Robert Hall on the Dutch is here!

I received my copy yesterday (from On Military Matters in the US) and spent some time looking through it last night.  I just wanted to give some quick first impressions of it.  Fantastic!  How’s that for quick first impressions?

I heard about this book from Iain Stanford quite some time ago.  He is a coauthor with Robert Hall on this, as is Yves Roumegoux.  The full title is Uniforms and Flags of the Dutch Army and the Army of Liege 1685-1715.  It’s about 450 pages of text with a pile of uniform plates at the back.

I spent some time looking up regiments that I already have painted for my Ramillies order of battle to see whether there were any major gaffs.  I had used the Belaubre and Golberg works in German before and had been looking forward to a full revision and update; and also some plates that Robert Hall did in his series for Ramillies.  For the most part the units I have are in good shape.  (It’s not likely that I’d repaint anything, but if something is too far off I’ll repurpose it as something else).  I finished the Dopf dragoons last year based on the Robert Hall plate for the Ramillies series and this will serve as a good example.  In the prior plate they are depicted as wearing red uniforms with white facings.  In this work new plates are drawn depicting them according to their description from 1689 red with white facings,  in the Ath Camp as wearing blue lined red, and hypothetically based on the 1718 description of their colonel as the colonel of the red dragoons.  In the new plate the later description is interpreted as red with blue facings.  If I were starting from scratch I might go with the uniform from Ath, but I’ll stick with what I have for them being red dragoons.

One interesting first impression is that there seem to be many more descriptions available for specific uniforms from the NYW period than from the WSS period.

The authors have provided lots of drawings of flags and identified when something about a flag is speculative.  An example of this is the flag for the horse regiment Nysle.  The notes give a uniform of white lined red and a description of the flag as red, both from the Ath Camp in 1696.  On the plate it’s noted that the flag design is speculative.

For each regiment there is text describing reference material for the unit, a plate number (if there is one, I think most have them), a chronology of known commanders, a table of actions throughout the period (for Nysle it is listed as present at Ramillies with 1 squadron), a description of uniform and flag.  Very thorough.

The only ding I have against the book is that the .pdf index doesn’t provide an easy way to cross click between the text and the plate.  In the Hall book on the French cavalry one can easily click on the bookmarks on the left to go quickly between the text and the plate for any given regiment and I miss that in this volume already.

It’s a nice work with a lot to consume.  A must have for anyone interested in the NYW or WSS.

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