British Napoleonic Infantry Tactics

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Overview

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 ...

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British Napoleonic Infantry Tactics 1792-1815

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The British Army that faced Napoleion in the Peninsula 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 achieved unique results, as their tactics were brought to the peak of professional perfection by Wellington." -Game Trade Magazine (April 2008)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846032226
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 6/17/2008
  • Series: Elite Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 983,023
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Haythornthwaite is an internationally respected author and historical consultant specializing in the military history, uniforms and equipment of the 18th and 19th centuries. His main area of research covers the Napoleonic Wars. He has written some 40 books, including more than 20 Osprey titles, and innumerable articles and papers on military history - but still finds time to indulge in his other great passion, cricket. The author lives in Nelson, UK.

Steve Noon was born in Kent, UK, and attended art college in Cornwall. He has had a life-long passion for illustration, and since 1985 has worked as a professional artist. Steve has provided award-winning illustrations for renowned publishers Dorling Kindersley, where his interest in historical illustration began. Steve Noon lives in Cardiff, UK.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: 'That Article'     3
The Manuals     4
The lack of a unified system
David Dundas' Principles of Military Movement - criticisms - amendments
The Battalion     10
Organization
Marching and Formations     12
Movement in column - the line: three ranks or two? - the square
Command and control: word of mouth - drums and bugles
The Musket     22
The technical and human limitations
Firing
Light Infantry     27
Application in the Field     32
Theory versus experience
Line versus column
The bayonet charge
Brigade Tactics     48
Special Operations     52
Storming
Amphibious operations
Select Bibliography     58
Plate Commentaries     59
Source Notes     63
Index     64
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Well worth reading!

    I found this book very informative concerning the British army during the Napoleonic/War Of 1812 period.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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