In the years immediately before the First World War Archibald Haswell Miller, a young artist, traveled Europe to study painting. While he was there he indulged his other great interest - military matters. On his travels he observed first-hand the soldiers of the European Armies in the last days of the colourful and elaborate uniforms that were giving way to grey and khaki across the continent. Realizing that this was a great military heritage that was slipping away, he set out to record these splendid uniforms.
In the uncertain days before the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, Haswell Miller sketched and painted hundreds of figures, each wearing a different uniform from the armies of Britain, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Sweden. Just before the First World War the paintings were exhibited in Leipzig, and it seemed they might be published. But when war broke out they returned home and lay forgotten for nearly one hundred years.
Now, published together at last, they represent a unique record of the uniforms of the last great age of military dress. Accompanied by, in Haswell Miller's own words, 'notes and memories of the days before "the lights went out in Europe" in the year 1914', this is a book of great historical importance.
About the Author
Archibald Ernest Haswell Miller was a Scottish soldier, painter and historian. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art between 1906 and 1909, becoming a probationary Professor and traveling to study in Paris, Vienna, Munich and Berlin. It was during these travels that he painted the majority of the figures in this book. He served with the 7th (Blytheswood) Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry in Gallipoli, Palestine and France, during which service he was awarded the Military Cross, attained the rank of Captain, and continued to sketch and paint as opportunities arose. He became a prolific painter of military portraits and his work was exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Scottish Academy and elsewhere.
For the last 25 years of his life Haswell Miller was an advisor to the Army Museums Ogilby Trust. He died in 1979 aged 92
"Vanished Armies: A Record of Military Uniform Observed and Drawn in Various European Countries During the Years 1907 to 1914, is, with its realistic figure drawings, vivid colour and artist’s notes, a fascinating, handsome volume. It was published at the behest of the Army Museum’s Ogilby Trust, to which many of the paintings were bequeathed by the artist’s daughter." -The Times (January 2010)
"Vanished Armes offers a collection painted in the early 1900s by author AE Haswell Miller, a Scottish artist and army officer fascinated by military dress. It appears in print for the first time and provides a collection of watercolors and notes, key to any military history collection." -The Midwest Book Review (February 2010)
"As a student of military history, uniforms, toy soldier and military miniatures, I have found this book to be a highly valuable reference source... Enthusiasts also have three kind of books in their collections: The ones that seemed like a good idea at the time, the good books and the really great books. Vanished Armies is a very special book. I am sure that it will be put in readers' really great book category." -Joe DeMarco, Toy Soldier & Model Figure
"Miller's hand is talented, and he is able to capture the essence of dignity, pride, and tradition in these soldiers' uniforms just before, as the title suggests, they vanished. The vast majority of Vanished Armies is dedicated to displaying the color plates Miller created. Beyond a couple of paragraphs introducing the recent history of the uniforms, the text mostly closely resembles footnotes in the back of a book, or perhaps foreshadowed numbered bullet points, as we would call them today. Military history buffs will also enjoy Vanished Armies. It covers a time period often overlooked in wargaming, but perhaps has no equal in terms of visual appeal of the soldiers. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the topic." -Jim Zabek, The Wargamer / www.wargamer.com (March 2010)
"This is truly an outstanding work and is one that should be in the collection of enthusiasts of this particuilar time period. A real jewel of a book and one that I can easily recommend to you." - Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness