Several writers have remarked that Marlborough could have never achieved his great military success during the War of the Spanish Succession without the support, industry and ingenuity of his Chief of Staff, Quartermaster General and Chief of Intelligence, General William Cadogen, who became the 1st Earl of Cadogan, and who, in 1722, succeeded Marlborough as Commander-in Chief of the British Army. Apart from the other considerations Marlborough, then in his 50's, was relatively frail and prone to fevers and headaches, whereas Cadogen, the better educated officer, was still in his early 30's and very fit. This, the story of a most able young general, is a must for all those interested in military history, particularly that relating to the early 18th century. However, Cadogen was a more complex - and more interesting - personality than his career as a soldier indicates. He possessed the charm, the wisdom, the powers of persuasion and the linguistic ability to make an outstanding diplomat. He proved, indeed, to be the brightest roving ambassador of the reign of George I. And yet, despite all his positive attributes he was not a man political or of financial integrity.
Johnnie Watson was educated at Eton College and commissioned into The Blues and Royals before being seconded to the Guards Parachute Company with whom he served in Cyprus and Suez. On being invalided out of the Army, he joined Country Life and was their senior features writer for over 20 years. He has written some 25 books. These include the best selling Sefton: The Story of a Cavalry Horse (Sefton was blown up by the IRA), biographies of Duke of Monmouth, Royal Millais, and Lionel Edwardes, numerous regimental histories and sporting works. He lives at Shipley in Sussex.