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Maiwand: The Last Stand of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment in Afghanistan, 1880 Paperback – Illustrated, 1 Oct 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (1 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752445375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752445373
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,220,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


...meticulously researched history... --Gun Mart , April 09

About the Author

Richard J. StackpooleRidingis the chairman of the U.K. Dr. Watson Society and has a life-long interest in the Battle of Maiwand."

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Format: Paperback
Until now, the most easily accessible account of the "fatal battle" was Leigh Maxwell's excellent "My God - Maiwand". Now we also have "Maiwand: The Last Stand of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment in Afghanistan, 1880" by Richard J Stacpoole-Ryding, which for the first time, I think, looks at the Battle of Maiwand specifically in relation to Dr Watson's regiment. This scrupulously researched and engagingly written book follows the Berkshires from Ireland to India in 1870, and takes us briefly through the next decade, so that when the cataclysmic battle breaks out we feel we know the men who fought against Ayub Khan's army. Thanks to the remarkable archive of official and personal papers held at The Rifles (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Museum, the author is able to present the officers and men as living human beings, not merely as fighting units, both in the main text and more fully in an appendix of biographical sketches. Other appendices look briefly at connections with Rudyard Kipling and with John H Watson. Mr Stacpoole-Ryding founded the Friends of Dr Watson, and he proves to be a fine storyteller himself, describing the Berkshires' heroic stand vividly and clearly. The link to the Sherlock Holmes Canon is a bonus. (Less than two weeks ago as I write this, three soldiers of the 1st Battalion The Rifles were killed in Helmand province, not very far from Maiwand...)

Roger Johnson, Editor of "The Sherlock Holmes Journal"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ordered this book for my husband who found it interesting
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The more things change the more they stay the same. 10 Dec. 2013
By Peter Burgess - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a battle that I had never heard of, until in 1986 I wandered into the town library in Camberley, Surrey & there found a copy of a book called, "My God Maiwand", the story of the 66th In Afghanistan & their fate in this battle.

So when this book came to my notice in 2012 I had to get it & see if what I remembered had been expounded upon. Well it has. This book looks at the 66th Regt. in detail from their garrison service in India, their re-equipping with Martini Henrys & then move North to quell a budding insurrection by a want-to-be new king of Afghanistan. I am not sure that I have ever read a book that goes into such (fascinating) detail of the unit, their earlier disciplinary problems (down to drink mainly), a change of command, & their whipping into shape.

The sources of all this information, letters home, official orders & reports seem to me to be quite exhaustive. The battle itself (taking place the year after the Zulu massacre at Isandlwana), does not occur until half way through the book, by which time the names of many of the soldiers have become familiar.

For those who enjoy military minutae, & learning about forgotten battles then this is highly recommended. For those who follow the current news about the situation in Afghanistan, then this book will be also very interesting. When you read in the papers today about our troops in Afghan, & then compare it to the 1880's British troops in red wool uniforms...well it makes you think "how did they do it".
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