"The Making of the British Army" - Allan Mallinson

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by rampant, Sep 10, 2009.

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  1. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    The Making of the British Army

    Published 10 September 2009 by Random House


    From the English Civil War to today's War on Terror: in this sweeping account of nearly 500 years of military history, former soldier Allan Mallinson looks at how the Army’s dramatic past has made it one of the most effective fighting forces in the world today.

    He shows us the people and events that have shaped the army we know today: how Marlborough’s momentous victory at Blenheim is linked to Wellington’s at Waterloo; how the desperate fight at Rorke’s Drift in 1879 underpinned the heroism of the airborne forces in Arnhem in 1942; and why Montgomery’s momentous victory at El Alamein mattered long after the Second World War was over.

    This is the story of hard-won military experience. From the Army’s birth at the battle of Edgehill in 1642 to our current conflict in Afghanistan, this is history at its most relevant - and most dramatic

    TBH I haven't read any of his earlier works, but it seems an intriguing sweeping history. Has anyone read his earlier stuff?
  2. ...spot the deliberate error...

    I have read some of his earlier stuff, the fiction books a while ago, but can't remember much about them.
  3. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Ohhh shoddy that!
  5. Hi earlier stuff revolved around the military career of a Matthew Hervey in the early to mid 19th century in the "16th Light Dragoons" Mallinson in fact commanded the current Light Dragoons on amalgamation in 1992.

    The books are great and give a lot of insight into the way a soldier lived, the relationships between men and officer and the way that campaigns were fought. There is also a lot of information regarding the care and use of military horse (as hervey is a cavalryman) Hervey has a quite colurful career and I read somewhere that it was loosely based on a character from the old regiments which made up the current Light Dragoons.

    Great books I cant wait for the next one, and cant put them down each time I get a new one. Would make a great TV series along the lines of the cavalry equivelant of Sharpe.
  6. Only read his fiction, basically Sharpe on horseback, I enjoyed them hugely, they certainly read very well and the characters certaininly reflect soldiers I have served with.

    edited :roll: beaten to it!
  7. Postie

    Good to see I am not the only one to appreciate his books. A cracking good read.
  8. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    I keep a copy of his "Light Dragoons The Making of a Regiment" handy. As stated previously, he commanded the LD having come up through the 3 and 8s.

    It describes the histories of the 13th, 15th, 18th and 19th Light Dragoons (the four regiments which became hussars and ultimately a single regiment of LD in 1992) in particular. With an obvious personal interest (being ex-15/19H), I have been able to read it through a number of time quite happily. Apart from the bit where Monty, GOC 3 Div, watches his divisional recce regiment destroyed at the retreat from the Escaut in May 1940, being the left-most British regiment and tasked with meeting the Belgians as they withdrew in order from Brussels. Except that there were no Belgians, only an open flank and Germans who were not restricted by corps boundaries.

    Damn there must be dust in the air.
  9. I read all the Matthew Hervey stuff and a cracking read they were too.

    Mallinson writes occassional pieces for the Torygraph on defence issues and berates the gobment quite well. He used to Command 13/18th Hussars and claims to know very little about horses. Apparently his Domestic Sunray fills in those knowledge gaps.

    I have Just bought this latest (non-Fiction), "The Making of the British Army" (£5-00 off the cover price at Waterstones in Salisbury and it was a signed copy too, which I thought a bonus).

    He is also discussing his book at Salisbury Guildhall on Thurs 17th Sep at 1930 hours. Looking forward to that...and a pint or two afterwards. probably not with him though.
  10. Had read his fiction work; bloody awesome good read! I've had a waterstone voucher kicking around for a while, so I think its time to cash it in for this.
  11. I bought this book from Waterstones last night-am up to the napoleonic wars, pretty good read!
  12. Mallinson actually started off in the Infantry, Kings Own Royal Border Regt. in fact, he was a Platoon Comd. on Tac. Wing at the old IJLB at Oswestry in the early 70's before returning to his Bn. He later transferred to the Cav. (for reasons unknown). I like the Hervey books, well researched and beautifully written, more akin to Patrick O'Brian stuff than Bernard Cornwell's I think.

    Anyone else think he looks a bit like Bela Lugosi on his book-jacket photo?
  13. Bought it yesterday to keep me occupied on a trip away with work - looks like a good read. Can't afford too much beer when I'm away, so well worth it at a fiver off cover price.
  14. used to wear a cloak whever he went - looked more like dracula

    quality CO
  15. Just finished it.

    It's a good read, not a book for scholars of military history but an easy to follow account of how the British Army has evolved.

    One of the things that struck me is the way that the narrative flows, possibly owing a lot to the author's fictional stuff. It makes it a very enjoyable (as well as informative) read.

    I'm still not certain that I can forgive the author for beasting me around Sennybridge in 72/73 though!