I remember many years ago seeing this picture for the first time on the covers of Charles Grant’s 1975 book The Battle of Fontenoy in the Background Books for Wargamers and Modellers series. To me the painting instantly reflected the feel of 18th century warfare, with its glorious colour and pageantry, its mannered politeness, and also its timeless horror. Click on the above picture (and the others in this posting) to see a much enlarged version.
The 18th Century saw the perfection of the concept of the professional army. From the point of view of the monarch they were a great asset to the kingdom –ensuring protection from enemies from within as well as without the crown’s borders. The professional army had numerous positive attributes. It also had limitations. Both its attributes and its limitations directly effectived how the Kingdoms and Empires of the 18th Century waged wars. What were those effects?