In a breathtaking work of narrative history, Mark Urban traces the story of the 95th Rifles, the toughest and deadliest sharpshooters in Wellington's army.
As part of the Light Division created to act as the advance guard of Wellington's army, the 95th Rifles are the first into battle and the last out. Fighting, thieving and raping their way across Europe, they are clearly no ordinary troops. The 95th are in fact the first British soldiers to take aim at their targets, to take cover when being shot at, to move tactically by fire and manoeuvre. And by the end of six-year campaign they have not only proved themselves the toughest fighters in the army, they have also - at huge personal cost - created the modern notion of the infantryman.
Mark Urban is the Diplomatic Editor of the BBC's Newsnight and was formerly defence correspondent for the Independent. He has covered many wars and is the author of Big Boys' Rules: The SAS and the Secret Struggle against the IRA, UK Eyes Alpha: Inside British Intelligence and, most recently, the bestselling The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes, described in the UK's Daily Telegraph as 'a thrilling read.'