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"Looking for some book recomendations" Topic

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Shakespear15 Feb 2018 6:30 p.m. PST

Looking for some military books on:

English Civil War

30 Years War

The duke of Marlborough's wars

I am interested in the battles, tactics, army comp, ect.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2018 6:50 p.m. PST

For Marlborough, start with Winston Churchill's Life of Marlborough. It's biased, but it describes each battle in good clear prose, and you can go on from there.

For the ECW, you could do worse than Peter Young's books on individual campaigns and battles. People will nitpick him on some points, but read them and you'll know roughly how the battles went, and almost all the contemporary accounts are included in the books.

I've never been really happy with what I've read in English on the Thirty Years War myself.

DOUGKL15 Feb 2018 6:55 p.m. PST

For overviews Christopher Hibberts "Cavaliers and Roundheads" for the ECW. Then Geoffrey Parker "The Thirty Years War". Think of it as the Readers Digest version of C.V. Wedgewood's work.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Feb 2018 7:34 p.m. PST

This is the best book I've read on the 30 Years War.


rick32 Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2018 8:14 p.m. PST

For Marlborough:
The Battle of Blenheim by Charles Spencer, good overview of the causes of the WSS, great generalized background information, the lead up to the battle, the battle and the aftermath. Biased towards Marlborough, absolutely. Thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Anything by James Falkner.

Neil Litten's Ramilles (awesome for wargamers)

Christopher Scott's Oudenarde (awesome for wargamers)

Can't remember if Scott or Litten wrote "Malplaquet" but same recommendation.

Marlborough the man, as stated earlier, Winston Churchill's biography of the man. I am slogging (slogging!) through Britain's Fragile Genius, Marlborough by Richard Holmes, six years and counting so I can't recommend it.

Fiction: iain Gale's Man of Honour series with CPT Jack Steele, though it is certainly not to everyone's taste. I am on the 2nd book and find that I have to suspend belief and just enjoy the story. Think Sharpe only a little more ridiculous.

Enjoyed CV Wedgewood's book, but it really didn't take off for me until the entrance of Gustavus Adolphous.

Another endorsement for Europe's Tragedy by Peter H Wilson

Fiction: 1632 by Eric Flint, well, really fantasy/sci-fi but fun in a Castaways in Time way. Way ridiculous but fun, especially if you like Unions, in fact I think you have to LOVE ❤️ them…


Cavaliers and Roundheads, good read but dry.

War for the Three Kingdoms by Trevor Royle, exhaustive book but informative covers 1638-1660.

For the wargamers, Decisive Battles of the ECW by Malcolm Wanklyn

If I may, I would recommend "Revolutions" podcast by Michael Duncan. series 1 is the ECW 2nd series is AWI, 3rd is French, 4th Haiti etc. I thoroughly enjoyed the ECW series.

Captain Stryker series by Michael Arnold, think Sharpe again, protagonist is on the Royalist side for a change.

Nicholas Carter's Shadow of the Crown series, if you can find them. Characters on both sides but the sympathy lies with Parliament.

AussieAndy Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2018 2:23 a.m. PST

I can't agree with the recommendation for the Partizan Press Malplaquet book. It is awful. The fact that some of the editor's comments were printed in the text probably tells you all that you need to know (and they weren't even good comments). PP obviously doesn't spend much on editing or proof reading. I give credit to PP for publishing some useful titles, but they often have some pretty serious flaws (and they're not cheap).

Churchill is a joy to read, but it is a major undertaking. Falkner's and Chandler's books on the WSS are a lot easier introduction to the subject.

Everything by Wilson that I have read is great. Get the hardback of his TYW book, as it is hefty volume.

Good luck.

Silurian16 Feb 2018 6:24 a.m. PST

Another recommendation for Trevor Royle's book. I couldn't put it down.

Marcus Brutus16 Feb 2018 6:57 a.m. PST

For Malburian tactics Nosworthy's book Anatomy of Victory is top notch. I didn't really like Parker's The Thirty Years War.

Chinggis Inactive Member16 Feb 2018 1:12 p.m. PST

If you can get hold of a copy, H C B Rogers, Battles and Generals of the Civil Wars has one of the best overviews of the ECW as you are likely to find. As for the rest, no real interest so can't really help. Another vote for Young's books. Whether you like him or not, the additional information far and away makes up for any percieved mistakes. Plus don't forget, he was one of the first of the 'modern' writers on the subject.

Timbo W16 Feb 2018 4:49 p.m. PST

Agree, the Brigadier's books were great, and entertaining too.

For a more recent and more wargamer-y overview of the ECW, Stuart Reid's All the King;s Armies is excellent – very good details of regiments etc.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member16 Feb 2018 11:53 p.m. PST

Can't believe nobody has mentioned the late David Chandler's "Marlborough as military commander".

AussieAndy Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2018 12:02 a.m. PST

I did refer to Chandler, but didn't list the books.

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