- Taschenbuch: 96 Seiten
- Verlag: Osprey Publishing (20. Mai 2003)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1841766798
- ISBN-13: 978-1841766799
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 18,4 x 0,5 x 24,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 720.669 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
Auldearn 1645: The Marquis of Montrose's Scottish campaign (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 20. Mai 2003
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Scotland in the 17th century was an independent country whose king was the King of England. Charles' proposed remodelling of the Scottish Kirk succeeded in alienating the Protestant population. In 1638 a National Covenant was signed throughout the country, opposing the King's reforms. In 1639 and 1640 two brief wars saw King Charles defeated and Scotland's independence re-asserted. However, one of the leaders, Montrose, was eclipsed by his rivals and in 1644 Montrose raised a Royalist rebellion. In the course of a year he won a string of victories that left him in momentary control of Scotland. The battle of Auldeam was the centrepiece of this campaign. This book details the remarkable Scottish campaign waged by the Marquis of Montrose.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
STUART REID was born in Aberdeen in 1954. His life long interest in military history has led to a longstanding involvement in historical re-enactment, which has broadened into work as a military advisor for film companies. Stuart has written numerous titles for the Osprey military list including a three volume set on King George’s Army 1740-93 in the Men-at-Arms series and two volumes in the Warrior series on the British Redcoat 1740-93 and 1793-1815 respectively. His most recent title is Campaign 121 Quebec 1759 – The battle that won Canada.
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The introductory sections on background, opposing commanders, plans and armies occupy a mere 11 pages - well below the series average. Noticeably, there is a portrait of only a single commander, the Marquis of Montrose. Reid provides only the faintest detail on other commanders, such as noting that MacColla was a professional soldier, but doesn't even mention the age of 3 of 4 leaders. The section on opposing armies is skeletal. The actual campaign narrative is an interminable 73 pages long (seemed like 900). Normally, I detail the maps and graphics that support the author's text, but there seems little point in this case, since Auldearn 1645 is so meandering. Readers should also note the very large number of current photographs of the various "battlefields" in this volume - Reid had a lot of void to fill. The rest of the artwork varies from fair to mediocre to irrelevant (lots of crude sketches of Highlanders).
First and foremost, the Auldearn Campaign simply didn't matter because the English Civil War was decided by Englishmen in England, not small bands of Irish mercenaries and Scottish tribal levies in the boondocks of Scotland. Montrose's plan to attract Parliamentary forces away from the main fighting in England was an early and conspicuous failure, since his forces - while elusive - were just too small to matter. Furthermore, Royalist forces lacked the popular support necessary to control large population areas, which was necessary for decisive results in a civil war. Another important factor, noted by Reid, is that many of the Scottish levies used by both sides had local agendas that had nothing to do with Royal authority (e.g. Clan Donald). Thus, win or lose, Montrose's wanderings in Scotland had negligible effect upon the outcome of the English Civil War. Even the authoritative Encyclopedia of Military History by Dupuy & Dupuy devotes only three short sentences to this entire campaign. Yet Reid, who seems hell-bent upon detailing every miniscule tactical movement, ignores this essential lack of strategic relevancy.
Another reason why this volume is a complete waste of time is the lack of sufficient reliable data to support Reid's narrative. Reid's paragraphs are so riddled with expressions like, "assuming," "it is likely," "this could mean," "this can be read to mean," "not quite so clear," "is uncertain," "is unknown," "was not explained" that the reader will quickly tire of all this vague guessing and wonder just what the author actually knows for a fact. It is particularly unsettling when Reid has to cite "local ballads," "local traditions," and "a pretty widespread rumor." Auldearn 1645 has the feel of poorly written historical fiction, not military history.
Finally, the Auldearn Campaign is simply not worthy of serious military study, since the forces involved were such primitive tactical throwbacks. At a time when real tactical development was occurring in England and on the continent, Reid bores the reader with detailing a battle where neither side had artillery, where perhaps 50% of the troops fought with pikes or swords, and where cavalry was used in only tiny amounts. Indeed, the recurrent lack of pre-battle reconnaissance by most of the combatants, and the preference for simple, frontal assaults mark the Auldearn Campaign as an affair of merely armed mobs. It is also significant that despite Reid's numerous photographs of modern cow fields in Scotland, there is only a single photograph of one small plaque marking one of the actions in the campaign; that should demonstrate to the reader just how well-remembered the Auldearn Campaign is in Scotland today. When I visited the Inverness-Nairn area years ago, I found plenty of mention of the Battle of Culloden, but not a word of Auldearn.
While not decisive in their outcome like the wars to the south, Montrose's Campaigns represent the state of flux of seventeenth century British warfare and culture clash that existed outside the pitched engagements at Edgehill, Marston Moor, and Naseby. Levies of Hebridean Scottish and Irish soldiers mixed with Gordon Lowlanders and Athol Highlanders facing off against similarly diverse Covenanting forces; a world in which the musket still has strong competition from the pike, the sword, and bow in terms of operational use. It seems backward to those who look for dynamic change, but it represents the war on the Celtic fringe, which was for all that no less a part of the Civil Wars as a whole. Likewise, Montrose's Campaigns are wide in their scope, and the maps don't always make it easy to comprehend the distances nor how he got from one to another, but this was a war that reflected smaller mobile "flying column" operations. They didn't much impact the war in England, but they were a thorn in the side of Parliament's Covenanting Allies, to whom Montrose was a real threat. Likewise these were huge events in the cultural history of Scottish Gaeldom; the battle of Inverlochy especially is remembered in scores of Gaelic songs and poems, in the memory of victor and vanquished.
One should perhaps take some of Reid's statements with a pinch of salt (as both reviewers have very well said "Irish Mercenaries" is taking a rather antiquated view that MacColla's men were all veterans of the Spanish Army of Flanders), and sometimes his troop numbers can be inconsistent with other works, but this is a great intro to the topic, and I would recommend it to those new to the subject.