Really surprised there isn't a thread on this already. If there is and I spaffed up the search, apologies. "Six years with Wellington's Legendary Sharpshooters" begins, even before the book starts properly, with an old poster advertising the Rifle Corps. Urban follows the 95th from 1809 to 1815, and details the lives of both officers and other ranks, from embarking at Dover through Portugal, at Talavera, Guadiana, Busaco, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, all the way to Waterloo. He covers plenty of different ranks, paying attention not just to well-known officers like Robert Craufurd (described as "insufferable" by almost every officer under him, along with being well-educated and something of a visionary 'scientific soldier'), a Captain O'Hare who worked his way up from being a surgeon's mate, and George Simmons, who got a second lieutenancy for encouraging loads of lads in the militia to volunteer him. Tom Plunket gets a mention, he of general-potting fame, who was rewarded with corporal's stripes and some cash. Standard weapon of the time was the musket, and the 95th basically set the pattern and proved rifle-armed troops were of great value, that the notions of 'born marksmen' and Brits not being up to the task were bollocks, that using cover and concealment was good drills and not gay, that a rifleman could not only skirmish but also form a firing line or storm a position. They also made the point in battle (by killing loads of Frog officers) and in training, that marksmanship was very important, so much so that the French said the Brits were "the best marksmen in Europe" at the end of the Peninsular War. Certain officers also encouraged football, hunting, races, etc to keep up fitness and marksmanship and keep the troops entertained, while reducing drill to a minimum. The 95th also blurred the social hierarchy, which had solidified a bit, and rankers could end up as officers (as a Private Robert Fairfoot did), as well as the fact that officers shared their men's hardships and fought with firearms. As part of the advance guard, they couldn't haul around tents and cases of port for din-dins, so if their blokes were in the shit, so were they, cementing relationships and developing respect between plebs and officers. Urban doesn't flinch away from the ugly side of things, and documents what happened at battles in great detail, the crimes and deserters, the floggings and executions. The forlorn hope is something that really strikes me as something that would put the shits up anyone, but nevertheless you have some soldiers volunteering for it again and again, even though they knew they stood an excellent chance of dying. It finishes with the few surviving veterans, looking back and writing to each other in their old age: In case you can't tell, I liked this book a bit. It shows how innovative the weaponry and tactics were at the time, which are now the norm and taken for granted. How the 95th broke orthodoxies despite fierce resistance from the military establishment, showing the worth of the individual man, well-armed and trained. Superb stuff.