We’re pleased to announce that The Armies of Bismarck’s Wars: The Army of Prussia–History, Uniforms and Equipment, 1860–1867 is now available from Casemate Publishers!
This fascinating new book, written and illustrated by Bruce Basset Powell, chronicles the Prussian army from its growth from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the reforms of the eighteen sixties followed by a full account of the wars against Denmark in 1864 and Austria in 1866.
Accompanied by 24 full color illustrations depicting over 70 uniforms, this book is truly a gem for all enthusiasts of uniforms and equipment. See some of the great illustrations and read an interview with Bruce Bassett Powell below:
When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?
Primarily, I am an artist with my main interest in military uniforms. I soon realized that my art could be enhanced by writing on the historical contexts involved and it grew from there. Also, I have always loved to read and that combined with history and art spurred me to put pen to paper.
How much research did you do for the book?
Research is central to historical writing. It is also one of the most rewarding aspects of the whole experience. The search for information and facts often becomes obsessive (as it should) and in my case always remains unfinished even when I have completed a book. Libraries, military museums and nowadays, the internet are all important resources for research. If you get an opportunity to visit the battlefields and sites involved, it will offer you a first class reinforcement to the facts behind your writing.
Why did you decide to write this book? What prompted you to put this story down on paper?
It began with my fascination for 19th century German uniforms which I often expressed in my art. The Austro-Prussian War of 1866 in particular intrigued me as, in the space of seven weeks and one major battle, it transformed the future of Europe and possibly the world. Little has been written on it and it is often overlooked or ignored because of the larger and longer war between France and Prussia that followed.
How long did it take you to write it?
It has taken quite a few years, especially as I painted the illustrations first. Research, as I mentioned before, has led me to more and more information and more facts requiring changes and additions to the original concept.
What do you like most about your book? Why should we read it?
Well, more than the history of the war and the battle of Königgrätz, my book is the story of the Prussian Army of the period; how it became one of the most powerful armies in Europe and how its culture contributed to the catastrophic wars of the first half of the 20th century. It examines its history, training, weapons and, of course the uniforms, with 24 illustrations in detail which makes it somewhat unique.