...Spanish Regiments and Uniforms from the Estado Militar of 1800, Helion & Company, via Casemate Books
Title: Godoy's Army
Author: Charles Esdaile and Alan Perry
Publisher: Helion and Company
A paperback format book in the From Reason to Revolution series from Helion Books. The background to this book is interesting in itself, let alone the content of the book itself. It grew from a lucky find in an antique shop by Alan Perry, a figure designer and wargamer who is co-owner of Perry Miniatures. He found, with the aid of his wife's keen eye apparently spotted a book in with a marble coloured cover and it proved to be a rare copy of an old book filled with coloured illustrations of Spanish Military uniforms and one with both printed and hand done illustrations that were still in excellent condition. What they have done is then get subject expert, Professor Charles J. Esdaile to add the text which gives even more explanation to the illustrations.
So what we have is a marvellous reference that will be a boon to wargamers and figure modellers in providing super detail on uniforms and their colours as worn by the various Spanish regiments in the era of Napoleon and the Peninsula War. Following on from the text of the introduction which provides the historical background to the 1801 Spanish invasion of Southern Portugal by an army commanded by Manuel de Godoy, who also held the full title of The Prince of Peace. What follows is the reproduction of all the marvellous coloured engravings of the original, and rare, book. It is divided into sections that cover The Royal Guard; Line Infantry; Light Infantry; Swiss Infantry; Cavalry; Provincial Militia; and Garrison and Security Forces. A couple of Appendices then cover Artillery, Engineers and Astronomers along with Developments in the Uniforms of the Spanish Army 1800 - 1809.
The detail of the campaign as a historical topic will interest anyone with an interest in the Napoleonic period while for wargmaers and figure modellers of the period it will provide a welcome reference. I think we should be thankful that not only did the original old book survive in good condition, but it was 'found' by someone with a genuine interest who saw the potential for it to be an interesting reference to share with others in this modern format. Well done to Alan Perry for following it through.
Distributed by Casemate Books, who kindly provided my review copy.