Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop now Shop now Shop now
Profile for Thomas Mante > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Thomas Mante
Top Reviewer Ranking: 207,593
Helpful Votes: 69

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Thomas Mante (UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
Armies of the Seven Years War: Commanders, Equipment, Uniforms and Strategies of the 'First World War'
Armies of the Seven Years War: Commanders, Equipment, Uniforms and Strategies of the 'First World War'
by Digby Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.84

3.0 out of 5 stars Close but no cigar, 22 Feb. 2016
There has been no single volume book on the uniforms of the armies that took part in the Seven Years War since the Mollo & McGregor book issued by Blandford Press a number of years ago. Such subsequent offerings as have appeared have been in the in multi-volume format such as offered by Osprey and Partizan Press. This book therefore represents an ambitious project and has grown out of various notes collected by the author as a by product of his researches into Napoleonic uniforms and military history. The author is a well known military historian although he freely admits his expertise is more towards the Napoleonic period

Therein lies the problem, coverage is very uneven, major participants such as France, Britain and Prussia are covered in some detail whilst that of Russia feels somewhat cursory. More minor participants are even more arbritarily served,the Bavarian army receives just 2 pages including illustrations which is one page less than Schaumberg Lippe-Detmold. The introduction to the Bavarian section introduces discussion of the Palatinate without any comment on what was the relationship between the two familial domains of the Wittelsbachs. These are just examples one could mention the sparse coverage of the Brunswick and Hessen-Kassel armies. The section on Austrian infantry units borrows heavily on the first edition of Summerfield's first volume on Austrian uniforms rather than the more detailed second edition.

To compound matters the way in which the information is presented veers between lists of regiments whose only difference is regimental flags (such as the Russian army) to the widespread use of tabulated data (the Spanish Army), surely a more consistent and user-friendly style could have been used throughout? The meat of this book is the uniform information, that is why most people will buy this book. The introduction has a brief political background to the war followed by very brief discussion of the tactics and weaponry and bizarrely in a book on armies a chapter on naval warfare.

There are three appendices. The first includes a list of battles with brief descriptions, orders of battle and maps/battle plans. The latter appear computer drawn but are clear if not particularly attractive.The position of the southern part of the Austrian line at Leuthen very much contradicts that suggested by Christopher Duffy in Prussia's Glory: Rossbach and Leuthen. Once again space is given to discussing specific naval actions. Fights in India and Canada are included when there is virtually no mention of anything specific concerning those areas elsewhere in the book. Appendix two has a list of place names used in the C18th (mainly German ones) and the modern name (mainly Polish ones) - this is quite useful although having been to Lublin I am pretty sure that its name in Polish is not Bystrzcya. Appendix three gives brief biographies of Key People involved in the war but one does have to wonder at the inclusion of George Washington.

Illustration is quite lavish, the greater part is drawn from Knotel's Uniformekunde and appears as both black and white and colours figures. Good use use has been made of the Morier paintings from the Royal Collection for the British, Hanoverian, Hessen Kassel, Brunswick and Austrian armies. A large number of line drawings of grenadier caps from the Prussian and British armies occupy the relevant sections but little or no use has been made of the various Becher manuscripts available for the armies of France and the Holy Roman Empire.

So should you buy this book? An awkward question, there is a lot that could have been done better and maybe some which should not have been done at all. That said all in all I am glad I bought this book but I do feel that it could have been so much better. There appears to have been no editorial control which is reflected by the way the book feels cobbled together. It would have been wiser to exclude any discussion of the naval war given this is a book on the armies of the Seven Years War. Even more so it might have been wiser to concentrate wholly on the west European theatre in attempting to cover the whole of what has been called the 'First World War' I think that the author's attention was directed too widely and the book suffers as a result. Finally there are a number of typographical errors that might have been picked up if History Press had bothered with proof readers. So in the end the verdict must be close but no cigar.


A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies, 1639-51
A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies, 1639-51
by Edward M. Furgol
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reference tool, 15 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is an essential reference tool for anyone interested in the history of the armies raised by the Covenanting government of Scotland during what we must now call the British Civil Wars. It is a product of Dr Furgol's doctoral research. The text is subdivided into the different armies raised by the Scots in the period from 1639 through to 1651. Each unit which existed is listed under the name of the commanding officer (usually its colonel) and where available there is a note of its field officers and chaplains. Necessarily there is a differing amount of information available for each unit but clear footnotes list the sources of information. Whilst this book can not be regarded as the last word on any of the units discussed within its pages it is an excellent starting point and summary that will serve for years to come.


Pentland Walks: their literary & historical associations
Pentland Walks: their literary & historical associations
by D.G. Moir
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A Pentland gem!, 15 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review refers to the 1977 edition of a book of Pentland Walks by D G Moir. Within its pages one will find a number of walks throughout the Pentlands with clear description of routes, literary and topographic associations.In fact Moir was not the original author as the book was originally written by Robert Cochrane back in 1908 as a companion to the 1.5" to the mile map published by John Bartholomew & Co Donald Moir undertook the task of revision in the years before the last war and through successive editions and in post war years the book came to owe more to Moir's contributions than the Cochrane. The text of this compact book can still be read with profit today and the routes described are by and large still viable and entertaining ways to explore the whole of the Pentland Hills rather the rather truncated regional park. Moir also wrote a companion boo of walks covering the remainder of the Lothian counties outwith the Pentland Hills which also is well worth searching out.


Medieval Warfare: the Art of War in the Middle Ages
Medieval Warfare: the Art of War in the Middle Ages
Price: £0.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Not what it appears., 15 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In 1898 Charles Oman published a revised edition of his survey entitled of the Art of War in the Middle Ages. This weighed in at over 700 pages long and provided the basis for his subsequent 2 volume edition which expanded and revised the original 1898 work. This edition has long been out of copyright and is available on several free online databases. I chose to buy this copy via kindle books in order to have a readily accessible copy for reference.

This, however, is not the 1898 edition of Oman's Art of War in the Middle Ages rather it is the much briefer 1885 first edition. Although the 1885 edition covers much the same ground it does so in less depth. It is a mark of Oman's continuing scholarship that the 2nd edition was greatly expanded in 1898. In 1922 Oman revisited the work he expanded it into 2 volumes. edition All in all this is a misleading product and even at 99p I felt that I had been misold something. Buyer beware, be sure that this is what you want.


The battles of Trenton and Princeton
The battles of Trenton and Princeton
Price: £0.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Close but no cigar, 7 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just to get this out of the way Stryker's book on the battles of Trenton and Princeton is one of the key works in understanding those two events, the issues here are with the kindle format not the content. First things first the text and illustrations present in the original print edition are present in this kindle version but....the problem is that the kindle edition has been taken from a scanned copy that has been converted for kindle. The upshot of this is that the formatting is somewhat scrappy and irregular and in no way is the kindle version of this book equal to the printed version. I find this to be a consistent problem with most books that include illustrations and some slightly non standard page formatting (mainly in the appendices in this instance) which are converted to kindle use, it rarely seems a problem in books, such as novels, which are primarily text.

In conclusion I would give the content a 5 star rating but the formatting lets this book down in kindle format and hence the two star rating. That being the case the kindle format is still better than some of the printed editions available which purport to be scanned and OCR'd which are just simply bad and contain no formatting and stretches of illegible text.


The Battles of Trenton and Princeton
The Battles of Trenton and Princeton
by Stryker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.03

1.0 out of 5 stars OCR Text Buyer Beware!, 17 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Buyer beware of the General Books editon of this classic work. It is a scan of an original which has been run though OCR in order to print the text. The end result is a text which is full of OCR errors (note to publishers OCR needs checking and editing!), omits all formatting of the original book (so the index is useless) and also omits all the illustrations in the original. Essentially the text is virtually useless as either a reading or working copy and represents the slipshod way that some print on demand publishers (reprinters, recyclers) of out of copyright material go about their business. Currently this book is listed on Amazon for £28 new - the General Books edition is not worth that, my only consolation is that I only paid £2.72 the copy that I have. If you seek a copy of Strykers book try to seek out the 2001 facsimile reprint by the Old Barracks Association, the 1967 Reprint Co of Spartanburg edition or if you are very lucky or reasonably well off an original 1898 edition. For those who are not inhibited by such things several electronic copies may be inspected and downloaded for 'free' from Archive.org. Please bear in mind these comments refer specifically to the General Books OCR'd reprint.

As to the contents of the book - Stryker is an essential starting point for anyone who seeks to understand Washington's operations at Trenton and Princeton he reprints numerous original/source documents and provides a detailed narrative based on a familiarity with the ground. That said the book was written over a 100 years ago and historical interpretation moves on most notably with the works of Samuel Steele Smith in the 1960s and more recently that of David Hackett Fischer. The latest word in terms of interpretation (and presentation of historical source material) is provided by the Battle of Princeton Mapping Project (Selig, Harris & Catts, 2010) commissioned by the Princeton Battlefield Society and funded by the National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program.


Freude schöner Götterfunken
Freude schöner Götterfunken
Price: £0.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy but I love it., 20 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A rock version of most, but not all of Schiller's 'Freude schoener Goetterfunken' and Beethoven's immortal tune. It has a great energy and I like to think of it as an affectionate homage to the much larger work. Not for the classical purist but I do like it!


Oh, What A Lovely War
Oh, What A Lovely War
Price: £5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interestin compilation of contemporary recordings, 20 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Some confusion could occur with this item - the album (would compilation be a more accurate description?) consists of a series contemporary recordings. The confusion could arise from the album title being the same as the Joan Littlewood stage show and the 1968 film of the same name. Be under no illusion this album has no association with either. Instead it presents original recordings of various songs from the music hall that were popular during the Great War.

There is a lot of background noise because the tracks are from old 78rpm recordings but after a couple of time you zone out and just hear the music. So basically what you get in this album is a series of songs as they might have been heard by Tommies and their families in the home and music hall. The lyrics are not the highly bowdlerised versions sung by the men in the trenches'

The choice of material is predominantly Britocentric both from the artistes and the songs although low down the playing order we get 'Over There' and 'America Answers the Call'. So overall an interesting album with its own inherent charms but not for those who seek the polemics of Joan Littlewood and the film 'Oh, What a Lovely War'.


Map Addict: A Tale of Obsession, Fudge & the Ordnance Survey
Map Addict: A Tale of Obsession, Fudge & the Ordnance Survey
by Mike Parker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what it says on the cover., 20 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I approached this book with anticipation after having read and enjoyed Mike Parker's later work 'The Wild Rover'. It would be fair to say that I was not wholly disappointed by 'Map Addict' but I feel it was something of a mixed bag. There are some very good bits (usually history), some very funny bits but also a lot of quite pointless, even tedious bits (usually sexual or political). The subtitle 'A Tale of Obsession, Fudge & The Ordnance Survey' is a bit misleading, whilst there is a lot about the OS in here it by no means justifies the subtitle. This was a great pity as I share Parker's map addiction but I am not that bothered about his politics or sexual orientation both of which surface far too frequently for either comfortable or amusing reading. Considered as a whole it has the feel of a book that could have been shorter and more focused. That it was not may be down to poor editing but in parts the book drags. So not a great book nor a bad book just OK but it could have been a great better. Alas map addicts still await the definitive chronicler of our obsession.


The Miner's Dream Of Home
The Miner's Dream Of Home
Price: £0.79

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprising new take on an old favourite, 18 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
'The Miner's Dream of Home' is a song that has significant emotional associations for me. My mother would often sing it on New Year's Eve and so it is imbued with a considerable poignancy for me taking me back to childhood. I suppose you could call it an 'inheritance track'.

This is a version by Kate Rusby and is a very different interpretation to the one to to which I am accustomed. The tempo is restrained and the tone more ethereal than I had expected. However this does work and is perhaps a more reflective interpretation than say the old one by Peter Dawson. Rusby sings it in her natural voice so we get to savour her beautiful Barnsley vowels.

In summary not quite what I was expecting but I like it, a different take on an old favourite. If you have never heard Kate Rusby before it is as good a place to start.


Page: 1 | 2