The military intervention of eight powers in China during the ‘Boxer Uprising’ of 1900-01 proved a major test in coalition warfare. Early political and naval unity when faced with potential disaster proved more difficult to replicate on land due to the absence of inter-Allied control mechanisms.
Coalition warfare was an inherent feature of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. While national histories tend to overlook this aspect, coalition diplomacy formed a crucial part of Britain’s war experience and the most important factor in the eventual victory at Waterloo.
But before too long this trivial inquiry was to generate anxious telegrams to Harold Macmillan from his Australian counterpart, Sir Robert Menzies, fearful of the collapse of American confidence in the Dominion’s ability to maintain military security.
The Cretan campaign shows how one side’s superior intelligence cannot compensate for inferior air power, infirmity of purpose and rigidity of mind; Arnhem illustrates the folly not so much of making inadequate use of available intelligence but of wilfully