Books on Military History

Michael Hargreave Mawson

Eyewitness in the Crimea
The Crimean War Letters of Lt. Col. George Frederick Dallas, 1854-1856

8vo., 320pp., published April, 2001, by Greenhill Books.

By turns gripping and analytical, colourful and bleak, the letters of George Frederick Dallas create an honest portrait of a war fought against a backdrop of terrible neglect.

‘Fred’ Dallas wrote 137 letters to his family and friends whilst on active service in the Crimea. As a company commander in the 46th Regiment, his very first letters reflect a soldier’s enthusiasm for the ‘brilliant affair’ that awaits them overseas. Within a few short months, excitement has turned to open disbelief at the continual misjudgement of their leaders. Poor preparation and a lack of reliable information lays them bare to surprise attacks by ‘The Russe’, and to the appalling conditions of the Crimean winter. Field Marshal Lord Raglan’s visits are greeted with a cheery cynicism that cuts across the desperation the troops are suffering.

We relive the terrible perils of combat and siege warfare – Fred’s almost miraculous escape from serious injury, despite being shot several times; the monotony of being entrenched at Sebastopol, followed by the ‘utter confusion’ surrounding instructions to attack; the wearying cold. He feels keenly the losses of his own division, and of friends, meticulously reporting the injured, and incidents of fighting elsewhere.

Yet the uncompromising detail of these letters is balanced by gentle, almost wistful depictions of the quieter moments at camp. His comrades inspire humorous and colourful anecdotes and these – supplemented by the editor’s excellent footnotes and narrative – create an intimate history of all those involved.

In addition to the letters, the book also contains detailed information about the family of their author, about his life and career both before and after the Crimean War, a Chronology of the war, a full Bibliography, a genealogical appendix, a glossary, and a comprehensive biographical index of those mentioned in the letters.

Hardbound, 6 x 9 ins; 234 x 156mm; 320pp.; 40 illustrations and maps, comprising 17 half-tones, 14 line engravings and 9 vignettes

- UK Retail price £19.99
- US Retail price $39.95

Order direct from the author and save $5.00!

The Casualty Roll - Egypt 1882
A5, 28pp., published 19th February, 2000.

Alphabetically arranged, and containing the names of 630 officers and men of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and the British Army killed or wounded in the Egypt Campaign of 1882, this is an invaluable resource for any collector of the Egypt 1882 medal. Each entry contains name, rank, number (where known), unit, date and place of the action in which killed or wounded, description of wound (where known), and any additional notes (awarded the Victoria Cross; left leg amputated; later died of wounds etc.).

"I knew from your info that he was wounded in action... the dealer didn't, and... I failed to enlighten him about the WIA status before closing the deal. He now knows - no doubt regretting selling the medal!" - A satisfied customer.


La Légion d'Honneur
Second Edition, A5, 40pp., indexed, published May, 2000.

Cover image not available

Unlike those of other Divisions in the Crimea, the majority of the recommendations for the 5th Class of the Légion d'Honneur for 4th Division recipients have survived. The recommendations vary from merely naming the individual to detailing the services which had led to the recommendation. The offer by Napoleon III to award the Légion d'Honneur to his allies meant that for the first time, gallantry in action by British officers and men could be rewarded. This book is filled with tales of extraordinary daring and pluck, and many of the men who were recommended for the Légion d'Honneur later received the Victoria Cross and/or the Distinguished Conduct Medal for the same acts of bravery.

"No. 3201 Private John McGowan at the battle of Inkerman, charged close up to the enemy, was fired at by a Russian Officer, killed him by a blow of the butt end of his musquet, was then attacked by three Russians, killed one, on which the other two fled, [McGowan] rejoined the Regiment, and continued in the field the whole day, and was the first to clear a breastwork near the Russians, when the order was given to advance." - Excerpt from one of the unsuccessful recommendations for the 63rd Regiment.


True Heroes of Balaklava
A4, 20pp., illustrated, published by the Crimean War Research Society, 1996.

Cover image not available

A review of the role of the Turkish forces at the Battle of Balaklava. Treated as cowards at the time, and blamed for many of the reverses of the battle, this work re-evaluates the contribution of the Turkish troops and concludes that their stubborn defence of the redoubts along the Causeway Heights, no less than their often-ignored contribution to the Thin Red Line, makes the Turks the true heroes of Balaklava.

"a reasoned attempt to revise and sharpen our perceptions of the Turks and their conduct at the battle [of Balaklava]... well-illustrated with diagrams and maps... a valuable reassessment." - Andrew Sewell in the War Correspondent.


The Battle of Balaklava
A5 20pp., illustrated, published 1995

Cover image not available

An annotated translation from General Todleben's Défense de Sébastopol. Todleben, the genius of military engineering who was almost single-handedly responsible for the successful defence of Sebastopol for 11 months later compiled a very detailed history of the war in the Crimea. This book, a translation from the French of the chapter on the Battle of Balaklava, contains much valuable information on orders of battle and time-scales and provides a narrative of the battle from the point of view of this most professional of Russian soldiers.

"Scarcely had our cavalry succeeded in re-forming than the English cavalry came out from behind the heights which had up till then hidden them from our view. Immediately, and with scant regard for the well-directed fire of eight guns from No. 7 (Light) Battery, and of General Zhyabokritski's artillery, and of the carabineers of the Odessa Regiment of Chasseurs, and of a company of the 4th Battalion of Tirailleurs, Cardigan launched an attack on the Don Cossack Battery which occupied an advanced position, sabred the gunners, then charged our cavalry, routed them, carried on beyond the line of redoubts and pursued our cavalry who were retreating towards Chorgun." - Extract.


Trade enquiries welcomed. Please contact me for details of trade discounts.

Go back to Books & Articles... ...or go all the way Home

You are visitor number Load images to see the counter since the 1st of January, 1998.

This page has been designed and is maintained by Michael Hargreave Mawson. If you have any queries or comments about it, please contact me.

Last updated by Michael Hargreave Mawson on the 19th of October, 2011

Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Michael Hargreave Mawson

If you wish to know more about my service provider, please click on Connectivity supplied by Demon Internet