One consequence of the internal wars within the British Isles between an increasingly dominant England, and the Celtic nations of Ireland and Scotland was a steady outflow of Irish and Scottish soldiers – many of them able, as well as warlike – to seek service in the armies of continental Europe. This book is a collection of mini-biographies of many of these distinguished Soldiers of Fortune. (They would have scorned the word ‘mercenaries’). The wars in which these ‘British heroes’ fought ranged from the Thirty Years’ War of the early 17th century, when they fought on both sides, many of them serving under the great Protestant champion and military innovator King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden to the Napoleonic Wars when the Scottish soldier Stephen Macdonald rose to be one of Bonaparte’s 26 Marshals. The careers covered in this fascinating and exciting volume include Admiral Sir Samuel Greig – known as the father of the Russian Navy; and the remarkable Lacy family, three of whose members became, variously, Marshal of the Hapsburg Imperial Armies; Captain General of Catalonia and the Conqueror of the Crimea.
BRITISH HEROES IN FOREIGN WARS or The Cavaliers of Fortune
An unusual collection of biographical sketches of Scots and Irish soldiers who achieved high command in the armies and navies of various European states.