The Passage to India

The Passage to India

Allan Mallinson
ARRSE Rating
5 Mushroom Heads
This is the thirteenth book in the Matthew Hervey series. If you are not aware of these books you are in for a treat. The series chronicles the rise of Matthew Hervey, an officer in the 6th Light Dragoons in the late Napoleonic and post-Napoleonic era.

This, latest, is set in 1831, Hervey is now Commanding his Regiment in England. There is considerable civic unrest, which the Regiment is dispatched to quell. The Regiment is then posted to India. Throughout it all, as an ambitions and energetic Commanding Officer, Hervey is intimately involved in the action, as well as with the challenges of balancing making the right decisions with continuing to develop his career.

This book, and indeed the whole series, benefits enormously from the fact that the author did command a cavalry regiment (albeit one with CVR(T) not quadrupeds). He is also a noted military historian; the detail shines through in a way that the Sharpe series (the obvious comparator) doesn’t manage. As well as enjoying the plot, which moves at a brisk canter, you will find yourself learning much of how cavalry regiments then operated, the management of horses and men, tactics and what the pressures on commanding officers were (and in many ways still are).

Buy it and enjoy.

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