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Combined operations: British naval and military co-operation in the wars of 1688-1713

McLay, Keith Andrew John (2003) Combined operations: British naval and military co-operation in the wars of 1688-1713. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis assesses British naval and military co-operation in the form of combined operations during the Nine Years War, 1688-1697, and the War of the Spanish Succession, 1702-1713. The operational history of the joint actions is related and used to drive forward the determination of two inter-related themes. These are, how combined operations might be defined as an instrument of warfare during this period; and secondly, the place of such operations within the military component of Britain's wartime Grand Strategy. With respect to the former, previous definitions embodying the benchmarks of objectives and composition of force are set against the history and built upon to incorporate three further categories of definition: theatre of war, bureaucratic control and command structure. As a result, it is argued that no blanket definition for combined operations can be arrived at, but that any one of the five categories can provide insights into combined operations as an instrument of warfare. The second theme places the strategic objectives of these operations within the context of British war policy and explores their relationship to the 'Maritime' and 'Continental' strategic traditions. While it becomes clear that combined operations were thought to possess neither an independent nor a war-winning strategic capability, they do appear to have consistently filled a role in Grand Strategy which acted either simultaneously or separately in support of the naval and military strategic interests. With the categories for definition and a strategic role established for such joint army-navy ventures, the thesis concludes by considering whether during these wars there were any factors common to the more successful, and conversely to the failing, combined operations. Although a pattern or mould for a successful combined operation cannot be established, it is shown that the origins of the developed historical practice of this type of warfare - demonstrated to such effect later in the eighteenth century - can be traced in the two wars considered in this study.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Supervisor's Name: Glassey, Dr. Lionel K.J.
Date of Award: 2003
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:2003-1269
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:36
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1269

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