Valentine Baker's Heroic Stand At Tashkessen 1877

A Tarnished British Soldier's Glorious Victory

Frank Jastrzembski

Date Published :
August 2017
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
24 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781473866805
Pages : 200
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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There are moments in the past of many a man's career that stand out clear and defined after the lapse of even many years: life pictures, the very memory of which brings back a glorious thrill of pride and pleasure. This is the feeling which vibrates through me still, when I recall that last and closing scene that crowned the hard-fought fight at Tashkessen.

History has best remembered Valentine Baker for his embarrassments. In 1875, he was accused of sexual assault and dismissed from the British Army. In 1884, he suffered an embarrassing defeat at the Battle of El Teb. But what about Baker's positive achievements?

The most underappreciated event that took place in his controversial life came during the Russo-Turkish War in 1877. The exiled Baker, in command of 3,000 Ottoman soldiers, was dispatched to the village of Tashkessen to stall 25,000 advancing Russian soldiers. Through his superb leadership and brilliant disposition of his troops, Baker was able to score a victory.

The Spartan stand of Baker and his command has gained little recognition. Despite this modern obscurity, Baker's performance at Tashkessen was applauded by his contemporaries as a model of tactical leadership and heroism. This is the exhilarating tale of how Valentine Baker was able to find redemption at Tashkessen.

About The Author

Frank Jastrzembski was born in 1988, near Cleveland, Ohio. He is a US citizen whose passion is writing about forgotten wars and soldiers of the nineteenth century. He graduated from John Carroll University with a BA in History and from Cleveland State University with an MA in History. His graduate studies dealt with the history of cemeteries in the nineteenth century and the psychological experiences of US volunteer soldiers during the Mexican-American War (1846—48).


This is a brilliant book, well researched and written, throwing light on a subject that deserves more attention. Not just the fascinating story of Valentine Baker, but also the role of rearguard actions in warfare. Taskkessen is indeed a model to be studied. Highly recommended.

- Balkan Wargamer

...offers a perfect tactical situation for an unfamiliar, challenging scenario that readers of this book can inflict upon their fellow wargamers!

- Miniature Wargames

“I salute Frank Jastrzembski for authoring a rousing biographical and historical account in his first book, ‘Valentine Baker’s Heroic Stand at Tashkessen 1877: A Tarnished British Soldier’s Glorious Victory.’… Despite Baker’s present-day obscurity, Jastrzembski is to be congratulated for gaining the outcast officer some redemption in this 202-page, hardcover book complete with 16 pages of illustrations and maps.”

- Toy Solder & Model Figure, Issue 228

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