The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. It came into being with unification of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army included Regiments that had already existed in England and Scotland. It was administered by the War Office from London. Since 1963 it has been managed by the Ministry of Defence.
History[change | change source]
Under Oliver Cromwell, the English Army was active in the conquest and settlement of Ireland since the 1650s. The Cromwellian campaign was characterised by its uncompromising treatment of the Irish towns that had supported the Royalists during the English Civil War.
From roughly 1763 the United Kingdom has been one of the leading military and economic powers of the world. The British Empire expanded in this time to include colonies, protectorates, and Dominions throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australasia. Although the Royal Navy is widely regarded as having been vital for the rise of Empire, and British dominance of the world, the British Army played important roles in colonisation.
The British army was heavily involved in the Napoleonic Wars in which the army served in Spain, across Europe, and in North Africa. The war between the British and French Empires stretched around the world. The British Army finally came to defeat Napoleon at one of Britain's greatest military victories at the battle of Waterloo.
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