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Sharpshooter of the Crimea: The Letters of the Captain Gerald Goodlake VC 1854-56 Hardcover – 30 May 2005

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Leo Cooper Ltd (30 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844152375
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844152377
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 17.1 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,213,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Michael Springman is a former Guards Officer who has deeply researched regimental records for this book. He lives on the Isle of Wight.

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D.Buttery on 23 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a Crimean War enthusiast, I'd heard of Captain Gerald Goodlake VC before and was interested to read a biography about him. However, this book is not a 'full biography' of his entire life but concentrates on the fascinating time he spent in the Crimea and his escapades with the newly formed sharpshooters in the Guards Brigade. It draws heavily upon Goodlake's letters to his family, which are very good primary source material. Having served in the Guards, Springman's writing clearly benefits from his 'inside knowledge' as well as his evident enthusiasm for the subject.

Though Goodlake's letters contain a great deal of information on the Siege of Sevastopol, the highpoints of the book for me are his impressions of the clash at 'Little Inkerman' before the main battle and his spur of the moment participation in the Battle of the Tchernaya. I can't think of anyone else who just got 'stuck in' out of pure enthusiasm without orders (the British were only slightly involved in the battle, most participants on the Allied side being French, Sardinian and Turkish). Best of all is Springman's 'compilation' chapter on the art of sharpshooting itself, a concept that was still in its infancy in 1854.

The book is well provided with photographs and maps and one photograph of Goodlake is remarkable for its informality considering that most photos taken during the war are notable for their posed nature. Springman has done well to amass such a good range of supporting artwork.

This is a well written volume on a very interesting subject with moments of brilliance and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the Crimean War.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The customs and practices of the British Army in that campaign were fascinating. I can't imagine officers actually buying their commissions! I haven't finished the book yet, but apparently the French Army were much better organized and not nearly as disorganized and unprepared as the British. Most interesting to read how the officers would build themselves houses, have personal guns and hunting dogs shipped to them, buy horses and have them stolen by the French in one instance, shoot quail and hares, etc. Overall, just a pleasure to read and be transported back to that era, and to see how deplorable the conditions were for the ordinary soldier.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BLT on 10 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though a good account of the conflict in the Crimea do not expect anything about marksmanship, sharpshooters or sniping techniques there.

A first-hand accound of this bungled and bloody campaign through personal letters of a subaltern officer of the Guards (Coldstream)to his parents. A very good inside view of this war, humane and pertinent.
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