Whenever his men were successful in achieving their military objectives, Cromwell attributed their success to God's assistance of their cause. Cromwell felt that his military mission was also a religious quest to defend God's church in England from Catholic corruption. Cromwell's great zeal had a contagious effect on his men. As a military leader, Cromwell imposed an exceptionally disciplined regimen on his men. Cromwell's regiment was perhaps the best trained in all of England, and Cromwell's men feared him greatly. Despite the harsh discipline, which included public whippings for desertion attempts, most of Cromwell's soldiers admired and respected him. Cromwell was also very hostile toward professional soldiers–officers from the English noble classes who often received their commissions because they belonged to the right families rather than because of their merit as soldiers. Cromwell irritated many of his superiors with his
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