The Light Division has become well known due to the brilliant novels tracing the fictional hero Sharpe of the 95th Rifles. The author provides a detailed and riveting account of the Light Division and its three regiments, 43rd and 52nd Light Infantry and the 95th Rifles. – Most Highly Recommended
NAME: Wellington's Light Division in the Peninsular War, The Formation, Campaigns & Battles Of Wellington's Famous Fighting Force 1810 FILE: R3340 AUTHOR: Robert Burnham PUBLISHER: Frontline Books, Pen and Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £30.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Iberian Peninsular, Spain, Portugal, France, Napoleon, French Occupation Armies, campaigns, battles, war of movement, holistic command, innovation, rockets, infantry, muskets, rifles, riflemen, Baker Rifle, skirmishers, strategic points, bridges, forts, sharp shooters ISBN: 1-52675-890-3 PAGES: 429, 8 page full colour plate section and 8 page b&w plate section, with further b&w illustration through the body of the book and numerous maps and tables in b&w through the body of the text. IMAGE: B3340.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/r5byv4 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The Light Division has become well known due to the brilliant novels tracing the fictional hero Sharpe of the 95th Rifles. The author provides a detailed and riveting account of the Light Division and its three regiments, 43rd and 52nd Light Infantry and the 95th Rifles. – Most Highly Recommended
Wellington was not unknown when selected to command operations in Portugal, although there was controversy about his appointment and some jealousy amongst other senior soldiers. He established a sound reputation in India and performed well in Denmark as Britain seized the Danish Fleet and placed it beyond Napoleon’s reach. Some argued that he was without the necessary experience to take on French Armies in Europe, but he performed outstandingly, eventually invading France. He was in many respects an original thinker who was not afraid to try new things and to adopt an holistic command structure.
Wellington had to encourage and involve Portuguese and Spanish Allies, work with partisans, operate a network of Exploring Officers working behind French lines, and employ rifles and rockets that were still regarded as unnecessary new ideas that would never catch on. He also developed tactics around mobile warfare that demanded agile military formations that could operate in small groups, combine into larger formations, operate behind enemy lines and march fast. The Light Division was such a nimble and effective force.
The two Light Infantry regiments were equipped in a typical conventional manner with the standard smooth bore musket of the times. They could operate very flexibly and move quickly, but they could also stand ‘squares’ in formal battle against enemy cavalry. The 95th Rifles was different in that it was equipped with the Baker Rifle which, in skilled hands, could achieve 3 aimed shots per minute and take out prime targets beyond accurate musket range. This made the Rifles an ideal compliment to the Light Infantry, working as skirmishers and snipers, taking out French officers and NCOs. Within the Rifles, the best shots were Chosen Men that could operate alone in small groups or in support of the other regiments of the Light Division.
The result is that the author offers an enthralling account that carries the excitement usually the preserve of novels. An important book.