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Thread: Books on History of British Army

  1. #1
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    Books on History of British Army

    Hi,

    My main area of interest are British Swords. I have completed small library of sword reference books and now would like to study a bit more about British Army as it is very useful to reference swords to particular conflicts. I did small research and found book titled The Sword of the Crown: a History of the British Army to 1914 by Eric W. Sheppard. Would you advise this book or would you suggest other?

    Regards,
    David
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  2. #2
    hi David a bit late in reply. I have never read the above book so can,t say if its any good. However if you look at the history of the british army it would be hard to put it all in one book. maybe a book on each major war which the british had a hand in would be more help. you could start with the wars of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, the use of cavalry in this war is interesting. then maybe the 7 years war, then the AWI, penisula war and waterloo. this takes you up to 1815, so you would need to look at the indian wars etc for later auctions. to be trueful it was the fire lock that tales the story of the british army, the stand fast of the british infantry and their telling fire power much more so then any cavalry auction using the sword. michael

  3. #3
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    Redcoat by Richard Holmes is about the British soldier (mainly the enlisted man) "in the age of horse and musket." Fusiliers by Mark Urban is about the 23rd Regiment (Royal Welch Fusiliers) during the American Revolution. They served from Lexington Green to Yorktown so they were in it from the beginning to the end and much of it in between. I don't know if these are exactly what you're looking for, but both are good. I haven't read it, but another book by Urban which you may be interested in is Wellington's Rifles.
    "Courage is fear holding on a minute longer."--Gen. George S. Patton

  4. #4
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    Guys,

    Thanks for your reply. I understand that it would be difficult to put whole detailed history of British Army in one book. I was looking for more brief book covering the history from 17th to beginning of 20th century. I would like to start from this book and then focus on periods that interest me the most.

    I actually bought this book recently. I will write a review when I read it.

    Regards,
    David

  5. #5
    David,
    For the Victorian period I recommend Mr. Kipling's Army: All the Queen's Men by Byron Farwell and Go to Your God Like a Soldier: The British Soldier Fighting for Empire 1837-1902 by Ian Knight. Both offer good overviews of the army in general. Knight's books is more recent and is also nicely illustrated, but Farwell is a lot of fun to read. It has been ages since I read it, but I recall enjoying Wellington's Military Machine 1792-1815 by Philip J. Haythornthwaite. For additional suggestions for the late 18th century through the 19th century I recommend checking out the books and reference materials sections at www.napoleonicwarsforum.com and www.victorianwars.com .

    I also highly recommend the various "sourcebooks" by Philip J. Haythornthwaite (Napoleonic Wars, Colonial Wars, World War One). They are always handy when researching the many battles and wars from the Napoleonic period through WWI.

    Jonathan
    Last edited by J.G. Hopkins; 01-06-2012 at 07:36 AM.

  6. #6
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    I have just finished reading the book that is a topic of this thread. Book covers wars fought by British soldiers from the begining of written history till Great War however it focuses on 18th and 19th century. In my opinion it is a good book that gives brief overview of history of British Army. The only disadvantage of this book is lack of proper maps.

  7. #7
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    For bit of an oddball historical eddy: "The First Golden Age of Rocketry: Congreve and Hale Rockets of the Nineteenth Century" (ISBN: 0874749875 / 0-87474-987-5)
    Winter, Frank H.; I picked up a copy when first approached by a TV show about reproducing one of these early rockets. me being the closest historical blacksmith to the black powder press and explosives testing facility. I was rather sorry when it fell through...
    Thomas Powers
    CoFounder of the Intergalactic Union of Bladesmiths
    "when you forge upon a star"---you better have your union card handy!

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