ln order to illustrating the reality of the British high command that Wellington was constantly striving to improve, we are here publishing an excerpt from an anonymous work entitled “Advice to the Officers and Soldiers of the British Army”. Published for the first time in England during the American War of lndependence, it was reprinted many times, probably until the middle of the 19th century. The author is still unknown; stylistic differences between paragraphs suggest that several writers were involved.
This satirical book provides a good description of an 18th-century army’s anonymous foot soldiers and prominent generals, especially the senior officers. Using exaggeration in order to make a point, it exposes rather unflattering aspects that Wellington had been combating since the lberian campaign as well as the power and behavior of any man in an almighty position, including, in many respects, the Iron Duke himself.