Although only formed in December 1992, The Light Dragoons look back to a history that began in the days of the first Jacobite rebellion. In 1922 a reduction in the Army’s strength saw the amalgamation of four regiments of Hussars into the 13th/18th Hussars and the 15th/19th Hussars. Now they too have been amalgamated, with a name that reverts to the titles of the four original regiments in the eighteenth century. Allan Mallinson, the novelist and a former commanding officer of the 13th/18th Hussars, not only follows with admirable clarity and dexterity the fortunes of The Light Dragoons’ predecessors in this new edition, but describes the activities of the new regiment up to the minute. It is a crowded canvas which reflects much of the last two hundred and seventy years of British history. No campaign of significance has been fought in that time without the participation of one or more of the Regiments. Three, for instance, fought in the Peninsula, one in the Crimea and three in South Africa. In the twentieth century they gained fresh honours in both World Wars and, since 1945, have been fully involved in Britain’s withdrawal from Empire, the Cold War, United Nations’ peacekeeping and Iraq and Afghanistan. The new Postscript gives the reader a fine account of what wars in Bosnia and Iraq have involved for the Regiment and the men who serve in it and this updated history is a superb ‘snapshot’ of life in war and peace for a British armoured reconnaissance regiment. Light Dragoons takes its place among the classics of this genre such as Sir Arthur Bryant’s Jackets of Green and Rudyard Kipling’s account of the Irish Guards in the Great War.
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