British Napoleonic Field Artillery by C E Franklin - Review by Captain_Crusty
'British Napoleonic Field Artillery' is a one-stop book for anyone needing any technical knowledge on the subject. Carl Franklin clearly knows his stuff: indeed I would go as far as to say he knows more stuff than the rest of us put together!
The detail in this book is incredible - if it relates to British Napoleonic Field Artillery, it will be here. There are some fantastic colour plates showing the detail of the uniforms and the technical detail of the weapon diagrams underline Carl Franklin's pedigree as a Master Draughtsman as well as military historian.
This is not a book that would generally be considered bedtime reading, although I did find myself turning to my wife as I lay in bed reading it and regaling her with new found facts (clearly she is a loyal gunner wife!). I see this book having three significant, though niche, markets: those about to depart on a Napoleonic battlefield tour (and who want to impress with their geekery), military re-enactors and military modellers. The latter are particularly well served by the book (do I detect a hidden past-time of Carl Franklin?!) - he even includes paragraphs purely examining the nearest matching Dulux and Natural Colour System readings of the different paints used on the guns and limbers.
I can't sing the praises of this book highly enough for its technical mastery - it really is a thing of beauty - but one does have to consider its extremely narrow market; at the very least every Gunner regiment should have a copy in its library for reference purposes.
4 Mushroom Heads