by Nicholas Dorrell
Warwick, Eng.: Helion / Philadelphia: Casemate, 2015. Pp. 192.
Illus., maps, tables, notes, biblio. $35.00 paper. ISBN: 978-1-911628-40-8
The British Role Army in a Long-Forgotten Campaign
First published in 2015 and now available in the United States, this well-mapped, well-illustrated work examines the British experience in what is perhaps the most overlooked campaign of the seventeenth century, albeit the most critical one of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), which decided the outcome of a globe spanning war.
In many ways the campaign in Spain had many parallels with the more famous one fought over the same ground a century later under the aegis of Arthur Wellesley. Although essentially a Spanish civil war, it was characterized by fighting between British and French led multi-national forces who were contending for control of Spain within the framework of a global war.
Dorrell, an independent historian and game designer with an interest in the seventeenth century, covers the subject well. Although his book is primarily about the role of the British forces in the campaign, unlike most earlier English-language accounts he not only covers the French well, but also pays a good deal of attention to the Spanish forces, whether English-backed pro-Hapsburg or French-backed pro-Bourbon, and also to some of the rather numerous other contingents.
A volume in the Helion “Century of the Soldier” series, now which runs to some 50 volumes covering various aspect of the military history of what might be termed the “long” seventeenth century (c. 1618-c. 1721), Marlborough’s Other Army offers the reader a good first look at the role of the English army in a critically important yet largely forgotten campaign.
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