'Highlanders have long been among the most feared soldiers in the world and Tim Newark's book admirably tells their stirring tale. A great read!' Bernard Cornwell
On the fields of Waterloo, the deserts of Sudan, the Plains of Abraham and the mountains of Dargai, the trenches of Flanders and the jungles of Burma – the great Highland regiments made their mark. The brave kilted troops with their pipes and drums were legendary, whether leading the charge into the thick of battle or standing fast, the last to leave or fall, fighting against the odds.
Acclaimed historian Tim Newark tells the story of the Highlanders through the words of the soldiers themselves, from diaries, letters and journals uncovered from archives in Scotland and around the world. At the Battle of Quebec in 1759, only a few years after their defeat at Culloden, the 78th Highlanders faced down the French guns and turned the battle. At Waterloo, Highlanders memorably fought alongside the Scots Greys against Napoleon’s feared Old Guard. In the Crimea, the thin red line stood firm against the charging Russian Hussars and saved the day at Balaclava.
Yet the story is also one of betrayal. At Quebec, General Wolfe remarked that, despite the Highlanders’ courage, it was ‘no great mischief if they fall’. At Dunkirk in May 1940, the 51st Regiment was left to defend the SOE evacuation at St Valery; though following D-Day the Highlanders were at the forefront of the fighting through France.
It is all history: over the last decade the historic regiments have been dismantled, despite widespread protest.
About Tim Newark
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Published October 15, 2009
History, Travel, War.