British Napoleonic Infantry Tactics 1792–1815

British Napoleonic Infantry Tactics 1792–1815 cover

British Napoleonic Infantry Tactics 1792–1815

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Description

Osprey's study of Britain's infantry tactics used during the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815). The British Army's major campaigns against Napoleon were fought between 1808 and 1813 in the Peninsula (Portugal, Spain, and finally southern France), followed in 1815 by the brief but climactic Waterloo campaign. The British Army was small by continental standards, but it consistently out-fought larger French armies, never losing a major open-field action. Its cavalry and artillery were standard; but its infantry which unlike foreign armies, was entirely made up of volunteers, achieved unique results. Their tactics were brought to a peak of professional perfection by Wellington, but commentators still consistently over-simplify the explanation for his unmatched series of victories. This book will examine the contemporary instruction manuals, and compare them with what actually happened in specific battles, drawing upon a mass of quotations from eyewitnesses. Under other generals who failed to grasp the essentials, the British infantry could be beaten (occasionally) by both the French, and by the Americans; but it was Wellington's perfect employment of their tactical strengths that made them unstoppable. With a detailed look at the effective use of terrain, line vs column maneuvers, and fortification assaults, Philip Haythornthwaite reveals the outstanding tactics of Wellington's army that converted volunteers into war-winning professionals.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: 'THAT ARTICLE'·THE MANUALS: The lack of a unified system; David Dundas' Principles of Military Movement – criticisms – amendments·THE BATTALION: Organization·MARCHING AND FORMATIONS: Movement in column – the line: three ranks or two? – the square; Command and control: word of mouth – drums and bugles·THE MUSKET: The technical and human limitations; Firing·LIGHT INFANTRY·APPLICATION IN THE FIELD: Theory versus experience; Line versus column; The bayonet charge·BRIGADE TACTICS·SPECIAL OPERATIONS: Storming; Amphibious operations·SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY·PLATE COMMENTARIES·SOURCE NOTES·INDEX

Product details

Published Jun 17 2008
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 64
ISBN 9781846032226
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 54 b/w; 8 col
Dimensions 248 x 184 mm
Series Elite
Short code ELI 164
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors

Author

Philip Haythornthwaite

Philip Haythornthwaite is an internationally respe…

Illustrator

Steve Noon

Steve Noon was born in Kent, UK, and attended art…

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