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Auldearn 1645: The Marquis of Montrose's Scottish campaign Paperback – May 20, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Campaign (Book 123)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; First Edition edition (May 20, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841766798
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841766799
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 7.3 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Highly visual guides to history's greatest conflicts, detailing the command strategies, tactics, and experiences of the opposing forces throughout each campaign, and concluding with a guide to the battlefields today.

About the Author

STUART REID was born in Aberdeen in 1954. His life long interest in military history has led to a longstanding involvement in historical re-enactment, which has broadened into work as a military advisor for film companies. Stuart has written numerous titles for the Osprey military list including a three volume set on King George’s Army 1740-93 in the Men-at-Arms series and two volumes in the Warrior series on the British Redcoat 1740-93 and 1793-1815 respectively. His most recent title is Campaign 121 Quebec 1759 – The battle that won Canada.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Hardy Smith on November 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
Having read many books about the Marquis of Montrose, I have become a fan of his, so my review may reflect that bias. Perhaps that is why I can give this present work only a marginal approval rating. Stuart Reid seems to write this from a distinctly English/Covenanter standpoint.
Before I deal with the negatives, let me say that overall the book is good. The paintings of the battles add greatly to the presentation, and give the reader a good idea of the face of an English Civil War battle. Sketchings of clothing and uniforms as well as weapons and flags are placed throughout the book.
While the entire campaign of 1644-45 is covered, much of the book deals with the central battle of Auldearn. Mr Reid details this battle well, with both maps and photographs. Understanding what happened at Auldearn can enable a person to get a good grasp of the entire period.
The maps are good, although in typical Osprey fashion the middle of each two-page map is obscured by the bookbinding. This is unfortunate, since much of the action in a map occurs in its center, but this is the very part that cannot be clearly seen.
Now the negatives. Mr Reid seems to have a desire to detract from Montrose's fame and achievements. Perhaps this is because he believes that Montrose has benefited from "hero worship" and been raised to nearly mythological status. In this he may be correct, but his efforts to "set the record straight" seem to lead to an over-reaction against Montrose. For instance, Mr Reid seems to consistently underestimate the size of the Covenanter armies. I say this because his figures often disagree with virtually every other account of the battles that I have read.
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Format: Paperback
The Campaigns waged by the Marquis of Montrose and Alasdair MacColla are a fascinating part of Scottish history, and Stuart Reid has done a service by introducing the Royalist insurrection of 1644 to 45 to Osprey. That said, the other reviews herein make extremely valid points about content. Reid has sometimes received hefty criticism for his work, which sometimes is warranted and sometimes is not, but the best thing about Auldearn 1645 is that is an accessible introduction to the topic. Unfortunately, the casual Osprey reader often does not have the time nor the money to purchase something more detailed if they are simply curious, and yet for that Reid gives you a lot for your investment and a fairly competent overview; I bought this book on a whim, I enjoyed it, and it inspired me to go back to the topic. Granted after making the decision to invest time and money in more detailed studies (Buchan, Wedgewood, Stevenson), it is clear that Reid's work is flawed in some aspects, especially as has already been enumerated by the two other reviews (though I would say we lack portraits for most of the commanders because we simply do not know of any in existence). But I would respectfully disagree with the reviewer who said this work is a waste of time; in my opinion it is a great introduction to a fascinating part of the British Civil Wars. The work covers not just Auldearn (though it receives the most detail in typical Osprey style), but Kilsyth, Inverlochy, Alford, Tippermuir, and Philiphaugh (not in that order, mind). It is an operational history, a true "Campaign" narrative. It has plenty of points which can be argued against, but it is a good overview.Read more ›
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11 of 30 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on August 17, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is difficult to see how Stuart Reid's volume on the Auldearn Campaign in Scotland in 1645 made it into Osprey's Campaign series. For a series that claims to provide "accounts of history's greatest conflicts," this obscure sideshow to the English Civil War clearly does not rank as a "great conflict." Indeed, since Osprey has yet to produce volumes on significant battles like Friedland, Stalingrad, El Alamein, Tannenberg, , Blenheim or Actium, it is amazing that they would stoop to devoting an entire volume to a campaign that hold so little historical or military value (surely a section in the upcoming Essential Histories volume on the English Civil War could have sufficed). Nor is Reid, who wrote admirably about the Georgian-era British Army and the Culloden campaigns, up to snuff in this volume. He does not so much narrate this campaign as inflict it upon the reader, making it about as pleasurable as a root canal. With Auldearn 1645 Reid has accomplished the unthinkable - he has displaced Bosworth 1485 as the worst volume in the Osprey Campaign series.
The introductory sections on background, opposing commanders, plans and armies occupy a mere 11 pages - well below the series average. Noticeably, there is a portrait of only a single commander, the Marquis of Montrose. Reid provides only the faintest detail on other commanders, such as noting that MacColla was a professional soldier, but doesn't even mention the age of 3 of 4 leaders. The section on opposing armies is skeletal. The actual campaign narrative is an interminable 73 pages long (seemed like 900). Normally, I detail the maps and graphics that support the author's text, but there seems little point in this case, since Auldearn 1645 is so meandering.
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