Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Quiet week

I've not been doing too much this week, just pottering about finishing the Cuirassier du Roi Officer, doing bits of the troopers. I polished off five new recruits to la Reine, so that regiment is now 17 strong. Fouquet's is now up to 19 figures, which seems like the current establishment for my cavalry; Colonel, trumpeter, standard-bearer and two squadrons each of 7 troopers and an Officer.

For a change of pace I painted up an English officer of the 51st and a Hanoverian Jaeger, both as per my Blanford "Uniforms of the Seven Year's War". The rest of the 51st will follow with the French Lights as part of the same batch.

I've gotten my hands on a copy of Duffy's "Instrument of War". Odd book, poorly proof-read, witha strange format and choice of illustrations. It's almost a coffee-table book, handsomely bound with an annoying two-column layout that makes it a bit of a chore to read, especially as it's not a size you could easily manage sitting on the train or up in bed. The maps are oddly inadequate and difficult to make out and there are NO colour illustrations which considering the format, would have been a natural inclusion.

Oddlu too the text is a grab bag, a compendium of facts that seems to lack a narrative. The Seven Years War is the main focus, but little enough is done to put the Army of Maria Theresa in a broader context that I can see so far. How has the Infantry developed since the WAS? What shortcomings were addressed by the reglement of 1752..? One interesting part was a discussion in detail of the organisation of the military academy, but again this is a lost opportunity as there is no discussion of it's contribution to the course of the 7YW which IS the focus of the book, temporally. If it had no efect on the KuK Army of the time why talk about it?

When you compare this to Kennets much more compact history of the French Army of the period or Duffy's own on the Army of Frederic the Great, I am left with the feeling that this is an inferior work.

Oops, here's some controversy...

1 comment:

Ralphus said...

You might be right about Instrument of War - Ive never been able to put my finger on why its not such a classic as his other works. The best things in it for me were the drill plates. 'Military Experience in the Age of Reason' is a brilliant book as is 'Frederick the Great a Military Life'. Love the figures.