Soldiers Probe & Look For…

“The soldiers probed endlessly for weaknesses among their leaders, but they responded to an officer who was assured enough in his authority to be willing to explain why such and such a thing must be done. Professionalism also commanded respect. The soldiers admired an officer who knew his business, who established a clear understanding of what he expected in terms of discipline and performance, who marched at their head into danger, and yet never subjected them to unnecessary fatigue or threatened to throw away their lives for no useful purpose.”

Christopher Duffy (1987) The Military Experience in the Age of Reason. London: Routledge.

Christopher Duffy (born 1936) is a British military historian. Duffy read history at Balliol College, Oxford, where he graduated in 1961 with the PhD. Afterwards, he taught military history at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the college of the British General Staff. He was secretary-general of the British Commission for Military History and vice-president of the History Society of Ireland. From 1996 to 2001, he was research professor at the De Montfort University, Leicester. Today he lives and works as a freelance author.

Duffy’s special interest is the military history of the European modern age, in particular the history of the German, Prussian and Austrian armed forces. He is most famous for his writings about the Seven Years’ War and especially Frederick the Great, which he called self-ironically “a product of the centuries-old British obsession with that most un-British of creatures”. Duffy is fluent in six languages and has published some twenty books about military history topics, whereof several were translated into German.

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