• Vivid characterisation of a real "Richard Sharpe” and his regiment's glorious achievements
The 95th Rifles have acquired cult status over the last twenty or more years, much of this generated by the popularity of the Richard Sharpe books and television series, created by author Bernard Cornwell. The 95th Rifles brought a whole new concept into the British Army with its training, drill, uniform, battlefield craft and skill at arms with the Baker Rifle, a vast improvement on the Brown Bess musket. Being taught to act independently was ground breaking and innovative and many of these skills still form the basis of training for today's modern soldier.
This book attempts to establish the facts surrounding a piece of famous regimental lore that covers the unique ability of an early Rifleman, Thomas Plunkett. There have been all kinds of fanciful theories posed as to the prowess and accuracy of an incident on the retreat to Corunna in 1809, involving the shooting of the French Light Cavalry General Colbert. This book examines the facts involved, rather than the mythology developed over the years. At the same time it expands on Plunkett the man, his character and his natural trait as a soldier. Plunkett was without doubt an exceptional shot with the rifle and a loveable Irish rogue, who seems to have ticked all the right boxes for what has become acceptable for the stereotypical Rifleman of the 95th Rifles during the Napoleonic Wars.
The"esprit-de-corps” of the regiment continues to this very day in their modern counterparts, "The Rifles” formed in 2007. This fascinating investigation into one of the real characters of the regiment's early history adds rather than detracts from the unique achievements established by this remarkable regiment in over 200 years, giving it a record that is both deserved and second to none in the British Army!
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