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Armies of the Crimean War, 1853–1856 (Hardback)

History, Organization and Equipment of the British, French, Turkish, Piedmontese and Russian Forces

Military > By Century > 19th Century Military > Pre-WWI > Crimean War

By Gabriele Esposito
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781399089852
Published: 12th September 2023


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The Crimean War was the first major European war since the end of the Napoleonic Wars and Britain’s only war on that continent in the century between Waterloo and WW1. When Russia invaded provinces of the Ottoman Empire, the British and French, later joined by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, intervened to limit Russian expansion towards the Black Sea.

Each of the armies contained an eclectic mix of units. The regular European regiments still displayed much of the bright colour and finery associated with the Napoleonic era (the British infantry in their scarlet tunics forming the famous ‘thin red line’ at Balaklava for instance), while each also contained a mix of exotic units drawn from across their respective empires. The French fielded Zouaves and Spahis from North and West Africa, not to mention the legendary Foreign Legion; the Ottomans had Tunisians and Egyptians alongside Balkan mountaineers and the infamous Bashi-bazouks; the Russians of course had their Cossacks and the British fielded little-known German, Swiss and Italian mercenaries. Gabriele Esposito details the composition, organization, uniforms and weaponry of each force and illustrates many of them with early black and white photos (this being the first major war for which photography was available), as well as numerous colour artworks.

Review as featured in

Highlight: 'If you are painting up Crimean War armies, this is a marvelous collection of imagery and uniform descriptions of all the major players. If you are going to put on a wargame, you'll need a different book for the units and the number of troops per unit for any particular battle.'

Read the full review here.

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, April 2024

About Gabriele Esposito

Gabriele Esposito is an Italian researcher and a long-time student of military history, whose interests and expertise range widely over various periods. Most of his recent studies have been dedicated to the reconstruction of the organization, functioning and tactics of the armies across history; in each of his publications there is always some relevant space dedicated to the 'material culture'of the various armies taken into account and - more in particular - to the empirical science known as 'uniformology'. Gabriele is the author of numerous books on armies and uniforms and is a regular contributor to many specialized magazines in Italy, France, Netherlands and UK. His many previous works include Armies of Early Colonial North America 1607-1713Armies of the Late Roman Empire 284-476Armies of the Hellenistic States 323 BC to AD30Armies of Celtic Europe 700 BC-AD 106Armies of Ancient Greece, circa 500 BC to 338 BC; and The Macedonian Army of Philip II and Alexander the Great 359-323 BC, all published by Pen & Sword since 2018. He lives in southern Italy, near the ancient battlefield of Beneventum.

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