Sunday, 5 January 2014
Review: Emigre and Foreign Troops in British Service (1) 1792-1803
Emigre and Foreign Troops in British Service (1) 1792-1803 by René Chartrand
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
First part of Chartrand’s overview of foreign units in British service. The 18th century tradition of employing troops from Switzerland and smaller German princedoms was continued and many French émigrées were recruited to fight the fledgling Republic. A number of similar units were taken over from Dutch service after the French overran Holland early 1795. Dutch and French colonial troops were also incorporated when overseas possessions were conquered by British expeditions.
Most of the units were employed in colonial warfare, especially the West Indies, where disease resulted in high rates of deaths. The reasons for employment overseas were probably to lower chances for desertion and to spare British troops from the bad conditions.
Like its sister book, this is rather an eclectic list of units and uniform details, lacking a overarching narrative, let alone analysis. Only for people with special interest in this subject.
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