Monday, 1 February 2010

Economizing the army in 1690?

Fresh from the library, the article Fluctuations in the Strength of Forces in English Pay sent to Flanders during the Nine Years' War, 1688 - 1697, by David Chandler, and published in 1983 in War & Society, Vol.1, No. 2 pp.1-20.

As usual, William of Orange had to battle with Parliament each year to get the money he needed to maintain the army at a strength deemed necessary to fight Louis XIV. As a measure to reduce costs, it was suggested by Count Solms to merge three regiments into one single regiment composed of three battalions with eight companies each. This would save a little money, and make available some 4,266 men for new units.

However, the plan fell on stony ground and the idea was never made effective. Probably the opponents of this plan were too deeply involved in the profitable business of the English regimental system...

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