Armies of the Italian Wars of Unification 1848-70 (1)
Piedmont and the Two Sicilies
Author, Gabriele Esposito
Illustrator Giuseppe RavaISBN 978-1-4728-1949-9
I have to confess that I was excited when I saw this title. The Italian Wars have always been fascinating to me; the interplay of politics, royal conservatism, royal progressivism, outside occupation and influence, and outright revolution all occurring on the Italian Peninsula over the space of a few years would make an incredible backdrop for a Diplomacy style game. This slim volume puts a face on two of the armies involved in this epic conflict, Peidmont and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Delightfully lacking the usual horrible maps, this volume also dispenses with the multi-page chronology that afflicts too many Men at Arms volumes and concentrates on describing the organization and dress of the listed armies. This it does handsomely!
Gabriele Esposito details the state of constant flux that the armies of both nations struggled with are evident in the near yearly reorganization and uniform changes. All of this information is conveyed in a concise and easily understood manner. Both nations battled with internal divisions, financial restraints as well as manpower issues and shifting alliances. Along the way they produced some of the most stylish military dress ever seen (I am left to wonder where they found the time). These uniforms are superbly illustrated with period artwork and photographs and brought to vibrant life by the brilliant drawings of Guiseppe Rava.
If your are interested in the wars of the "Long Peace" this is an excellent addition. If you enjoy beautifully executed artwork this is a volume to own for that reason alone.
Very Highly Recommended