Review: Soldiers of the English Civil War

    • Keith Roberts (vol.1: Infantry) and John Tincey (vol.2: Cavalry) with colour plates by Angus McBride, London, Osprey Publishing Ltd, Elite Series #27, 1990.

From the publishers of the ever popular Men at Arms Series come two volumes covering the uniforms, organization, tactics and equipment of the English Civil War. These two books are an excellent introduction to the military machine of the Civil War.

Beginning with a succinct summary of the military revolution begun in the mid-sixteenth century, Roberts deals with tactical theory, organization, weapons and logistics of the infantry of the period. Roberts makes good use of period illustrations and gives enough detail without boring us with antiquarian minutiae.

Tincey's volume deals primarily with the cavalry of the period but does give a cursory description of dragoons and artillery. Tincey gives sufficient coverage to the equipment and training of the cavalry and a good discussion of the role of cavalry in the war. There is less in the way of detail than in Robert's volume, however much of the information given in the first volume regarding organization and logistics is applicable to both.

For these two books Angus McBride has created 22 full colour paintings. Since the colour plates are what usually makes Osprey books the reference of choice in the living history community, McBrides work, and the accompanying text, are what makes or breaks the recommendation. McBride once again displays why he is one of the premiere military artists of our day. The paintings are excellent and make these books a must own for anyone interested in cavaliers and roundheads.