- Gerry Murphy
Truth be told, the object of the book could have been contained in two tables at the back, one for the infantry, one for the cavalry. However there is much more to the book. The bulk of the book comprises one historical summary of the infantry from 17th to 21st century, and another for the cavalry. These are an excellent read, giving clear accounts of battles and campaigns around the world without getting weighed down in logistics, politics, etc (except in the case where politics affected the lineage of regiments, the raison d'être for the book).
The book steers clear of the two world wars of the 20th Century, simply because they have been comprehensively covered so many times.
One note of interest arising from the parallel histories is that some battles are described twice, from the infantry and that cavalry viewpoints.
The first main table alluded to lists infantry regiments and battalions down the centuries, describing how they were raised, numbered, disbanded, renumbered, assigned to counties etc, given royal patronage and so on, before getting to the 20th and 21st Century restructurings and amalgamations to arrive at the pitiful size of the modern army.
The second table does likewise for the cavalry.
There are a number of further appendixes describing battle honours, order of precedence and so on.
An excellent read that I cannot commend enough. The only sad thing about the book is the depressingly small size of the army we're left with. It's right up to date including the amalgamation of 9/12L and Queen's Royal Lancers to create the Royal Lancers in 2015.