Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Essential Reads? PART 1

After one of the the previous posts, I began to think about what I might consider to be books that are my favorite reads for the Colonial period (1835 to 1945). Here are a few.
John Masters ( a novelist of pot-boiler-ish historical novels, most of which were written in the 1950s and 1960s, but he also wrote two autobiographical books that span his service as an officer with the Gurkha Rifles. The first, Bugles and a Tiger, is set in the 1930s and deals with Masters' life in the regiment and then with his experiences campaigning against the Red Shirt fanatics on the NW Frontier. Very good view of the tactics used in this sort of warfare. The next book was called The Road Past Mandalay and deals with the Gurkhas in WWII both in Iraq and then in the second Chindit operation in Burma.

Two books by Edwin Herbert have been published by Foundry Books (Wargames Foundry) The Small Wars And Skirmishes 1902-18 The Early Twentieth-Century Colonial Campaigns in Africa, Asia, and the Americas and RISINGS AND REBELLIONS 1919–39: Organisation, Warfare, Dress and Weapons. Interwar Colonial Campaigns in Africa, Asia, and the Americas are both excellent overviews of the extension of colonial warfare into the twentieth century. The second book (Risings...) is the better only because it contains an extensive set of Appendices discussing the various weapons and vehicles in use in these campaigns. Each book contains a 2-20 page synopsis of various small wars including uniforms, organizations and tactics for both sides. Though expensive, the books are well bound and will definitely retain their value as reference books and as collectible books.


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