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As Britain began to spread its Empire around the globe it was only a matter of time before the European power struggle would ignite another conflict The War of Spanish Succession indirectly carried over to the War of Austrian Succession 1739-48 which was quickly followed by the Seven Years War 1756-63 that extended as far as North America as the French and British battled for territory in the New World As the standing army swelled to over 135000 total soldiers worldwide by 1762 the armys status of second-rate their importance blinded by the beloved navy found a strange mix of competency and neglect The British Army was the epitome of a highly disciplined force that would and could stand abreast and deliver impeccable volleys of controlled fires advance across open battlefields and then hold their terrain However their enemy now was not rebellious subjects back home or even conventional armies of Europe they proved were unable to match the British platoon firing system during the early 1700s Britain was carving out colonies in foreign lands around the world and the portion of the Seven Years War that occurred away from the European Continent would prove a hindrance of unfamiliar battlefield conditions requiring non-doctrinal new approaches to warfare It was the American wilderness that would become the testing ground allowing for almost instant feedback as to what and how these adaptations would take effect Following General Braddocks crushing defeat of his typical open-field tactics of the British by the French and Indian guerrilla armies on the Monongahela River in 1755 the British leadership in the American theater combined lessons learned from the guerrilla tactics and combined them with the tactics of Austrias Light Companies of the 1740s to form entire battalions of light troops These new battalions spawned a new form of the multi-purpose infantrymen the prototype of todays special operations or ranger units these light fighters were skilled in scouting skirmishing woodcraft and even swimming
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