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Dr. Douglas J. Austin "Scriptor" (UK)

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Waterloo Battlefield Guide (Battlefield Guides)
Waterloo Battlefield Guide (Battlefield Guides)
by David Buttery
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding in content and presentation! 5-STAR quality and value!, 22 Dec. 2013
This excellent book is a comprehensive and well-thought description of the background, locations, events and personalities of one of the world's most significant battles. In 11 chapters and 291 pages, it offers far more than a battlefield walker's route-map. With 18 clear and informative maps in colour, 96 photographs (46 in colour) and 16 mini-biographies of high and low-ranking personalities, it is a pleasure to read, ponder and digest in its own right. More than that, this book provides essential fine details for the present-day visitor. With this in hand, anyone can readily identify and travel to those locations of greatest personal interest - and be sure of top-grade information. As a bonus, the volume is sturdy and nicely-printed on high-quality paper - a pleasure to browse through. I cannot recommend this book too highly. [Also, let me direct you to his other valuable publications on Napoleonic War topics.]


In Search of the Light Brigade: A Biographical Dictionary of the Members of the Five Original Regiments of the Light Brigade from Jan 1,1854 to Mar 31,1856
In Search of the Light Brigade: A Biographical Dictionary of the Members of the Five Original Regiments of the Light Brigade from Jan 1,1854 to Mar 31,1856
by Lawrence W. Crider
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding military and social history!, 13 Nov. 2013
"In Search of the Light Brigade", 3rd Edition, compiled and published by Lawrence W. Crider, Phoenix, Arizona, 2011. Hardback, 652 pp.

This book is the full update of an outstanding contribution to the history of the British Light Cavalry in the Crimean War (1854-1856). While participants in the "Charge of the Light Brigade" are naturally prominent, the author has rightly described his work as "A book to commemorate the services and sacrifices of all of the men of the five original regiments of the Light Brigade" - in the UK as well as the Crimean campaign. It is available as a large, handsome and sturdy volume. An informative Introduction (24 pp) with notes on entry formatting, etc., is followed by the fullest available biographical details of more than 5100 men, including "Staff and Non-Regimental Personnel" (8 pp), "4th Light Dragoons" (93 pp), "8th Hussars" (91 pp), "11th Hussars" (102 pp), 13th Light Dragoons" (101 pp) and "17th Lancers" (108 pp). The book continues with a comprehensive collection of Text Appendices (68 pp), including lists of Balaclava Commemoration Society Members, Attendees at the First Balaclava Banquet, Casualties and POWs, Recipients of Medals from Queen Victoria, and, above all, an updated list of "Chargers" - Proven, Probable and Possible. A very fine Pictorial Appendix (46 pp) presents relevant maps, photographs (many very rare), lithographs and paintings. In total, this book includes no less than 77 Accounts of the "Charge" and 22 Affidavits from the notorious 1863 Cardigan v. Calthorpe court case.

Far more than dull compilations of biographies, this book offers a unique resource and insight into the military and social history of the mid-Victorian British Cavalry. Further, it provides an invaluable gateway for family, local history and other researchers. [ This - and the author's companion publications on the "Heavy Brigade", etc. - are available from LULU.COM: Search "BOOKS" for "CRIDER" ]. I strongly recommend all these works to interested parties.

Dr Douglas J Austin

The Ottoman Crimean War (1853-1856) (Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage)
The Ottoman Crimean War (1853-1856) (Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage)
by Candan Badem
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £179.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ottoman Crimean War, 18 Oct. 2010
A large number of English and French (and a smaller number of Russian and Italian) texts deal with the Crimean War. Filling a serious gap in the published record of his country's history, Dr. Badem (Okan University, Istanbul) has produced what is, I believe, the first complete English-language text on the war specifically written from the Turkish point of view. In many ways, it is an eye-opener on a cultural and governmental system very unfamiliar to Western readers. The author has conducted major in-depth studies in the Ottoman and Russian archives and has drawn freely on British and other sources, generating some 1071 scholarly references. Chapter I - 'Introduction and Review of the Sources' (45 pp.) sets the scene and adds critical reviews of the existing texts. Chapter II - 'The Origins of the War' (52 pp.) begins with an overview of the Ottoman Empire and its international relations. The question of the 'Holy Places' is viewed as no more than a pretext in the escalating movement to war. Menshikov's 'mission' is seen as a blatant attempt to browbeat the Ottoman government, with military action as the clearly anticipated fall-back position. The various futile efforts to avoid conflict are described, with an overview of European and Ottoman public opinion. Chapter III - 'Battles and Diplomacy during the War' (189 pp.) presents much information on Ottoman activities in the Crimea. Most significantly, a wealth of detail on the Danubian, Circassian and Caucasus campaigns is set out - a very high proportion hitherto entirely unknown to Western scholars. Desperate and wholly admirable Ottoman defensive actions were all too often vitiated by endemic corruption of all kinds. The text indicates that, for the Ottomans, their campaign in the Crimea was decidedly a 'side-show' compared to their struggles in the other theatres. Chapter IV - 'Financing the War' (39 pp.) is a striking account of the often repellent machinations required to provide the sinews of war, involving Rothschild and others. The staggering fact is that the annual Ottoman military expenses increased from 40% to no less than 67% of the state budget during the war - a clear illustration of the extreme stress forced upon their government. Chapter V - 'The Impact of the War on Ottoman Social and Political Life' (76 pp.) offers a vivid account of the attempted and partial liberalisation of the Ottoman state and of the profound opposition, rising to civil unrest, which that inspired. The 'Conclusion' (10 pp.) leaves little doubt that the Ottoman Empire effectively became a protectorate - drawn into the Concert of Europe, but not as an autonomous member. A Bibliography (20 pp.) and a short Index complete the text.

I judge that Dr. Badem's book is required reading for anyone interested in the wider aspects of the conflict and I recommend it whole-heartedly.

Douglas J. Austin

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