Highlander: The History of the Legendary Highland Soldier

Overview


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, High- landers memorably fought alongside the Scots Greys against Napoleon’s feared Old Guard. In the Crimea, the thin red line stood firm against...
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Overview


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, High- landers 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 this 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, now: Over the last decade the historic regiments have been dismantled, despite widespread protest.

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Editorial Reviews

The Scotsman
“Tim Newark is a remarkably gifted storyteller, and in Highlander he really brings these proud soldiers to life.”
Stuart Reid
“An impressively researched and immensely readable celebration of the Highland soldier.”
Professor Gary Sheffield
“The Highland soldier is a wonderful theme, and Tim Newark does it full justice. This is a very readable book, full of colour and fascinating anecdotes.”
Publishers Weekly
The famed kilted regiments with their pipes and drums march forth in this appealing history. A British military historian and consultant to several BBC documentaries, Newark (The Mafia atWar) opens on the stark landscape of geographical isolation: the Scottish Highland settlements. The first Highlanders—unemployed farmers, enforcers, mercenaries, bandits, rebels—had a fierce reputation, and by the early 16th century, the Highlanders' image “was already set... as an untamed tartan-clad warrior who rushed upon his enemy like a wild animal.” Newark takes the reader directly onto the battlefields, from the 1746 Battle of Culloden and the New York Highlanders' 1861 baptism of fire at Bull Run to fighting in France and Burma during WWII. A closing chapter surveys the Highlander as depicted in ads, novels, films, and toy soldiers. The book benefits from exhaustive research, unpublished manuscripts, memoirs, and letters: “I clove a piece out of one of their heads just as one does an egg for breakfast and saw his white brain exposed.” Such statements by the Highlanders themselves, which Newark unearthed, make for a powerful portrait of ferocity and courage. 8 pages of b&w photos. (Apr. 6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781602399518
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Newark was the editor for many years of Military Illustrated, the popular British military history magazine. He is the author of numerous books, including Camouflage, Highlander, The Mafia of War, and has written for the Financial Times and the Daily Telegraph. He lives in London, England.
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