Profile for Trajan > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Trajan
Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,492
Helpful Votes: 376

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Trajan

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Charging Against Wellington: The French Cavalry in the Peninsular War, 1807-1814
Charging Against Wellington: The French Cavalry in the Peninsular War, 1807-1814
by Robert Burnham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good reference work., 28 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
This book falls into three parts. The first looks at the organisation of the French cavalry. It is based on a series of tables showing the structure at particular moments, linked by chunks of text that give a brief account of operations and more details of changes in organisation, tracing the movements of units and changes in command.

The second part provides brief biographies of eighty cavalry generals. Each starts with a table giving their awards, dates of birth and death (with the reason if combat related), date of promotion to general, time spent in the Peninsula and a list of appointments while in Spain and Portugal. This is followed by a short biography, normally about half a page in length.

The third section looks at the cavalry regiments that served in the Peninsula. This section is entirely made up of tables, each giving the colonels in charge, the regimental depot, dates spent in Spain and Peninsula, the location of individual squadrons, the larger units that each regiment was part of and a list of battles and casualties and sometimes the date of departure from the peninsula.

This book is designed entirely to be used as a reference work, to be dipped into to find specific facts. Don't buy it expecting to find a readable account of the French cavalry experience in Spain, do buy it if you need to know in detail the activities of a particular cavalry general or regiment, or the structure of the French cavalry units in the Peninsula at a particular moment (it will be of great use to me).


Napoleon's Marshals (Men-at-arms)
Napoleon's Marshals (Men-at-arms)
by Emir Bukhari
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but lacking in detail., 28 Mar 2014
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
A good book but starting to look a bit dated now although the information is accurate and it is nicely illustrated with colour pictures of all the famous marshals in uniform

Includes a brief service record of all of the main Marshals but is lacking on any great detail


Napoleon's Guard Cavalry (Men-at-arms)
Napoleon's Guard Cavalry (Men-at-arms)
by Emir Bukhari
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good reference work., 28 Mar 2014
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
This 48 page Osprey scratches the surface of a fascinating subject, that of the elite of Napoleons Cavalry. The book is full of some superb black and white plates and 9 pages of full colour plates of some fantastically colourful and diverse uniforms. As with all of this type of Osprey book the focus is on uniform and organisational rather than battle history but it is an invaluable source for war-gamers and modellers and well worth the money.


1812: The Great Retreat
1812: The Great Retreat
by Paul Britten Austin
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant piece of work., 28 Mar 2014
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
This is the third part of a remarkable trilogy looking at Napoleon's invasion of Russia from the point of view of the participants in that disastrous campaign. This final volume looks at the retreat from Moscow, starting when Napoleon abandoned his attempts to move south and instead chose to retreat west along the same road he had used to reach Moscow. This was the period that saw the Grand Army fade away, partly because the ever-present bands of Cossacks made it impossible for the French to leave the main army to forage but mainly because of the terrible winter weather. As a result this is a fairly grim read - all of our eyewitnesses are describing an ongoing catastrophe, and even successes such as the victory at the Berezina came at a terrible cost.

This book is a stark reminder of the horrors of war. Almost every account describes some deaths or finding the dead, with starvation and the cold responsible for most of them. The discipline of the army collapsed, and there were soon more stragglers than men still under arms. The lack of any proper organisation right from the start has to have played a part in dooming the army - there doesn't appear to have been any efforts to make sure that the available transport was used for essential supplies and even quite late in the retreat some of the soldiers were still carrying loot from Moscow while one officer described his sadness at having to abandon an entire dinner service!

Despite the grim tone this is a compelling read, perhaps because of the scale of the disaster. Austin has picked an excellent group of eyewitnesses, who between them remind us of the multi-national nature of Napoleon's army, and the vast number of camp followers and other non-combatants who took part in the retreat (amongst them a group of French actresses who had been working in Moscow before the invasion and left with the army to avoid persecution). The entire trilogy is a brilliant piece of work and this is a fitting conclusion to it.


1812: March on Moscow
1812: March on Moscow
by Paul Britten Austin
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a truly excellent piece of work., 28 Mar 2014
This review is from: 1812: March on Moscow (Hardcover)
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
In the summer of 1812 a massive French and Allied army crossed the Niemen River at the start of Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia. Austin's three volume work follows that invasion from the point of view of the men of Napoleon's multi-national army, using extracts from the writing of over 100 participants in the campaign.

This first volume in the trilogy looks at the invasion of Russia, from the early movements in Poland to the arrival in Moscow. It covers the crossing of the Niemen, which marked the opening of the campaign, the early failures to get to grips with the Russian army, Borodino and the approach to Moscow.

The main theme of most accounts is the failure of events to go as planned, from the early failures to catch the Russian armies, to the unsatisfactory result of the battle of Borodino or the Tsar's unwillingness to negotiate, very little went as Napoleon or his men expected. There is a mode of rising unease in many of the accounts, some of it perhaps retrospective but much of it clearly genuine. Many of the authors had expected an early battle, another famous victory and a quick end to the war. Instead they found themselves being dragged ever further east. The battles that were fought were more costly and less decisive than they expected, and the army began to shrink even before the first battles.

Britten Austin spent more that twenty years studying this campaign, and thus had a vast range of eyewitness accounts at his disposal. Some of our witnesses appear throughout the book, providing a continuous threat to the narrative, others are used only once or twice, where their letters, diaries or memoirs provide information on a particular topic. We also get several different views of many key events, giving a good idea of how chaotic the campaign would become. The eyewitness accounts are linked by the author's text, a mix of a narrative of the campaign (where needed) and comments on the reliability or otherwise of his sources.

This is truly excellent piece of work, giving us a very human account of the disastrous invasion of Russia as seen by the men (and a handful of women) who took part in the campaign. This first entry in the trilogy comes highly recommended.


1812: Napoleon in Moscow
1812: Napoleon in Moscow
by Paul Britten Austin
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent and concise work., 28 Mar 2014
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
This is the second part of a trilogy that uses eyewitness accounts to follow the progress of Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812. The focus in this volume is on the period the French spent in Moscow, from their arrival in mid-September to their departure in mid-October, and the first week after their departure, when Napoleon still hoped to force a decisive battle.

I must admit I did wonder if the stay in Moscow would provide enough material for an entire book, but Britten Austin has had no problem in filling this compelling book. There are several distinct strands to the text: the dramatic fire that destroyed large parts of the city; the every day life of the soldiers in partly destroyed Moscow; the continuing military activities as Ney's advance guard fenced with the Russian armies outside the city; the failure of Napoleon's attempts to turn Borodino and the occupation of Moscow into a political victory and finally the decision to leave Moscow, the first days of that movement and the first major clash with the Russian armies outside Moscow - a battle that forced Napoleon to reconsider his plans, and that helped lead to the disastrous decision to return west along the same route used on the initial invasion.

The book is built around extracts from the accounts of over 100 eyewitnesses to the campaign, some of the very highest rank and others from the ranks, and covering most of the nationalities that were present with the army (French, Italian, German and Dutch accounts are most common). The eyewitness accounts are linked by a text that is part narrative and part commentary, and that provides a solid frame for the book.

This is a very high quality piece of work, and provides an invaluable account of an often-overlooked period in the disastrous invasion of Russia, but a period in which the quality of the French army began to decline and winter crept ever closer. As with the first of the three, this entry in Britten Austin's trilogy comes highly recommended.


The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323 - 281 BC: Commanders and Campaigns v. 1
The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323 - 281 BC: Commanders and Campaigns v. 1
by Bob Bennett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine work., 28 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The death of Alexander the Great left his empire without a leader. Over the next twenty years his generals, the Diadochi (successors) fought each other, first in an attempt to seize the entire empire and then to carve out their own kingdoms. This period is certainly not lacking in interest. Its relative obscurity owes much to its position between two more immediately attractive periods - the conquests of Alexander and the rise of Rome. It doesn't help that the Diadochi's own successors did so badly against the Romans, or that the most famous of their dynasties is best known for inbreeding and incompetence.

This is unfair to the Diadochi. The commanders of the battles examined here nearly all began the period with impressive reputations won under Alexander (Eumenes and Demetrious being the main exceptions). They led armies that were similar to the one Alexander led to glory, and often demonstrated a great deal of ability as commanders in their own right.

This book focuses on the armies and battles that decided the shape of the ancient world in the aftermath of the disruption caused by Alexander's death. Although the book covered the period to 281 BC the detailed battle accounts end at Ipsus in 301 BC, the last battle between the Diadochi to be recorded in any detail and the battle that ended the last chance that Alexander's empire might be re-united.

The book starts with a look at the armies themselves, examining how they changed over time as most of the Diadochi were cut off from Macedonia. We then look at the Lamian War, the last serious Greek attempt to throw off Macedonian rule. Two chapters are devoted to Eumenes' War, which ended with the defeat of the Loyalists, supports of Alexander's sons. The battles of Gaza and Ipsus, two defeats for the Antigonids, each get a chapter to themselves. The final three chapters each cover a different theme - sieges, naval warfare and the constant border warfare that slowly hemmed in the Diadochi.

This is a useful piece of work that demonstrates that the Diadochi were rather more skilful than they are normally portrayed. Recommended.
The perfect companion to this fine work is the ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker


Cannae, 216 BC: Hannibal Smashes Rome's Army (Osprey Military Campaign)
Cannae, 216 BC: Hannibal Smashes Rome's Army (Osprey Military Campaign)
by Mark Healy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, and concise overview of the second Punic war., 24 Mar 2014
An excellent, and concise (at only 96 pages), overview of the second Punic war from it's initial encounters through to the titular battle of Cannae, the height of Hannibal's power at 216. Very little is said of the following years leading to Hannibal's recall to Africa and his defeat at the hands of Scipio Africanus, but this shouldn't be surprising given the tight focus of the book itself.

The coverage of the early war and it's major battles and personages is brief, but succinct and usable, and the comments on the personal situations of the primary source writers of this era make for illuminating reading (Livy and Polybius mainly). The battle of Cannae itself is very well described, with full colour diagrams displaying the troop formations at various stages of the battle, an in depth discussion of the likely troop makeup and size of each army (Hannibal was outnumbered by 2:1 or more) and the tactics being employed on both sides that led to Hannibal's most famous victory.
THE PERFECT COMPANION TO THIS EXCELLENT WORK IS THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKER.Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Highly recommended to any fans of ancient or military history, particularly anyone with an interest in the Republican Rome period, as the battles with Hannibal in Italy resulted in a significant shift in the Roman mindset and was a major milestone in a lot of ways on the transition from citizen republic to Roman Empire.


The Emperor's Knives (Empire)
The Emperor's Knives (Empire)
by Anthony Riches
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STRENGTH TO STRENGTH., 22 Mar 2014
Anthony Riches Empire series goes from strength to strength with every succeeding novel, for me The Emperor's Knives is the best yet, without giving away spoilers, the narrative is, as usual fast paced (so much so that I was up until 2 in the morning ) all ones senses are alerted, full of murky intrigue, the visceral gore of the gladiators and the arena, to the smells and sounds of every day life in ancient Rome. The characterisations of the main protagonists have been explored to the full and you end up with the feeling that you were there in another life. Highly recommended.
THE PERFECT COMPANION TO THIS EXCELLENT WORK IS THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker


Under the Eagle: Cato & Macro: Book 1
Under the Eagle: Cato & Macro: Book 1
Price: 5.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great debut., 13 Mar 2014
A great debut for Simon Scarrow, he weaves a gritty tale of life in the Legions of Rome, combined with very believable three dimensional characters only a few historical holes, one in particular as far as I'm concerned Cato's promotion to optio on entering the Legion, was just not possible.

Footnote: The perfect companion to the Eagle series is the ROMA VICTRIX wine beaker, Simon in his review says.
BEAUTIFULLY SCULPTED IT IS A VERY HANDSOME THING! THE REASON WHY I PARTICULARLY LIKE THIS CUP IS THAT IT FEATURES THE MEN AND INSIGNIA OF THE SECOND LEGION, THE UNIT IN WHICH CATO LEARNED HOW TO BECOME A SOLDIER UNDER THE AFFECTIONATE EYE OF MACRO! IT'S A LOVELY THING AND HAS PRIDE OF PLACE ON MY DESK RIGHT NOW!


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20