Originally posted on International History:
Daniel A. Baugh. The Global Seven Years War, 1754-1763: Britain and France in a Great Power Contest. Modern Wars in Perspective series. Harlow, England: Longman, 2011. ISBN 978-0-582-09239-6. Maps. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Pp. xv, 736. $53.20 (paperback).
This is a study of the Seven Years War, including the French and Indian War, which was fought on a global scale between Britain and France from 1754 to 1763. Dr Daniel A. Baugh, Professor Emeritus of History at Cornell University, is a well-known authority on British maritime history in the eighteenth century, and is the author of British Naval Administration in the Age of Walpole (1965), editor of British Naval Administration, 1715-1750 (1977), and has published many articles on British naval history in scholarly journals.
In this massive, definitive study, Baugh thoroughly examines Anglo-French politics, diplomacy, strategy, as well as military and naval operations in the global conflict called the Seven Years War. In this struggle, Britain, under George II, was allied with Hanover (ruled by George II) and Frederick II of Prussia against France, Austria, and Russia. The author explores the origins of the conflict in North America and Europe. He then focuses his narrative on the Anglo-French struggle in North America (French and Indian War), Europe, India (Third Carnatic War), West Africa, West Indies, Central America, along with action on the high seas. Baugh examines the political and military issues in Britain and France that played a role in the development of strategy and the conduct of military and naval operations. But, as Baugh points out, there were few Anglo-French land battles with just a small number of troops involved. Moreover, the naval war saw only six fleet engagements, including three in the Atlantic and Mediterranean along with three in the Indian Ocean. The author stresses the preparation for mounting expeditions and carrying out lengthy campaigns. As he writes: “This was a war in which strategic and operational planning, careful logistical preparation, and adaptation to unfamiliar campaigning conditions were absolutely necessary for success” (p.xi). Moreover, Baugh points out that Britain’s financial system allowed British forces to continue the war beyond the financial strains experienced by other powers involved in the Seven Years War.