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Osprey Men-at-Arms 294 : British Forces in the West Indies 1792-1815

Two centuries ago, the West Indies were a booming set of islands where vast fortunes were made. Sugar was the source of this wealth. To this was added other crops, much smaller but highly valuable, such as indigo and coffee. The British West Indies accounted for about one-fifth of Britain's foreign trade in 1789. This increased to a third during the 1790s. By the late 1790s, the West Indies attracted four-fifths of British overseas capital investments and provided over one-eighth of the government's 31.5 million total net revenue to the Treasury through various direct taxes and duties. Considerable indirect tax income, perhaps another eighth, was generated from the West Indian commercial and trade activity. These figures explain the tremendous numbers of naval and military forces deployed to protect these valuable Caribbean territories. Dozens of regiments served in the West Indies. Between 1793 and 1801, some 69 line infantry regiments were sent there. Another 24 followed between 1803 and 1815. Rene Chartrand examines these forces, accompanied a wealth of illustrations and photographs and eight full page colour plates by Paul Chappell.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • British Army West Indies Dress
  • Saint-Dominigue (Haiti)
  • Black Chasseurs
  • Black Regular Troops
  • Uniforms of the West India Regiments
  • European Colonial Troops
  • Militias
  • The Plates

 

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