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Riflemen of Wellington’s Light Division in the Peninsular War (Hardback)

Unpublished or Rare Accounts from the 95th Rifles 1808-14

Military > Frontline Books Military > Pre-WWI > Napoleonic > Peninsular War

By Gareth Glover
Frontline Books
Pages: 248
Illustrations: 16 illustrations
ISBN: 9781399087421
Published: 4th September 2023



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No other regiment in Wellington’s Peninsular army can compare with the 95th Rifles. Even before Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe novels and television series, the Rifles were the most famous of all the British Army’s fighting formations.

Unlike the red-coated regiments of the Line, the Riflemen were trained to act with a degree of independence, selecting their own targets in battle. As a result, a number of the officers and some of the men were more literate than their counterparts in the Line, or at least were more willing to record their experiences fighting the French. Consequently, many of the finest memoirs of the era have come from the pens of the likes of Harry Smith, Johnny Kincaid and Riflemen Harris and Costello, and have found their places on the shelves of every enthusiast of the era.

However, these well-known works were written years after the fighting when memories had faded and were bulked out with incidents borrowed from others and heavily edited with grand descriptions of ‘derring-do’ for their Victorian audience, and heavily constrained by the strict morals of the day. Through many years of research, Gareth Glover has uncovered other memories written by members of the 95th which have never been published before or have not been brought to the attention of the present-day public, that were written at the time. These honestly state what really happened on the battlefields of Spain and Portugal – the suffering, the awkward incidents, the rumours and camp gossip – presenting a very different picture of life in Wellington’s army than the sanitised versions we have been presented with until now.

Also included are rare or unpublished memoires written by members of the staff of the Light Division, enabling the reader to understand the division’s command structure and organisation to provide a rounded and realistic vision of this famous fighting force.

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 Gareth Glover

About Gareth Glover

Gareth Glover is a former Royal Navy officer and military historian who has made a special study of the Napoleonic Wars for the last thirty years. In addition to writing many articles on aspects of the subject in magazines and journals, his books include From Corunna to Waterloo, Eyewitness to the Peninsular War and the Battle of Waterloo, An Eloquent Soldier, fourteen volumes of The Waterloo Archive, Waterloo: Myth and Reality, The Forgotten War Against Napoleon: Conflict in the Mediterranean 1793-1815, The Two Battles of Copenhagen 1801 and 1807: Britain and Denmark in the Napoleonic Wars and Marching, Fighting, Dying: Experiences of Soldiers in the Peninsular War.

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The Men of Wellington’s Light Division Unpublished Memoirs from the 43rd Light Infantry in the Peninsular War (Hardback)

Some of the most famous memoirs of Britain’s long war against Napoleon have come from the pens of members of Wellington’s Light Division, but many wonderful accounts were never published and have sat in archives, libraries, museums, and private collections, forgotten for 200 years. The regiments of the Light Division, and its predecessor, the Light Brigade, were involved in almost every major battle and skirmish fought by Wellington and Sir John Moore in the Peninsular War. Unlike the line infantry, these men were encouraged to think and fight independently and were, often, of a higher educational…

By Robert Burnham, Gareth Glover

Click here to buy both titles for £50.00
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