Dragoons and Dragoon Operations
Enough of new stylised plastic figure ranges, time for another review. This time Andrew Abram's new book on 'Dragoons and Dragoon Operations in the British Civil Wars 1638-1653' (Helion Books). Hopefully this review won't unleash a torrent of abusive messages... but then the cut and thrust of academia can be quite vicious so I believe...
Before I begin I must state that I received my copy from Helion free of charge, due to my image of dragoons from Sturt's Naseby being used as the background of the front cover.
Dragoons, Civil Wars, everyone knows that they were the fellas who lined the hedges at Naseby. You'd be correct, but after that, general knowledge of the role of dragoons is a bit lacking in the general wargaming population.
Dragoons certainly had a habit of being deployed to give fire from hedgerows, but they were much more than that.
Dragoons were the original mobile infantry (a phrase that unfortunately brings to mind imagery from Starship Troopers). They were not light cavalry, they were foot soldiers who used cheap 'nags' to increase their range and speed of mobility. One contemporary writer argued that all 'infantry' should use horses for mobility.
Dr Abram's latest work takes an in depth look at the origins, organisation, and equipping of dragoons.
He then turns his spotlight on dragoons in some of the many field armies: the Oxford Army, the Eastern Association, Essex's Army, the NMA, and the Cheshire forces.
As with his previous volumes, there is meticulous detail from contemporary sources. All in an easily readable format.
I freely admit that when it comes to 'in depth' military studies into the forces involved in the Civil Wars my benchmark is Old Robin's Foot. 'Dragoons and Dragoon Operations...' has joined the Old Robin's Foot league.
Highly recommended. If you are serious about your British Civil Wars military history then you really do need a copy.
Unfortunately Dr Abrams dodges the question on every civil wargamers' lips: how to represent them with toy soldiers, mounted, dismounted, horseholders...
Of course if it wasn't for the cover background image it would only rate 4*. The background lifts it to 5*, and is probably the highlight of the whole book. 😉