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Rifleman
Chris Shaw
In 1800 The Experimental Corps of Riflemen was formed, eventually becoming the 95th (Rifle) Regiment of Foot in 1803.

Riflemen were different, in many ways, to the soldiers that made up the bulk of the British Army. Instead of the classic 'redcoat' and white crossbelts worn by most infantrymen, the Rifles wore a distinctive 'greenjacket' and black leatherwork. This was the first attempt at camouflage by the British Army and was a reflection of the very different role expected of this brand new soldier, who was encouraged to make use of his surroundings.

Of course the other most notable difference between a Rifleman and most of Wellington's Redcoats was the weapon he carried, the Baker Rifle. Redcoats were generally issued with the 'Brown Bess' musket, capable of wavering accuracy at 75 yards. The 'Baker' was able to hit a man-sized target 200 yards away, and there are legendary characters within the regiment such as Tom Plunkett who achieved accuracy at 400 yards using a Patched Ball. This accuracy was down to a combination of the weapon and a revolutionary new training initiative.

Training & Ethos

The first Riflemen were selected from the cream of the army and brought to Horsham, where they began to learn their trade. Schooled in the art of skirmishing, a Rifleman was encouraged to push the enemy on his own initiative, using aimed fire to harass and defeat his foe. Deliberately aiming a weapon was a new concept to the British infantryman. A traditional soldier, armed with a musket, did not aim but merely pointed, or ‘presented’, his musket in the direction of the enemy as, unlike the Baker, it was not an accurate weapon.
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