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Opinions on "Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars" by Digby Smith

Posted by XbriX on 09 Sep 2020, 14:21

Does anyone here have this book? If so would you recommend it to someone who wants to move to Napoleonics from other periods?

Image

Cheers,
Jacob
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XbriX  Poland
 
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16 Aug 2019, 08:04


Posted by Ben Bob on 09 Sep 2020, 23:09

I have this book, but not at my current house, so I will give you an impression from my foggy memory.

The pictures are very pretty, but in my opinion they are not very useful as a reference. The soldiers featured in the pictures seem to be selected randomly, so it is difficult to learn about the uniform details in a methodical way. For example, I like to know what officers, soldiers, and musicians of a single unit looked like from a specific campaign; this book will not give you much information.

However, I think the text contains useful information about facing colors, organization, uniform evolution etc, but hopefully someone with a copy can confirm this.

I prefer a more focused but detailed approach. For example, for my 1809 French army, I used "The Napoleonic Sourcebook" for general uniform information, and "Napoleon's Soldiers" for the uniforms of specific units and ranks. The first is pretty dense and boring, and google images will work just as well as the latter.

There is some good info in this thread as well (viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4823&p=64325&hilit=Uniforms+of+the+Napoleonic+Wars#p64325) even including some recommendations for the book in question.

So in the end, it depends on your purpose. It would make a nice "coffee table book" and could inspire your painting, but I think there are better resources in terms of depth.
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Ben Bob  United States of America
 
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Posted by Bessiere on 09 Sep 2020, 23:27

I have it but there are a few errors and as BenBob said it's not exhaustive by any means. To be truthful the internet is far more useful if you know which sites to go to. Not to totally can the book but it isn't the first one i reach for.
Bessiere  United States of America
 
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Posted by Ochoin on 10 Sep 2020, 00:07

If I was just beginning the Nap Wars, this would have been a good buy.

However, adding it to my "collection" of uniform books was, brutally, a waste of money*.

It's OK but, as my two friends above indicate, there's better.

donald


* go on; make me an offer.
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Ochoin  Scotland
 
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Posted by XbriX on 10 Sep 2020, 06:01

Thanks guys! I think I'll pass on this one.
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XbriX  Poland
 
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Posted by MABO on 10 Sep 2020, 07:22

The Napoleonic period is quite a long time. But if you would like to start withe the sundown then I could really recommend these two books.
Text is in French but the pictures tell the story.
https://belle-alliance.be/boutique/les-planches-de-la-belle-alliance/ceux-qui-bravaient-laigle-p-2/

https://belle-alliance.be/boutique/les-planches-de-la-belle-alliance/les-armees-de-waterloo-1815-p-1/
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MABO  Europe
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Posted by Ochoin on 10 Sep 2020, 12:08

Some people would say you don't need books at all: the internet will provide all your answers for free.

There is a lot to this, of course. By & large there's a Quality Assurance aspect to printed works that makes them a bit more reliable.

I use both but my little library is very dear to me.

Incidentally, there's a similar argument about forums: why bother when you can find anything you want through a Google search. I don't think any members of Benno's Forum would have trouble refuting this.

donald
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Ochoin  Scotland
 
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Posted by Beano Boy on 10 Sep 2020, 20:14

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view ... ORM=IRPRST

If you go on Amazon UK,you can enter the book title,and then view the positive reviews from those that bought the book. i did so and there are lots of them.


Well why not cruise the Internet for free inspiration it is all there at your finger tips.
Google Napoleonic War Uniforms... or click on the provided Link. The journey then in any direction is up to you. Enjoy yourself. BB
Beano Boy  England
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Posted by Susofrick on 11 Sep 2020, 08:22

Didn't he also write as Otto von Pivka? Or do I mix them up?
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Susofrick  Sweden
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Posted by Rich W on 12 Sep 2020, 09:28

I have the AWI book in this series and I would guess they're going to be very similar in style. Although it has some nice pictures, it is very basic if you want very detailed information/description. A good beginner book for someone who is not after specific regimental details, cuff details etc. Would be a good book for trying to encourage someone new to the hobby?
Rich W  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Minuteman on 12 Sep 2020, 23:55

Susofrick wrote:Didn't he also write as Otto von Pivka? Or do I mix them up?


Yes, Digby Smith and Otto von Pivka are one and the same. I only discovered this relatively recently and was quite surprised when I did. I'd always assumed that the person behind 'The Kings German Legion' (Osprey) - which I have in hardback as one of the earliest Men at Arms books I ever owned - was a German or Austrian author.
Minuteman  United Kingdom
 
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06 Mar 2020, 21:38


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