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Battles of the Jacobite Rebellions

Jonathan Oates
In Print
Pen & Sword Military (2019)

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This entry created 4 November 2020. Last revised on 4 November 2020.

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Battles of the Jacobite Rebellions

Killiecrankie to Culloden

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star no star no star no star (7.00)

309 pages. Eight pages with 24 black-and-white photos. Nine one-page black-and-white battle maps. Preface, acknowledgements, appendix on the battlefields today, notes, bibliography, and index.

Jonathan Oates, who has a background as archivist, librarian and author, previously wrote Sweet William or The Butcher? In this book, he sets out to provide a comprehensive military history of the Jacobite rebellions. Despite the title, this is not just a book about the battles.

The book is structured around the battles, with eight chapters covering nine battles: Killiekrankie, Dunkeld and Cromdale, Preston, Sheriffmuir, Glenshiel, Prestonpans, Falkirk, and Culloden.

The other eight chapters fill in the gaps between battles, particularly between the major campaigns. The author assumes the reader is familiar with the geography (no large-scale maps provided), the people, and the military technology of the time. (If you don't know a Highlander from a Lowlander, this might not be the book for you.)

The author presents troop lists (as far as can be reconstructed) for each battle, and a map which shows the deployment of the troops.

Dealing with nine battles in a single volume is quite an undertaking, but the author has apparently consulted all of the major sources, often providing quotes. (It helps that Jacobite battles tended to be quick affairs!) He particularly does a good job of researching the Orders of Battle for each side, as well as providing casualty figures.

Speaking as a wargamer, the major failing of this book is the quality of the maps. These are little more than sketches, albeit with detailed troop deployments overlaid on them. I would want better maps before trying to build historical scenarios.

I recommend this book as a supplemental source on the Jacobite Rebellions, but you'll want another book with better maps; and if you're new to the period, you'll want a book that provides more of an introduction.

Reviewed by Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian.