Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Essential History: Indian Mutiny

Another non-fiction book. You're going to get bored of these :D. It was another one in the Osprey Essential History book. Well laid out, a good introduction to the subject, especially when you know absolutely nothing (as I did before I started reading). It takes you through the underlying causes, which were not just the use of dodgy grease on cartridges, but longer ranging political discontent and discontent in the military that only needed a bit more of a spark to set it off. Didn't go into massive detail over the campaign, but that was probably a good thing as it sounds rather confusing and also somewhat depressing. I wondered at first why we didn't study the Indian Mutiny in history, skipping instead from the Crimean War to the Boer War. I know the reason now. The British Army was actually acting pretty competently in that war, and, not trying to sound cynical, the exam board doesn't want us to think that our army was good for anything.

Like I said, this is very good as an overview. Gave details about some bits, explained the build up and the aftermath well, talked through the key features of the major battles. Well written and interesting, if you have an interest in the subject as a whole. It's certainly a good series for giving you the general knowledge involved with various different wars. Haven't seen any about peace yet though...

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