Hi, I am only about half way through at the moment. Very brief comments are:
- the author does draw on his own military experience, esp. in determining the effects of the landscape, which is interesting, but he fails to contextualise this against military doctrine/practice of the time. - it is written as a 'popular' history book, and so is not reliable for specifically determining primary source evidence from secondary compilations if you intend on conducting any serious research.
It does remain a good introductory account to give an overall feel for the events of the time.
Cheers, useful info for me. I have a sprinkling of modern(ish) works that I'm looking at and lots of contemporary/near contemporary accounts and contemporary miltary theory/text that I've downloaded from archive.org. Got a lot of other projects on the go too at the moment so I'm very much dipping in to get the flavour, but this projct will be getting some serious attention in the near future.
Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don't you think?
Have now finished the 'Give Them a Volley and Charge' to which my original opinion has not altered. It still remains a very good narative account, but the lack of specific reference to the main arguements put forward lack substance..
Since, have also completed 'Echelon.. The Light Brigade Action at Balaclava' by James W. Bancroft which in contrast is very well referenced and shows very detailed accounts from primary sources. Well worth a read..!!
Well since posting last have completed ‘The Guards Brigade in the Crimea’ by Michael Springman. Found this to be a good read and well worth the money to buy. His experience as an Army Officer shows from his visit to some of the battefield sites and he gives an interesting narrative of how the physical features of the landscape might have assisted/hindered the perspective of the eyewitness accounts on which he based his investigation. Such a feature of studying the actual terrain I have yet to encounter from an academic historian, as these usually focus only on the primary sources seperate to the physical context.
In addition, have also completed 'Hell Riders' by Terry Brighton. This I also found to be interesting, as it concentrated mainly on the charge of the Light Brigade and its context. Brighton offers assertive speculation as to the breakdown in command between Raglan, Lucan and Cardigan and combines this with contemporary opinion post their return home (except for Raglan, who died in the Crimea). For those who have a figure of 'Butcher Jack', Brighton also includes a section of Jack's own primary account post the event when interviewed after receiving his award. Brighton also examines the witness statements of Cptn Nolan's actions during the charge and offers an opinion based on the unwitting information which is absent from these statements. Aferall, most people have heard of the charge, but not many are aware that after the charge was completed, the survivors actually had to 're-run the same gauntlet' past most of the artillery on the flanks on the return journey..!! One aspect that is mentioned; after the charge, the survivors who were still fit and mounted were stood down, but to be ready if they were needed to charge again that afternoon.. talk about the Victorian 'stiff upper lip..' Overall Brighton provides a fresh and interesting dialogue of the event and its context.