by Vladmir Brnardic
This book is number 462 in the Osprey “Men-at-Arms” series. It is 48 pages of facts about the men, their uniforms and the weaponry of the Imperial Armies who fought the Thirty Years’ War.
The Contents are: Introduction; Recruitment; Organization; The First Regular Regiments; Wartime Cavalry Strengths; Cuirassiers; Harquebusiers; Dragoons; Independent Companies; Light Cavalry; Further Reading; Plate Commentaries; Index.
IS THE FIRST SENTENEC A COMPLETE THOUGHT?
The Introduction is a brief overview of the distinct types of mounted troops of the Imperial Cavalry at the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War. The cuirassiers (also known as lancers or pistoleers) WERE THE HEAVIEST CAVALRY AND SUCCESSORS TO MEDIEVAL KNIGHTS and the arquebusiers augmented by dragoons, which were irregular light cavalry from the Military Frontier with the Ottoman Turks and later supplemented with mercenary Polish cavalry.
WHO ORIGINATED LONG BEFORE THE THIRTY YEARS’ WAR BY THE INSURRECTION FEUDAL LEVIES TO GUARD THE MILITARY FRONTIER IN HUNGARY AND CROATIA AGAINST THE OTTOMAN TURKS???
WHAT CAME FIRST MERCENARY OR DRAGOONS???
In the Recruitment section the author tells of the methods used in the selection process for recruits and its commanders. The Imperial cavalry was raised mainly from three sections of society: the local nobility, local militias or Land reserves, and professional mercenaries.
The author discusses the beginning of standardizing formation of the mounted arms into companies, regiments and squadrons. In the Organization section he explains in more detail the following topics: Ranks & Responsibilities; Discipline; Horses; Standards; Musicians.
The next section is The First Regular Regiments, here he talks about the first three Regiments that can trace their ROUTES OR ROOTS back to the Thirty Years’ War. They are:
the 8th Bohemian Dragoon Regiment ‘Count Montecuccoli’ raised by Inhaber General Heinrich DAMPLERRE OR DAMPIERRE in 1616; the 10th Bohemian Dragoon Regiment ‘Prince of Liechtenstein’ raised by Col. Christian Illow 1631; the 10th Moravian Dragoon Regiment ‘Friedrich Franz IV, Archduke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin raised in Germany by Obrist Ottavio Piccolomini in 1629.
In Wartime Cavalry Strengths he discusses the following: the Bohemian phase 1618-24; the Danish phase – the rise of Wallenstein 1625-30; the Swedish phase – the defeats of 1631-32; the French phase and the final years 1635-48.
The author expands upon the organization of the Cuirassiers and the Harquebusiers, their armor, weapons and tactics. Included in this section are black and white photographs and illustrations detailing their armor and weapons.
In Dragoons the author discusses their origins and organization, plus their clothing, weapons and tactics. Within this section are 8 full-color pages of illustrations of the Cuirassiers; Harquebusiers uniforms and weapons as they progressed; Hussars and Poles the Dragoons, Croats uniforms and weapons of their different ranks and Military Musicians uniforms and instruments.
Independent Companies were organized when insufficient troopers were enlisted to create a regiment or from the remains of dissolved under strength regiments. Here the author explains why, how, when, where and who these Independent Companies were.
In the section Light Cavalry, the author details the organization of the Croats, Hussars and the Polish Cavalry. He describes their armor, weapons, clothing, horse furniture and their tactics.
There is no mincing of words, the author gets right to the point about his subject in a most concise way. He includes detailed photographs and illustrations throughout the book. The uniform enthusiasts will find that this book is a great addition to their collection and is great reference material for uniform/weaponry.
Paperback: $17.95 US; $19.95 CAN