3 thoughts on “Why the British Army was so effective in 1914 – Learning lessons from Boer War

  1. I thought it was the opposite, their small size of the army before the war compared to France meant they didnt have the large numbers of mid and higher level officers to effectively plan and execute large scale operations. Before the war British army was 400K, half of which was in colonial possessions, Germans and French had universal conscription. The British tactics for trench warfare and artillery barrages were up to a year behind the French in the part of Northern France where their forces were close by


    1. That is true, but British infantry was in many ways superb. For example, they had a “mad minute” – their soldiers were trained to rapidly fire their rifles, so that when Germans first attacked British positions, they thought that British had hundreds of machine guns. Of course, once the original cadre got killed, British compensated by actually deploying hundreds of machine guns.


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