The period covered by this book begins with the British infantryman entering the Peninsular War (1808-1814) wearing the lethal knapsack equipment of the day, and ends with the introduction of the first equipment set made entirely of woven cotton webbing [the 1908 pattern described in the accompanying Men-at-Arms 108: British Infantry Equipments 1908-80]. Mike Chappel's detailed text presents an in-depth study of British infantry equipments from 1808-1908, in a volume complemented by plenty of illustrations and photographs, including eight full page color plates by the author himself.
Mike Chappell comes from an Aldershot family with British Army connections stretching back several generations. He enlisted as a teenage private in the Royal Hampshire Regiment in 1952. Over the next 22 years of infantry soldiering, many of them spent with the Gloucester Regiment, he held every rank and many regimental appointments up to WO1 and Regimental Sergeant Major. he retired in 1974, as RSM of the 1st Battalion The Wessex Regiment (Rifle Volunteers), after seeing service in Malaya, Cyprus, Swaziland, Libya, Germany, Ulster and home garrisons. He began painting military subjects in 1968 and since then has gained worldwide popularity as a military illustrator. Mike has also written and illustrated many quality books in the Osprey Military list.