Oliver Cromwell was an undistinguished backbench MP in his forties when the English Civil War began. Like many other gentleman farmers, he recruited a regiment and led it to war. However, unlike most of the amateur leaders, he demonstrated a remarkable apptitude for soldiering and rose to become one of Parliament's leading generals. Ultimately he would use his power-base within the army to seize power and rule all Britain. General Sir Frank Kitson's concise military biography reveals how and why Cromwell proved so successful. His accessible narrative provides an excellent potted history of the Civil War, peppered with asides on the practicalities of soldiering in the 17th century.
Commissioned into the Army soon after the war, Frank Kitson rose to become Commander-in-Chief of UK Land Forces at the end of a 40-year military career. He commanded an armoured division in Germany and deal with civil revolts in Kenya, Malaya, Oman, Cyprus and Northern Ireland. He was Commandant of the School of Infantry and of the Staff College. His previous books include two on Prince Rupert of the Rhine.