A deeply researched, clearly written, and brilliantly argued examination of the evolution of British cavalry from 1880 through World War I

Stephen Badsey’s book Doctrine and Reform in the British Cavalry 1880-1918 looks at the often overlooked achievements of British and Empire cavalry in the First World War, and the practical military doctrine for the cavalry that was developed in the preceding decades.

The book was shortlisted for the Society for Army Historical Research 2008 Templer Medal, and has been very well reviewed. Why not read the first chapter on our website? (The link is at the bottom of the website page)


‘Doctrine and Reform in the British Cavalry, 1880–1918, is a deeply researched, clearly written, and brilliantly argued examination of the evolution of British cavalry organization, doctrine, and practice from 1880 through World War I. In the process, Stephen Badsey stands many half examined shibboleths on their heads and deepens our understanding of the conduct of both the Boer War and World War I. Even more importantly, he compels his readers to consider the issue of when it became technically feasible for motor transport to replace the horse. The book is essential reading for anyone interested in the military history of the early twentieth century because many of his arguments have universal application. It is my sincere conviction that this is not only a very well done book but also potentially a very important one.’
Dr Edward Raines, U.S. Army Center of Military History, USA

‘Influencing any sensible scholar who wishes to understand the period…. The appearance of [this] book has filled a gap.’
Professor Richard Holmes, author of Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front

‘A great work of intense and splendid scholarship.’
The Marquis of Anglesey, author of A History of the British Cavalry

‘… [a] very readable and erudite book.’ Journal of Military History

‘In all, an eye-opening work worthy of study by Great War specialists.’ Stand To!

‘… this is a most significant contribution to the historiography of the British Army, and its appearance in print is to be welcomed.’ Journal of British Studies

‘… widely researched, carefully argued and absorbing book… Everyone interested in the history of British cavalry, and indeed of the British Army in this period, should read this book… It is fascinating and informative. It is also beautifully produced.’ Soldiers of the Queen

‘… an accessible and highly readable style… a masterly work which deserves a widespread readership.’ Society of Friends of the National Army Museum

‘This is a well-written book with an iconoclastic thesis, and those interested in the pre- and Great War British army (and its imperial extensions), in mounted troops, or in how military institutions adapt to change will find it of great interest.’ Wartime

About the Author: Stephen Badsey is Reader in Conflict Studies at the University of Wolverhampton. He was educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham and Cambridge University, where he was awarded a PhD in 1982; and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1995. He has a personal website at www.stephenbadsey.com

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