Module Identifier IP35320  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Martin S Alexander  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   16 Hours (16 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   8 Hours (5 x 90 mins)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  60%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 2,500 word coursework  40%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

- critically assess the legacies of Napoleonic warfare for a range of European countries and their armed services
- discuss the challenges encountered by European forces in operating in non-European contexts in the age of imperialism
- describe and analyze the key factors, agents historical trends and structural dynamics that influenced the changing shape, doctrines and fighting styles of various European and non-European armed forces in the period examined
- evaluate critically the roles of naval and land forces and their structure and recruitment in relation to differing national politico-strategic cultures and ways of war.

Brief description

This module allows students to examine the legacies of the Napoleonic Wars for the structures, recruitment and strategic thought of European armed forces, and to identify and illustrate trends in these areas and in technological changes impacting on armed forces, in and outside Europe, down to and during World War One (1914-18)


The aim of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to study military developments, and historiographical debates about them, relating to warfare, the recruitment and organization of armed forces, the development of strategy and the impact of technological changes on armed forces and the conduct of operations, from the Napoleonic Wars' end (1815) to the close of World War One (1918).


This module will take stock of the effects of the Napoleonic Wars on the organization of armed forces and the conduct of war; then discuss the impact of major 19th century technological changes including the coming of the electric telegraph, railways, steamships, and repeating, breech-loading rifles, machine-guns and artillery; examine the conduct of war in Europe and the United States in the 1850s-1870s; the experience of European armies in colonial 'small wars'; the evolution of general staffs and national conscription after 1871; concluding by examining strategy, doctrine, logistics and the use of new technologies in the Boer and Russo-Japanese wars and the First World War.

Transferable skills

Students will be required to work independently on their preparation for seminars and the assessed elements of the module and make critical use of web-sites in their research and data-collection
Students will be required use IT in the module to word-process their essays and pre-circulate by e-mail attachment their bullet-point presentations for seminars
Students will be encouraged to use numerical data where appropriate in support of their oral and written arguments
Students will be expected to contribute to seminar discussions and to facilitate this, the Module Convenor assigns three or four students in each seminar group to prepare in advance, and distribute electronically, one-page bullet-point summaries of aspects of the seminar topic and to introduce the sub-topic by a short non-assessed presentation. A paired-off student (also pre-designated), for each presentation, is then called on as Respondent, before general discussion is opened for all seminar group members
Throughout the module students will need to manage their time effectively.

10 ECTS credits

Reading Lists

William McElwee (1974) The Art of War from Waterloo to Mons Indiana UP, 1974
David Gates (2001) Warfare in the Nineteenth Century Palgrave
Trevor Royle (1999) Crimea: The Great Crimean War, 1854-56 Little, Brown & Co


This module is at CQFW Level 6