3.Englands Army from 1066 to 1900s: This Nation is among the greatest
that ever existed, from the battle of Hastings to world war 2 this
Nations army has stayed strong. They also had the best navy ever. They
are very well drilled and disciplined which are one of the key
ingredients of making a good army. With this they controlled over 1/5 of
the worlds population at their greatest. They had a lot of colonies all
around the world and has had a lot of victories.
Hastings? In the battle of Hastings England's army actually lost
to a mixed Norman-French army.
And in WW2 British army had a series of military blunders - the biggest one being the Malayan Campaign (against Japan).
Also British Expeditionary Force in France, Norway and Greece; Operation Market Garden; combats against Rommel in Africa (finally Montgomery won, but due to large numerical and material superiority + US help); battles around Caen (British forces stuck for long time), etc.
Regarding the battle of France in 1940 - British forces lost nearly 100% of their equipment left behind in France. Large part of manpower was evacuated, but mostly by civilian boats. So Dunkirk is an achievement - but an achievement of British civilians, while a defeat of British army. And they rescued men, not an army (an army = men + equipment, and equipment was lost). British people often entirely blame France for the defeat of 1940, but as a matter of fact the Dunkirk escape was possible largely thanks to resistance of French forces at Lille (Siege of Lille 1940), which gave time for evacuation.
In the battle of Monte Cassino the British army also experienced many troubles against much weaker Germans.
In general performance of the British army in WW2 was rather moderate / decent - not bad but also not very good.
Some operations of RAF were also failures - for example initial period of bombing campaign against Germany.
While when it comes to great British victories in WW2.
Here udoubtedly I would qualify the air battle over Britain, in which forces of RAF repulsed Luftwaffe, the defence of Malta and initial British victories in Africa against Italy (including Operation Compass - a similar blunder for the Italians as the Malayan Campaign was for the British).
Edited by Domen - 17-Apr-2013 at 16:52