Posted by Ann on September 27, 1997 at 23:43:54:
In response to Commissions, written by May / via Caroline , from Ramble on September 27, 1997 at 22:46:28
] What does a "commission" mean? How do you obtain one?...
In the British army at this time, until you reached the rank of, I think Colonel, there were only 2 ways you could get a promotion: 1) You could get a battlefield promotion due to senority, if the guy ahead of you gets killed off, and 2) you could buy it. After the rank of Colonel, you actually had to earn your way to General's rank. In the Sharpe novels (my sole source for this stuff) the commanders were not even allowed to promote men. If they wanted to put a certain man in charge of a unit, they couldn't do it--even if he were more competant than anyone else. Competency had nothing to do with one's rank. By contrast, the French army was merit, not money, based.
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