Sunday, 5 January 2014
Review: Emigre and Foreign Troops in British Service (2) 1803-15
Emigre and Foreign Troops in British Service (2) 1803-15 by René Chartrand
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Second part of Chartrand’s overview of foreign units in British service. As in the revolutionary wars, the British used many foreign units to increase their army. The foreign element in the regular army increased from 17,000 (or about 11%) in early 1804 tot 54,000 (over a fifth) in late 1813.
There was a change in recruiting grounds, however. With access to the continent limited by extended French control and many French émigrées reconciled with the Napoleonic order, the Mediterranean now became a major source of manpower, with Spanish, Italians, Greeks, Albanians, Maltese, Minorcans enlisted. Outside Europe native troops were taken on extensively (in addition to native troops of the East India Company).
Of course, the King’s German Legion and Brunswick contingents still remained as ‘European’ foreigners (but these are treated in separate Osprey books). The 60th regiment also was mostly composed of Germans and other foreigners.
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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