By George Usher
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Extra resources for Dictionary of British Military History
Later the distinction was extended to all Foot Guards. (Note: a bearskin is not a ‘busby’). Beaugé, battle of (1421; Hundred Years’ War) In spite of the Treaty of Troyes, the Orleanist French and Scottish forces began raiding English lands in the south of Normandy and Maine. fm Page 26 Monday, August 14, 2006 4:11 PM Beauséjour, battle of 26 Thomas, Duke of Clarence, brother of Henry V, pursued the raiders, but his cavalry outdistanced his infantry and were routed at Beaugé in Anjou. Clarence was killed.
Abbreviation BEM British Expeditionary Force The home-based British army formed as a result of the army reforms of 1908. Previously British forces destined to serve abroad were sent as individual units and organised into brigades at their destination. After signing a treaty with France to support her against a potential German invasion, it was thought there should be a ready trained and organised unit to oppose such aggression quickly. Originally the force consisted of six infantry divisions and one cavalry division.
As musketry became more effective the numbers were reduced, so that by 1700 the battalion was reduced to about 700 men, imitating Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden who introduced battalions of 400–500 men during the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century. They gave greater manoeuvrability than the huge squares of 3–4,000. This innovation was copied in the British Army, where the battalion size was down to 400–450 by the end of the 17th century. The equivalent force in the cavalry is the squadron. See also colonel; company; regiment [Via French, from Italian bataglione ‘great battle’, from late Latin bat(t)uere ‘to beat’] battery battery The smallest tactical unit of artillery, commonly composed of six or eight guns and their crews and support personnel (perhaps 200 men in all), towing and ammunition vehicles and horses [Via Old French baterie from batre ‘to beat’, ultimately from late Latin bat(t)uere ‘to beat’] battle dress battle dress A comfortable combat uniform introduced into the British Army in 1937 after various experimental uniforms had been tried.
Dictionary of British Military History by George Usher