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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How politicians write talented subordinates out of history, 1 July 2012
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This review is from: Cromwell Hath the Honour, But...: Major-General Lambert's Campaigns in the North, 1648 (Hardcover)
Britain's past is littered with good generals who have been denied their proper place in military history by powerful and politically astute superiors with lesser talents. The uniqueness of Lambert's fate is that his strategically exceptional outmanouevring of the invading Scots' army in 1648 occured while he was under the command of the absent Oliver Cromwell, who unquestioningly possessed exceptional strategic and tactical gifts of his own. So why did Cromwell take such trouble to minimise Lambert's contribution in his dispatches to parliament? Having already decided his destiny was to rule, Cromwell knew he must command the respect of his army and adoration of his public- giving due credit to a sub-ordinate even more popular with his troops, and probably the people of Northern England, was never going to happen. Dr Hill and Jane Watkinson have produced a meticulously researched history, including some credible deductions to fill gaps in the available records. An heavy reliance on the diaries of Sanderson (a subject of an earlier volume by them) can be excused. What is less fathomable is their decision to have as their first chapter a 27 page long detailed footnote on the various evidence of the strengths and composition of Lambert's forces throughout the campaign. Whilst this might make academics drool, for the majority of their likely readers (military history enthusiasts, wargamers, students) it is an excruciatingly boring start to what is an otherwise great read. If you decide to buy this book, and I hope you do, I'd recommend starting at Chapter 2 and then refer back to chapter 1 (using the excellent index) as required. I look forward to Hill and Watkinson's next promised collaboration on the Parliamentarian army in the north of England.
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