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Douglas Generals





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As armies grew larger, composed of multiple companies, one captain was granted general (overall) authority over the field armies by the King. (National armies were the armies of the kings. Field armies were armies raised by the King to enter the battle field in preparation for major battles.) In French history, “lieutenant du roi” was a title borne by the officer sent with military powers to represent the king in certain provinces. A lieutenant du roi was sometimes known as a lieutenant general to distinguish him from lieutenants subordinate to mere captains. The sergeant acting as staff officer to the captain general was known as the sergeant-major general. This was eventually shortened to major general, while captain general was shortened to simply general. This is the reason why a major outranks a lieutenant, but a lieutenant general outranks a major general.

As armies grew bigger, heraldry and unit identification remained primarily a matter of the regiment. Brigades headed by brigadier generals were the units invented as a tactical unit, by the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus the second ("Gustav II Adolf", dead at battle of Lutzen 1632). It was introduced to overcome the normal army structure, consisting of regiments. The so-called “brigada” was a mixed unit, comprising infantry, cavalry and normally artillery too, designated for a special task. The size of such “brigada” was a reinforced company up to two regiments. The “brigada” was a 17th century form of the modern “task force”. In some armies "Brigadier General" has been shortened to "Brigadier".

Around the end of the 16th century, companies were grouped into regiments. The officers commissioned to lead these regiments were in fact called colonels (column officers). They were first appointed in Spain by King Ferdinand II of Aragon where they were also known as coronellos (crown officers) since they were appointed by the Crown. Thus the English pronunciation of the word colonel.

The first colonels were captains granted command of their regiments by commission of the King. The lieutenants of the colonel were the lieutenant colonels. In the 17th century, the sergeant of the colonel was the sergeant major. These were field officers, third in command of their regiments (after their colonels and lieutenant colonels), with a role similar to the older, army-level sergeants major (although obviously on a smaller scale). The older position became known as sergeant major general to distinguish it. Over time, the sergeant was dropped from both titles since both ranks were used for commissioned officers. This gave rise to the modern ranks of major and major general.

The full title of sergeant major fell out of use until the latter part of the 18th century, when it began to be applied to the senior non-commissioned officer of an infantry battalion or cavalry regiment.

Regiments were later split into battalions with a lieutenant colonel as a commanding officer and a major as an executive officer.


Archibald The Grim, 3rd Earl of Douglas, -1400, Lieutenant General of Scotland.
Archibald Douglas, 2nd Earl of Forfar, Living 1716 
Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas, 1369 - 1424 
Brig William Charles Douglas, 1862- 
Brigadier General Archibald Campbell Douglas c1886 
Brigadier General Clarence J. Douglas, Jr. 
Brigadier General Ephraim Douglas 
Brigadier General John W. Douglass 
Brigadier General Paul P. Douglas, Jr. 
Brigadier General William M. Douglass, 1942 -
 Brigadier-General Sir Thomas Monteith Douglas.
Count Robert Douglas, b1611 
General Sir John Douglas of Glenfinart, 1817 - 1888 
General Barrington Bruckeley Campbell Douglas, 1845-1917
General Henry Kyd Douglas, 1840-1903 
General Hugh Douglas, Living 1780 
General Sir Charles Horsley Douglas, 1815-1940 
General Sir Howard Douglas  (1776 - 1861)
General Sir Kenneth Mackenzie-Douglas, 1754-1833 
General William Douglas, 1742 - 1777 
General William Douglas, k1747 
George Douglas, 1st Earl of Dumbarton, 1635 - 1691/2 
George Douglas, 2nd Earl of Dumbarton, 1687 - 1748/9 
Lt Gen Archibald Douglas, 1707-1778
Lt General Charles Douglas, 1814-1885
Lt Gen James Douglas, living 1685 
Lt General Sir Neil Douglas, living 1815 
Lt General Sir Robert Douglas, abt 1745 - 1827 
Major General Archibald Douglas, 1896-1981
Major General Henry Edward Manning Douglas VC, 1875-1939
Major General John Primrose Douglas 1908-1975
Major General Octavious Douglas-Hamilton 1821 - 1904 
Major General Robert Douglas, 1727-1809 
Major General Robert Douglas, c1744 - 1798 
Major General Robert Douglas, d1828 
Major General Robert W. Douglass 1900 - 1976 
Major General Sir Robert Percy Douglas, 1804-1891 
Major General Sir William Douglas (1858 - 1920) 
Major General Sir William Douglas of Bonjedward and Timpendean, 1770-1834 
Sir Robert Douglas, 3rd of Glenbervie, k1692 
Vilhelm Archibald Douglas, 1883-1960 
William, 8th earl of Douglas, Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom of Scotland



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Last modified: Sunday, 02 June 2019