This chapter explores a career in the army. It shows how such a career took a considerably different shape to a career in the navy. Young men joined the army later but then usually served continuously so long as the country was at war, while even at the height of the conflict with Napoleon naval officers spent much time ashore and on half-pay. Neither career was well rewarded, but there was a greater chance of a financial windfall for officers in the navy. The navy was also much more competitive, while the ability of officers in the army to purchase promotion gave them greater independence. A naval officer depended on many things to secure an attractive position as a captain, commodore, or admiral. An army officer's progress through the ranks was much smoother, oiled by purchase if necessary, and it was only when he had been promoted a colonel or a major-general and was looking for employment on the staff that he needed the support of a superior officer or the Horse Guards.
Yale Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.