The british army during world war i fought the largest and most costly war in its long history unlike the french and german armies the british army was made up exclusively of volunteers as opposed to conscripts at the beginning of the conflict furthermore the british army was considerably smaller than its french and german counterparts. This is a major new history of the british army during the great war written by three leading military historians ian beckett timothy bowman and mark connelly survey operations on the western front and throughout the rest of the world as well as the armys social history pre war and wartime planning and strategy the maintenance of discipline and morale and the lasting legacy of the first . The british home army in the first world war served the dual purpose of defending the country against invasion and training reinforcements for the army overseas initial responsibility for defending the nation lay with the territorial force a part time auxiliary designed in 1908 as a means of expanding the army in a major foreign conflict but as a result of political compromise implemented . A nation in arms the british army in the first world war ian fw beckett keith simpson on amazoncom free shipping on qualifying offers the great war was the first conflict to draw men and women into uniform on a massive scale from a small regular force of barely 250. In the early part of the 20th century the british army was a fairly small professional body of volunteer regular soldiers after the boer war the british war minister richard haldane created the british expeditionary army in case it was necessary to take part in a foreign war by august 1914 britain had 247432 regular troops
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