Army Board (ETW building)
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Army Staff College
This is the centre of the army’s bureaucracy, where clerks and secretaries of state labour to make the fighting soldiers’ lives as awkward as possible!
It is a truism that soldiers have little time for the bureaucrats who send them their orders. Some organisation above the level of a regiment is, however, a necessary evil: supplies must be purchased and distributed, transport organised, officers’ promotion lists kept in order, and generals given their orders. All this means paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork! Money, and the power to spend it, are vitally important and all government secretariats are keen to hold on to both.
Historically, the government departments that ran armies in the 18th Century were far from being defence ministries or anything approaching a general staff. A central war planning function was almost unheard of, and often generals were quite unwilling to deal with the authorities at home, preferring to control everything themselves. In Europe the army organisations dealt with pay and rations: often spending time making sure that colonels did really raise regiments they were being paid for! The Ottomans were much more organised, and their armies were on a professional footing and raised on a national basis, even if some of the units raised were rather old fashioned.