The triumph of the redcoats

The Royal Navy may regularly take the plaudits yet, argues Saul David, the true springboard for Britain's rise to global dominance was the brilliance of its army

A painting depicting the Duke of Wellington at the battle of Waterloo. "Wellington’s victories at Roliça and Vimeiro in 1808 were the first significant defeats inflicted upon the French emperor’s armies in Europe," says Saul David. (Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the March 2012 issue of BBC History Magazine 

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