- Marc Geerdink-Schaftenaar
- ARRSE Rating
- 4 Mushroom Heads
It covers a previously neglected period of Dutch history, mainly neglected by Dutch historians as it saw the decline of Dutch Military and Naval Power from its height in the 17th Century, as such most historians and works have focussed on earlier times and tried to skip over this period of history. The author covers this fully in his excellent introduction to the book, and highlights the main previous works that have been completed on this period.
The book itself is excellent source material for those interested in this period, whether for modelling, wargaming or just historical interest, there are numerous illustrations from contemporary sources and especially important for the modellers colour plates of the various regiments of infantry that the Dutch employed. Although to be honest the quality of the illustration could be higher, however, our modelling friends will no doubt find it of great use.
The book starts with a description of the Dutch Republic during the period 1713-1740, the description is very good and for those with no, or very little knowledge of Dutch politics or history in this period, like me, its an excellent start. He manages to explain the system of Government quite clearly and how it worked, and more importantly, who paid for it. It goes some way to explaining the complex situation in the Netherlands at that time, and the prime motivation behind Dutch foreign policy at the time.
It then covers the part played in the Austrian War of Succession and before entering into the main part of the book and starts to describe the Infantry in some detail: Organisation and structure and the Regiments during the 18th Century. This is where it then breaks down into describing each separate Regimental type, at this point in history the Military-Entrepreneur was still an important character so there are mentions of some of these characters. It covers all from the Life Guards, through the National Regiments and onto the various Foreign Regiments, from recruitment through to efforts to standardise equipment and uniform along with training.
All in all, it's an excellent little reference book for a period of European history, there is the detail to please the modellers out there as not only are there numerous illustrations but also descriptions of the equipment and dress. While it may not be up to the level of a comprehensive academic history it's a useful starting point for those interested in this period, especially covering the Dutch Republic at this time.
I give it 4 out of 5 Mushroom Heads.