This two-volume history of the Royal Artillery is one of the earliest published on that subject, and covers the period from its formation in 1716 to Waterloo, a hundred years of history. This volume takes the history of the Regiment to Waterloo and the defeat of Napoleon, and in connection with performance of the Artillery in that battle the author devotes an Appendix to a letter from Wellington to Lord Mulgrave, then Master-General of the Ordnance, in which he wrote: "To tell you the truth, I was not very well pleased with the Artillery in the Battle of Waterloo" and when the French cavalry charged "they ran off the field entirely, taking with them limbers, ammunition and everything." Major Duncan angrily refutes, in detail, the accuracy of such a statement, based as it was on false reports, implying the Iron Duke was talking through his cocked hat. This makes a lively conclusion to a most entertaining account of a further thirty-two years in the history of the Gunners. Operations described include the ill-fated expedition against the French in Flanders, led by the Duke of York, but the main focus is on the Napoleonic Wars - the campaign in S America, the Walcheren campaign, a malaria-infested island where battle casualties amounted to a little over 200 while thousands died of sickness, and the Peninsular War culminating in the Battle of Waterloo. Descriptions include detailed order of battle of artillery units involved with strengths and names of all the officers in each unit. But just as impressive is the wealth of information on the continuing development of the Regiment, beginning with the raising of the Royal Horse Artillery in January 1793. We read all about equipment, dress, pay, in fact there is a statement of the Artillery Forces of Great Britain in the year 1810, according to the establishment laid down in the King’s Warrant, listing every unit, with numbers in each rank and daily pay of each rank. To finish, the author provides a tabular statement showing date of formation and former designation of every battery now (1879) in the Service. There is a good index. These two volumes, telling the story of the first hundred years of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, are an invaluable source of information and essential reading for any historian, student or enthusiast.
|Author||Major Francis Duncan|
|Publisher||Andrews UK Limited|