British Rifleman versus French Skirmisher...

...Peninsular War and Waterloo 1808-15, from Osprey Publishing

Title: British Rifleman versus French Skirmisher

Author: David Greentree

Publisher: Osprey

ISBN: 978-1-4728-3184-2

A new addition to their Combat series, number 46. Back to the Napoleonic Wars for this one, and a comparison of the British Rifleman with the French Skirmishers. Beyond the wargamer and historian, the Sharpe novels and TV series have created quite a widespread awareness of their distinctive green uniforms and their Baker rifles.
The book starts off with an Introduction to set the background, and then compares the Opposing Sides, breaking it down into their Origins & Doctrine; Recruitment, Morale & Logistics: Weapons, Training & Tactics: Command & Control. Some really interesting reading I found here, as the British chose to use the rifle, whereas the French and their Skirmishers used muskets. Each type of weapon had advantages and disadvantages, so who made the right choice? Examining the issues, the author uses three scenarios where the two forces came into contact. The first two are during the Peninsular War, at Rolica in August 1808 and Barba del Puerco in March 1810. The third one is perhaps the most well known, the fight for the farm of La Haye Sainte during the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815. All three are then referenced in the Analysis which rounds off the book.
As ever for Osprey, the book is well illustrated throughout, thanks to illustrator Adam Hook, who along with the author has made an excellent job if it. With period illustrations along with the new artwork, plus maps and a few photos showing various re-enactors in period dress. I learnt a lot from this one and enjoyed reading it. Wargamers, re-enactors and figure modellers will get a lot from this one I think.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review copy.

Robin