Understudied Victorian Campaigns

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Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby Mark » 11 Aug 2014 21:52

What do members consider to be the most understudied Victorian campaigns? That is campaigns that have had little in the way of books published on them or perhaps have long been forgotten.

Personally I feel the Second and Third Anglo-Burmese Wars fit this category, as do the Anglo-Chinese Wars, to name but a few.

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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby Josh&Historyland » 12 Aug 2014 19:41

Agree on both counts Mark. Perhaps the Anglo New Zealand Wars as well.

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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby mike snook » 12 Aug 2014 19:52

We've never had a war with New Zealand, Josh, which might account for the apparent absence of literature. :D

If you mean the New Zealand Wars, the Anglo-Maori Wars, or the good old fashioned Maori Wars, there is a not insubstantial literature, much of it published....no prizes for guessing...in New Zealand. You are right in the sense that you are not going to trip over it at Waterstone's, but it is out there somewhere. I have a shelfful, but it was, I grant you, not cheaply acquired.

Yes, I agree Mark on Burma and China. Douglas Hurd (yes him) did write a book on the Second China War, (London, 1967), but I haven't yet read it to comment on its merits or otherwise, save in so far as to observe that he is of course a terribly bright Camridge man and a former Foreign office wallah who served in Peking. It's called 'The Arrow War: An Anglo-Chinese Confusion 1856-60.' On the first war, there is also 'The Opium War' by Brian Inglis, (London 1976), which I also haven't yet read. So much to do, so little time.

What about the Sekhukune War against the baPedi (1879) for a nomination.

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M
Last edited by mike snook on 12 Aug 2014 20:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby Mark A. Reid » 12 Aug 2014 19:55

Hello Mark:

Not surprisingly, I would opt for a campaign " under the desert sky " of the Sudan. Whilst much ink has been spilt on what colour socks were worn by the Camel Corps in 1885 or the brand of beef tea served to the 21st Lancers before Omdurman, very little has been written about the fighting that took place between 1885 and 1896. There were dozens of dervish raids, ambushes and not a few pitched battles that resulted in thousands of casualties but if you ask the average Rorke's Drift aficionado about the Battle of Argin you will probably receive a rather blank look.

Not their fault of course, most of the fighting was done by the Egyptian Army, with the assistance of a few Brits, but this new field is ripe for both serious research as well as a new line of 54mm figures! For those interested, I would recommend reading Wingate's Mahdism and the Egyptian Sudan, published in 1891, to get a taste of the events.

Cheers,

Mark

ps: Perhaps Mike can settle the long-argued point about whether the Royal Marines really did dye their white socks khaki on joining the Camel Corps? I've read somewhere that the RMA kept a band of red along the toes but this is, as yet, unsubstantiated.
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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby mike snook » 12 Aug 2014 20:07

Marines don't wear socks....not British ones anyway.

Well you know what to do Reid...instead of sitting there bleating about it in that frozen wilderness...get your passport updated and get off there to the sunshine like your forbears. There is only one man in the world I can think of with a keen interest in Egyptian socks.....!!

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M

PS. One book I have read is Wingate and I heartily endorse the recommendation.
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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby Josh&Historyland » 12 Aug 2014 22:15

mike snook wrote:We've never had a war with New Zealand, Josh, which might account for the apparent absence of literature. :D

If you mean the New Zealand Wars, the Anglo-Maori Wars, or the good old fashioned Maori Wars, there is a not insubstantial literature, much of it published....no prizes for guessing...in New Zealand. You are right in the sense that you are not going to trip over it at Waterstone's, but it is out there somewhere. I have a shelfful, but it was, I grant you, not cheaply acquired.

Yes, I agree Mark on Burma and China. Douglas Hurd (yes him) did write a book on the Second China War, (London, 1967), but I haven't yet read it to comment on its merits or otherwise, save in so far as to observe that he is of course a terribly bright Camridge man and a former Foreign office wallah who served in Peking. It's called 'The Arrow War: An Anglo-Chinese Confusion 1856-60.' On the first war, there is also 'The Opium War' by Brian Inglis, (London 1976), which I also haven't yet read. So much to do, so little time.

What about the Sekhukune War against the baPedi (1879) for a nomination.

As ever

M


Droll Mike, droll. :)

Yes I did mean the Maori Wars, I made the error of inserting place instead of enemy and sticking an Anglo on the top. I suppose I could lamely try and save face by pathetically attempting to prove that the Maori are the original people of NZ etc,but that would hijack the thread a tad & well I am on poor ground.

I suppose there is a subtle line here. A distinction between under studied & not popularly available. For as you say the "Maori Wars" have good scholarship if one is willing to dig for it, however it would definitely be classed as a forgotten war because it is not widely known about & a challenge to research due to this.

The same can be said for many wars. For instance the Opium War, only the first one can be in any way accurately called "Opium War". There is a certain dearth of literature, but not if you dig for it, the volumes are scarce but at least they are specialised, yet on the other hand, it is a subject that is more likely to be tripped over in a bookstore. Nevertheless military study of the subject is extremely thin once one leaves the primary sources.

I might also offer the brief South American fiasco mainly involving the WIR and mostly focusing on the attack on Orange Walk. It is a very small affair though.
Now the Anglo Satsuma War (bombardment of Kagoshima) and the Shimonoseki campaign in Japan has a bit more elbow room, especially if you are interested in the Navy.

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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby Andre Chissel » 13 Aug 2014 07:00

Ooh 'original people of New Zealand' .....that is actually a moot point - ask the Moriori lol.

Apparently there were two mass migrations of the polynesians separated by about 800 years. The first migratin saw the Moriori arrive in NZ and develop their own culture. The second saw tbe Maori arrive.

I am sure otherd will elaborate.

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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby Mark » 13 Aug 2014 10:52

How about Charles Napier's conquest of Sind? One or two books published in the Victorian period, but any modern analysis tends to be relegated to the odd little chapter in more general history books.

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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby Josh&Historyland » 13 Aug 2014 11:10

Mark wrote:How about Charles Napier's conquest of Sind? One or two books published in the Victorian period, but any modern analysis tends to be relegated to the odd little chapter in more general history books.

Mark


That gets me thinking about the Sikh Wars Mark. Apart from Amarpal Sidhu's work, I don't know of much attention given to them.

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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby Mark » 13 Aug 2014 20:43

Josh&Historyland wrote:
Mark wrote:How about Charles Napier's conquest of Sind? One or two books published in the Victorian period, but any modern analysis tends to be relegated to the odd little chapter in more general history books.

Mark


That gets me thinking about the Sikh Wars Mark. Apart from Amarpal Sidhu's work, I don't know of much attention given to them.

Josh.


The only other ones that spring to mind are those by Donald Featherstone, but they were of course written during the late Victorian period, and no doubt other 19th-Century accounts exist.

As an aside, Amarpal's excellent book is now due to be released in paperback, in case anyone missed out on the hardback version. I also believe he is putting the final touches to his new book.

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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby roconn » 13 Aug 2014 23:35

Mark wrote:How about Charles Napier's conquest of Sind? One or two books published in the Victorian period, but any modern analysis tends to be relegated to the odd little chapter in more general history books.

Mark


However Napier's Magdala or Abyssinian Campaign was a model of 'how to' mount an expedition, achieve the aims, bring it to a successful conclusion and leave the enemy in no doubt of what you might do in a return match.

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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby Andre Chissel » 14 Aug 2014 06:35

The Matabele wars ?

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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby roconn » 23 Aug 2014 17:09

How about both the Matabele and Mashona rebellions --- plus one of particular interest are the Somaliland campaigns brought to a successful end post WWI by the newly formed RAF.
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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby Mark » 23 Aug 2014 21:50

Anglo-Persian War?

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Re: Understudied Victorian Campaigns

Postby Arteis » 01 Nov 2014 04:14

Ooh 'original people of New Zealand' .....that is actually a moot point - ask the Moriori lol.

Apparently there were two mass migrations of the polynesians separated by about 800 years. The first migratin saw the Moriori arrive in NZ and develop their own culture. The second saw tbe Maori arrive.


At the risk of taking this discussion off onto a tangent, but in the interests of setting the record straight:

During the early 20th century it was commonly, but erroneously, believed that the Moriori were pre-Māori settlers of New Zealand, linguistically and genetically different from the Māori, and possibly Melanesian. This story, incorporated into Stephenson Percy Smith's "Great Fleet" hypothesis, was widely believed during the early 20th century. However the hypothesis was not always accepted.

By the late 20th century the hypothesis that the Moriori were different from the Māori had fallen out of favour amongst archeologists, who believed that the Moriori were Māori who settled on the Chatham Islands in the 16th century. The earlier hypothesis was discredited in the 1960s and 1970s.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moriori_people
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