Commander-in-Chief of the Forces

Commander-in-Chief of the Forces

The Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, or just the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C), was the professional head of the British Army from 1660 until 1904, when the office was replaced by the Chief of the General Staff, soon to become Chief of the Imperial General Staff (from 1908). From 1870, the C-in-C was subordinate to the Secretary of State for War. The relationship between the Commander in Chief and another office, the Captain-General, was never clear. On occasion, the two posts were held by the same man.

In most instances, Commanders-in-Chief of the Forces were not cabinet members. Instead, the British Army was represented variously in government by the Paymaster of the Forces (Paymaster-General), Master-General of the Ordnance, Secretary at War, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, Secretary of State for War or Secretary of State for Defence.

General-in-Chief Command



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