2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Global Seven Years War 1754-1763, Daniel Baugh, Longman, 2011, 736pp (+xvi)
This is a detailed, interesting and very readable book on the `global' aspect of the Seven Years War, or, to be quite clear, the Anglo-French Seven Years War. It does not deal in detail with the European Seven Years War involving Prussia and Austria, and their respective allies, except where the diplomatic aspects involve or affect the Anglo-French struggle; though the campaigns of His Britannic Majesty's Army in Germany in defence of Hanover is included.
From the Author's Preface:
"... however, the number of land battles in this war was quite small and the troop numbers involved were usually quite limited. In the naval war there were only six fleet engagements: three in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, three in the Indian Ocean. The battles mattered - some may be called decisive - but this book will also pay close attention to the challenges of mounting expeditions and sustaining lengthy campaigns in difficult circumstances. In the British case there was also the challenge of maintaining supremacy at sea, and in the French case of trying to avoid its consequences. This was a war in which strategic and operational planning, careful logistical preparation, and adaptation to unfamiliar campaigning conditions were absolutely necessary for success."
"I have chosen to tell the story of the war chronologically while making allowance for the fact that campaigns were going on simultaneously worldwide. My plan from the beginning was to examine both sides. The narrative tries not to presume that what happened had to happen. Instead, it seeks to present the circumstances and mixture of considerations in which decisions were made. Those who were engaged in making the decisions are quoted in their own words where possible."
The Contents are -
P017: Statesmen and regimes
P035: Origin of the contested regions, 1748-54
P073: Risking war, 1754-55
P111: War without declaration: North America, 1755
P141: Indecision in Europe: May to December 1755
P169: French triumphs, British blunders, 1756
P213: France's new war plans, 1756-57
P271: The tide turns, 1758
P319: The Atlantic and North America, 1758
P377: The West Indies and North America, 1759
P421: The British victory at sea, 1759
P453: Britain conquers afar, disunity looms at home
P511: The chance of peace, 1761
P559: Peacemaking, 1762: concessions before conquests
P621: Conclusion and aftermath
P667: Abbreviations and short titles
P673: Notes on sources
With 17 maps.
As far as I am concerned, the Author has delivered on his promise in his Preface quoted above. I found this a fascinating narrative of the war. It is much concerned with affairs in America, but this is because a lot happened in America, as the conflict had one of its sources in the problems arising from the peace that settled (or failed to settle) the War of the Austrian Succession in 1748. It does indeed show us the problems of campaigning in the wilderness areas of North America - and of campaigning in India and Western Germany also. We also get to see the politicians and diplomats at work, along with the workings of the cabinets and leaders of both sides, as well as the serious structural differences between the way the French and the British governments worked.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2013
A really good general account of the 7 years war. Its quite a task getting the span of the war into one volume and the author does a great job. A balance between detail of the naval and military actions and the wider political decision-making. The balance between the different theatres of war is also well done.
If you are after an in-depth history of a certain area then this may not be the book for you but I highly recommend it.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2013
I'm more than half way through this book and it's a fascinating insight to politics in the 18th century. It's extremely well written, but it is a long read.