Sunday, 25 March 2012

FACTUAL REVIEW: All the King's Men - Saul David

Release Date: 02/02/12


"The British soldier", wrote a Prussian officer who served with Wellington, "is vigorous, well fed, by nature highly brave and intrepid, trained to the most vigorous discipline, and admirably well armed...These circumstances explain how this army ...has never yet been defeated in the field". From the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 to the Downfall of Napoleon in 1815, Britain won a series of major wars against France that enabled her to lay the foundations of a global empire. By Waterloo, she was the paramount maritime and industrial power in the world, and would remain so for much of the nineteenth century. This is the story of that extraordinary century and a half of martial success and the people who made it possible: the soldier - kings William III and the first two Georges; the generals Marlborough, Wolfe, Moore and Wellington; and the ordinary British redcoats who - despite harsh service conditions that included low pay, poor housing, inadequate food and brutal discipline - rarely let their commanders down in battles as far afield as Blenheim, Plassey, Quebec and Waterloo.


As a reader, whilst I’m fairly up on the General’s points of view on various wars, it’s how the rank and file troops were armed and equipped that always kept me interested. This book by Saul David takes the reader by the hand and gives you the information on how the soldier changed from the Restoration (the 1660’s) through to Waterloo (1815) via the various equipment changes and also the training alongside how they interacted on the field.

War is an ever changing beast yet this title by Saul really does bring it all to life, allowing the reader to follow the information in an easy to understand method as well as making it easy to recall. All in a cracking title and one that I’ll be referring to time and again. Great stuff.

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