Richard Delingpole

Rifles officer 1813

British Army, Napoleonic Wars.

In their distinctive green jackets the Rifles were initially an experimental regiment to see whether soldiers equipped with a Baker Rifle could be useful in an age when large numbers of inaccurate muskets were trusted more than a smaller number of incredibly accurate rifles.

The 95th Rifles, popularised by Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe novels, proved that well-trained men choosing their targets outweighed the time it took the to reload, and ultimately the whole army moved in that direction, and the green of their coats, although not exactly khaki, was a taste of things to come in the following century when red would disappear from the battlefield as a uniform colour along with the infantry tactics of line and column.

Richard Delingpole