Oliver Cromwell was one of more than 200 men who became general officers during the period of the British Civil Wars.
They had varying roles to fulfil, focusing on service in the field, logistics, regional command, as well as a series of specific and often short-term tasks.
Like Cromwell, many of these men had a distinct lack of military experience at the outset of the war. Others had limited contact with the military during the pre-war years. Some had served in the Bishops’ Wars of 1639 and 1640.
As the war progressed, there were notable changes in the cohort of generals. Older soldiers with experience of war on the Continent found themselves competing with younger men whose only experience had been gained during the Civil Wars themselves.
In this insightful discussion, Professor Martyn Bennett will look at Cromwell’s developing career and how this compares to his peers.
Martyn Bennet is Professor of Early Modern History at Nottingham Trent University. His research focuses on the civil wars in Britain and Ireland. He has published several books and articles on the subject, as well as regularly contributing to programmes on radio and television.