucknow, over 500 miles from the sea. For much of this period, British sea power was unchallenged, and the Navy could be used to exert force much faster than the Army could be deployed; hence what is now reviled as 'gunboat diplomacy'. This is an unfashionable but most readable book, despite its poor arrangement. (Kirkus UK)