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Britain's Forgotten Wars [Paperback]

Ian Heron
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 20.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Feb 2007
Britain's forgotten wars

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Britain's Forgotten Wars + Victoria's Wars: The Rise of Empire
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; New Ed edition (1 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750931620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750931625
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.6 x 5.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 251,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Ian Hernon has been a lobby correspondent at the House of Commons for the past twenty four years.he is married with two daughters and lives in Kent.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A curate's egg of a book 13 May 2008
This book is chock full of fascinating and forgotten moments of conflict. Starting with the Kandy wars in treacherous jungle it pulls you through moments of red coated and wooden shoe wearing soldiers fighting in the foothills of the Himalayas to machine gun wielding exchanges in Africa. This is an excellent book to underline the huge diversity and scope of challenges the British army had to face in the 19th century.

There are however problems. As 1 other reviewer points out for no properly explained reason there's one chapter on the US army vs. Native Americans a very strange inclusion in a book about the British army. Secondly the conflicts are not in chronological order and this at times gets confusing as in one situation soldiers have modern weapons piling on the firepower only to find in the next chapter they are standing in long red coated lines firing muskets. The organisation could have been forgiven if this jumbling up was to make a point but there's nothing really linking these chapters, no overarching theory or point.

It is always interesting reading, I am just not convinced that the book has much value other than a series of "boys own" stories.

If you liked this there's more historical debate and fun at @HistoryGems on Facebook and Twitter
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Note: I only own one of the original three books, Blood in the Sand: More Forgotten Wars of the 19th Century; the notes here I believe are correct. This volume (2003) is stated to collect three earlier books by Hernon, including 'Blood in the Sand'; judging by the number of pages, this claim is correct.

Five stars for effort: literally 19th century (1803 to 1898, I think), possibly based on Annual Registers which appear to to be official British publications. Other sources include The Times, some HMSO reports, and, mostly, books, some of them fairly contemporary, but mostly recent. 'Punch' (1841 onward) is NOT included.

In this volume we have the Gurkha War (1814-16), Borneo Pirates, Madagascar, two Sikh Wars (1845 .. 1849), Eureka Stockade in Australia during the gold rush, Kars, in Turkey, 1855, the Fenian Invasion of Canada, 1866; Orange Walk in Belize (which made it 'British') 1872, and Sierra Leone's Hut Tax War 1898.

As far as I can work out (I only own one of these books) two of Hernon's other books (written within two or three years of each other) look at Kandy War (1803-5), the tiny Falklands 1833 events, Jamaica Rebellion (1865), Ceylon, the Maoris, and others, and the opium wars, Zanzibar shelling. extermination of the Tasmanians, Benin massacres, and others.

There are 'Illustrated London News' engravings, photos, portraits, and so on. Hernon also wrote a pictorial history of Victorian wars.

'.. there was not a single month of that [nineteenth] century when British forces were not engaged somewhere across the globe.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A guide to the Flashman novels 4 Mar 2004
Forgotten wars is a usually highly readable account of some of the most noble and ignoble of britains overseas adventures. Readers will be interested to see the real background to many of the Flashman Novels. Some curiosities of history are well explained.
Only two criticisms. The book needs some maps to explain some of the campaigns clearly, and the Modoc War does not belong as neither is it British nor frankly a war.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read 13 April 2012
This book is a good read , full of ripping yarns of Empire , the Victorian age when a quarter of the globe was coloured pink !! It covers everything from quite well-known colonial campaigns to skirmishes that look quite tame compared to Saturday nights in many modern British towns and cities !! An excellent book only lacking the addition of a map or two to accompany its account of each campaign .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Readable history at its best 8 July 2013
By Paul
With this mighty tome you get three books in one and that is one hell of a bargain. Ian Hernon is a great historian with the rare ability to make the history very readable (a trait shared with people like Saul David or Richard Holmes
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