Until now there has not been a serious study of the rifle-armed regiments of the British Army that earned such renown in the Peninsular and Waterloo campaigns. Compiled by a former rifleman, Ray Cusick, who has written extensively on the subject, Wellington’s Rifles examines the new rifle regiments, how they came about, their development, and their actions.
The author also investigates the introduction of rifled muskets into the British Army in the French and Indian wars of the eighteenth century, where they were shunned by the military establishment, to their transition into a key element in Wellington’s extraordinarily successful Peninsular army.
The training and tactics of the riflemen are explained and each significant engagement in which they were involved is explored in thrilling detail. It was the riflemen of the 95th Regiment that inspired Bernard Cornewell’s famous series of Richard Sharpe books. That was the fictionhere is the reality. Featuring a foreword by renowned Napoleonic historian Ian Fletcher, Wellington’s Rifles is an authoritative account of the early history of rifle regiments in the British Army.
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About the Author
Ray Cusick served in the British Rifle Brigade and later in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps with active service spent in the Middle East, principally in Palestine. After the Army, Ray taught art and history before joining the BBC as a designer, where he is perhaps most well known for being the designer of the Daleks from the Doctor Who television series. While at the BBC he developed an interest in writing, particularly on the Napoleonic wars, and eventually had articles published in a variety of magazines including The Age of Napoleon, First Empire, Journal of the Waterloo Association, and the journal of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. After moving near Horsham, England, he began research on its military past, Horsham barracks, and the Experimental Corps of Riflemen who first mustered there in 1800, eventually being invited to become a Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society. He died in February 2013 at the age of eighty-four.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Firepower: Fire and Shock - Linear Warfare in Europe in the Eighteenth Century 1
Chapter 2 The French and Indian War: Fire and Move 13
Chapter 3 The Introduction of Light Infantry 35
Chapter 4 American Revolution 1776-83: Rebels, Tories, Loyalists and Bloodybacks 57
Chapter 5 The French Revolution 1793 69
Chapter 6 The Duke of York 79
Chapter 7 Aimed Fire: The Experimental Corps of Riflemen 87
Chapter 8 The 95th Rifles and the Baker Rifle 97
Chapter 9 Sir John Moore, the Father of Light Infantry 111
Chapter 10 The Peninsular War 1808-12: The Light Division in Action on the Côa, July 1810 119
Chapter 11 The Peninsular War, 1808-12: The Light Division in Two Actions during 1811 139
Chapter 12 Wellington's Light Infantry and Rifles at Waterloo 157
Appendix 1 The Manoeuvres of General Howe as practised in 1774 at his light infantry camp at Salisbury 171
Appendix 2 Extracts From Regulations for the Exercise of Riflemen and Light Infantry and Instructions for Their Conduct in the Field 175
Appendix 3 Titles of the Regiment 181