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Murat's Army

Murat's Army

Digby Smith
ARRSE Rating
3.5 Mushroom Heads
This book is relative to those interested in Napoleonic history, prior to the Battle of Waterloo. Specifically, it deals with the area of Italy controlled by Napoleon's favourite cavalry commander, Joachim Murat, during his period as King of Naples 1806-1815.

Murat was a very flamboyant officer and loved to show off his interpretations of French military uniforms. He always had that extra swirl of gold frogging, or a richer shade of blue or purple or whatever colour he wanted to wear.

His uniform designs were copied by military illustrator Henri Boisselier. Boisselier was a man of prodigious output, taking only fifteen to twenty minutes to sketch out his pictures. Unfortunately, although he produced a lot of work, Boisselier was notorious for missing out details. Luckily for him, Murat was just as remiss at noting details.

The book breaks down into 9 sections; The Kingdom and its Armed Forces, Staff Officers and ADC's, The Royal Guard, The Line Cavalry, The Line Infantry, The Light Infantry, Technical Troops, Internal Security Force and the Navy. Dates of the raising of each regiment and military history are all included.

Digby Smith has done sterling work identifying and utilizing Boisselier's work and adding commentary to those pictures. The information Smith has pieced together, is invaluable to anyone researching this period of history or making scale model figures. As impractical as the Murat uniforms were, they do lend an interesting touch of colour to their subject
In conclusion, I would recommend this book to any uniformologist or researcher into Napoleonic militaria.
Amazon product
Overall grade: 4.5 out of 5
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