12 JULY 1873, Page 22


Victories and Defeats. By Colonel R. P. Anderson. (Henry S.. King and Co.)—This work is rightly entitled "an attempt" to explain the causes of victories and defeats, and we have no doubt at all that. thegallant old soldier who put the book together fully intended to make his attempt successful- But we are constrained to say that the result is failure. Colonel Anderson is a brave, studious, thoughtful soldier. At Lucknow he held an exposed post close to the lines of the besieging Sepoys with "indomitable resolution," to quote the words of Brigadier Inglis, and there is evidence enough in these pages to prove that he has very sound views of warfare, and exceptionally sound views on discipline. In short, his nobility of mind and fine manly character are- as conspicuous as his dutiful devotion to his profession. No one has- ever testified with more force and feeling to the value of the private, soldier, the often reviled and frequently misunderstood Tommy Atkins of our Line regiments. But while wo gladly recognise the per- sonal and professional merits of Colonel Anderson, we are obliged to say that the results of much study constitute a poor book, gossiping,

undigested, ill-arranged, and inaccurate. It is not every man whose

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heart is the right place, and whose head strives to master a com- prehensive profession, who is able to compose a good military treatise. Colonel Anderson's ideas are so sound and practical, that we regret his deficiency in reticence, literary skill, a sense of proportion, and system did not enable him to place them in a form which might be read. More- over, his pages abound in historical errors, which it would take up toe much space to point out ; they are errors in good faith, but they do not the less detract from the value which might otherwise attach, to some parts of his teaching.