David A. Wilson, The Danish Army of the Napoleonic Wars 1801-1814, v2 Cavalry and Artillery (Helion, 2021)
This is a companion volume to Wilson’s book on the Danish infantry, and while Wilson claims it is a ‘good working document’ only the diehard student of the Napoleonic wars will need to look elsewhere.
Wilson jumps right in with the Danish Regular Cavalry, their horses, harnesses, and tactics. Then he gallops on to The Royal Horse Guards, adding uniforms, arms, and equipment to the mix, then to the Heavy Cavalry with the same formula but with a small section on firearms. Similar treatment is meted out to the Light Cavalry, Dragoons, and Hussars. Wilson concludes his cavalry ridealong with a description of their standards. The Danish Artillery gets half the book. The Foot Artillery come first with an overview of their guns, uniforms (including the drivers!), personal weapons, and Pennants. That leaves significant room for Wilson to describe the Ordnance and there is a lot of it: 3pdr, 6pdr, 10pdr, and 20pdrs. The limbers are next up, then the arrangement of gun teams and harnesses for the various calibre guns. Wilson includes the ammunition chests and wagons in his descriptive sections. The Heavy Field and Siege guns are left to the end along with the Field Forges and boxouts for the 18pdr and 12pdr Fortress Pieces. The Engineers and Sappers bring up the rear as they usually seem to in books of this kind. An appendix titled The Puzzle of the Standards of the Livgarden til Hest 1720-1866 by Jorgen Koefoed Larsen might be the most esoteric essay I have read in a long time, but nonetheless still interesting.
This book is not literature, nor is it meant to be. These are almost exclusively technical descriptions, so we discover little about the men in the brightly coloured uniforms. But Wilson has left no stone unturned to bring us detailed information on all aspects of the Danish Cavalry and Artillery. He is aided in that by a dazzling array of colour plates, illustrating uniforms, saddlecloths, equipment, weapons, and all the supporting elements that kept the guns firing and horse charging. Wargamers and modelers interested in the Napoleonic period will love Wilson’s ‘working document’.
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