THINKING MAN'S SOLDIER, THE: The Life and Career of General Sir Henry Brackenbury 1837-1914
Sir Henry Brackenbury is a now largely forgotten but extremely important soldier, writer, and administrator of the late Victorian era. To Lord Wolseley Brackenbury was 'not one of but the cleverest man in the army' and 'that first-rate man of business,' to the conservative Duke of Cambridge he was 'a very dangerous man' whilst King Edward VII remembered him as the man who 'pulled the army out of a hole in South Africa.'
Born to a minor Lincolnshire landowning family of modest but comfortable means, and as the youngest son of a youngest son, it was always essential that Henry Brackenbury have a 'career.' Although initially studying for the legal profession, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in 1856.
He saw active service during the Indian Mutiny, but after that he settled down into a series of administrative and teaching appointments within the Royal Artillery and as Professor of Military History at the Royal Military Academy Woolwich. Finding he had a considerable amount of spare time on his hands he was encouraged to write a history of the origins of artillery in Europe. With this he started an illustrious literary career which would see him produce five books alongside a large number of journal and newspaper articles. He had a simple narrative style alongside an ability to engage the more technical reader. Being of limited personal means, the financial success of his literary work was extremely important.
The reminder of his career saw him undertake three key administrative posts: First of the Head of the Intelligence Branch of the War Office and then as Military Member of the Governor General of India, where he combined the roles of a Chief of Staff and Secretary of State for War completely reforming the administrative and financial systems of the Indian Army and establishing the Indian Army's first mobilization scheme. Finally as Director General of the Ordnance he had to deal with the large scale demands of the South African War.
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Updated as of 3/23/2023ABBREVIATIONS: dj-dust jacket, biblio-bibliography, b/w-black and white, illust-illustrations, b/c-book club addition.
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