Civil War blog I recently mentioned that my book Armies of the Adowa Campiagn 1896: Italian Disaster in Ethiopia got a five-star review on Amazon. Well, I just got another review. This time it's four stars, and the reasons for losing a star are just fine with me. The review follows:
"I am very surprise that this subject matter, the Adowa Campaign, never made to the Osprey Campaign series. It would have made a great addition. Instead, we are treated with short verison of Men at Arms Series instead. I must ask why the author did not see fit to write an Osprey Campaign book and why he settled on this short version format instead?
"I wrote that because I found this book to be highly interesting reading material, there are a lot of facts packed into this book and it definitely deserves a longer treatment then what this series could afford. The narrative is short but well written, obviously the author did his research and provided many colorful plates on the uniforms and outfits of the two opposing sides. There are quite a few interesting photographs included including one where Italians and their African allies were being released, most of the African allies are missing some limbs of their bodies. Another interesting photo was one of two Italian survivors of the battle barely reaching back to their home base, looking more like escaped slaves then soldiers.
"Overall, its a pretty informative book that deserves a longer format of a Campaign series. Why the author settled for less is mysterious to me. Adowa campaign is a highly interesting campaign where an African power inflicted the greatest military defeat on an European power during the 19th century. Far greater defeat then Islandlwana which was British's smaller version of what Adowa turnout to be for Italy."
So his only complaint is that there wasn't more of it? I can live with that! To answer the reviewer's question, there are a couple of reasons why it wasn't part of the Campaign series. The main reason is that Osprey requires a topographic battle map for each title. I wasn't sure I could get a topo map for the Adowa battlefield. After visiting the Ethiopian Mapping Agency in Addis Ababa, my worries proved to be correct. Another reason it was in Men-At-Arms and not Campaign is that I've been working closely with the editor from the Man-At-Arms series and he offered me the title to do for his line.
So yes, Adowa deserves a longer treatment, but a couple of factors prevented me from doing it. Still, it was a fun book to write, and certainly not my last book on Ethiopia.