British 95th Rifle Regiment

  • The Napoleonic War
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

This British Infantry Regiment was formed in 1800. They were initially an "experimental Corps", borrowing the idea of trained sharpshooters similar to the German Jagers (Light Infantry). They were also the first English Unit to depart from the traditional Scarlet uniform coat, developing an entire Green version. Recruits had to be expert rifle shots. Unlike their traditional Infantry cousins, The 95th were trained to think and act independently, operating in pairs. They were very mobile and reactionary on the battlefield. These tactics were remembered by The British Army as a popular fighting method used against them by their former American Colonists (during The Revolutionary War). They now were incorporated into training for The 95th (very effectively). Again, their tactics differed from traditional line Infantry, in that The 95th did not concentrate fire or rely on the bayonet charge. They where trained to "mark targets" and cover and concealment.


In terms of discipline, The British Army could be cruel, with flogging being the popular form of punishment. This was not used in The 95th. These were disciplined and high-motivated soldiers who believed in their mission. Additionally, battlefield communications were different. The 95th used bugles to transmit commands (in lieu of drums). They also used no Regimental Flag (other than marching or rallying to The National Colors). The 95th also used slightly different infantry accoutrements (to be lighter) and were the first to "field try" The Baker Rifle. A heavier barrel with rifling - this was a difficult weapon to load (for timed shots), but an excellent rifle for distance shots. Some documented shots were recorded at 300 yards (as opposed to the Brown Bess Rifle's 80 yards). The 95th fought with distinction throughout The Napoleonic Wars - especially at Waterloo. During The Crimean War of the mid-19th Century, The 95th won 8 Victoria Crosses for bravery under fire. They would continue to serve with distinction through both World Wars. They were merged into The Royal Green Jackets in 1966. As of 2007, the Regiment was re-constituted as The Rifles.