Artwork by Christa Hook
The Rifle Brigade was arguably the most glamourous British military
unit to emerge from the Napoleonic Wars and its exploits have
spawned countless books and TV series.
will not have heard of the 95th Rifles, the men the French fearfully
called the grasshoppers because of their green uniforms, or their
lesser known cousins the 60th Rifles.
regiments were armed with the Baker Rifle and were trained to
a very high degree in light-infantry tactics.
with a fighting spirit second to none, the British riflemen gave
Napoleon Bonaparte and his marshals plenty of headaches between
1808 and 1815.
the story of riflemen goes back before that and eminent historian
Philip Haythornthwaite traces back the idea of having soldiers
use the more civilian rifle in this highly detailed examination
of the men in green.
you would expect, the actual weapon used by the 95th and 60th
features prominently with not only its physical characteristics
being carefully described - including its partner the sword bayonet
- but also its killing power on the battlefield.
author also goes into the other equipment carried by the Rifles
and their distinctive uniforms.
areas of interest highlighted in British Rifleman 1797-1815
are recruiting, training, discipline, a very large section
on tactics, and the campaigns fought by the Rifle Corps.
only is there an absolute treasure trove of information in this
book for fans of the Rifles, there are more than 50 black-and-white
images of unfiroms, equipment, officers and incdieernts from battle.
addition, artist Christa Hook has 10 pages of colour plates that
bring to life the men of the Rifles and show their tactics and
fighting style in terrific environmental portraits.