Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Weapons & equipment of the Victorian Soldier" by Donald Featherstone

I've had this one sitting on my bedside shelf for ages (that shelf fairly creaks - there are far more books in this world than I'll ever have time to read so why do I keep buying more!) and finally got around to reading it over the last few weeks based on my refreshed interest in things "Sudan" as a result of getting the new rules "A Good Dusting" at Warfare..

Glad I did mind - for your money there is a huge amount of information between the covers - it's a complete and total data dump of a book, little extraneous text. I can almost imagine Don sitting down over his multitude of notes taken over many years of gaming and deciding how best to condense them into the number of words the publisher has allowed him!

So... 130 pages (in my edition) of copiously illustrated (black and white) information, which are divided into chapters on Muskets/Rifles, Bayonets, Swords, Pistols/Revolvers, Lances, Machine Guns, Artillery, Mountain Guns (good chapter!), Rockets, Equipment (packs/webbing etc.) and a very good Bibliography.

Each of the chapters includes loads on line drawings of the subject matter (by John Mollo - the same guy who illustrated the classic "Uniforms of the American Revolution"), along with period photo's as appropriate.

The period covered is from 1854 (The Crimean) up to approximately 1901 (Boer War) and the changes in weaponry in this period were quite astonishing - the chapter on RECRUITING SERGEANTS AT WESTMINSTER, 1875the musket/rifle is particularly good as it shows the natural evolution from Brown Bess to Lee-Metford which the British army used well into the second half of the twentieth century.

Brilliant book - I especially liked the diagrams showing infantry/cavalry/artillery regiment deployed in there various configurations - very useful to see what close column of companies, battalion square, and a deployed artillery section etc. actually looks like...

Steve the Wargamer rates this as a definite 9 out of 10 - definitely a must have for any Colonial/Victorian wargamer...

The second photo by the way is from the book - it features recruiting sergeants of (from left) the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, 14th Kings Hussars, Royal Engineers, Scots greys, 5th Dragoon Guards and 6th dragoon Guards outside a pub in Westminster in 1875... magnificent - someone needs to do a sculpt of the guy on the right .... where's my shilling! evil grin smileys

1 comment:

  1. It's a great book, absolutely jammed with information.