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Adventures of a young rifleman in the French and English armies,: during the war in Spain and Portugal, from 1806 to 1816. Written by himself

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Length: 202 pages5 hours

Summary

During the Napoleonic Wars, few had such an unenviable job as the “poor bloody infantry”; fodder for cannon, unless tightly packed in ranks prey to cavalry, their only recourse was discipline and a highly inaccurate musket. As tactics evolved, the infantry would look for ways to maximize their effectiveness and minimize their own casualties. Increasingly the swift, the crafty and the most capable soldiers took to becoming skirmishers plying their trade away from the lines of death, fighting a personal war between the lines behind whatever cover they could find.
In Wellington’s ranks, many of these skirmishers were armed with the highly accurate but relative slow-loading Baker rifle; feared by their French opponents, the riflemen were not all British but also recruited from the ranks of the German principalities that Napoleon had pressed into his armies. One such soldier was Joseph Maempel: forced away from his native Germany to fight for the French, he was captured early in his career and decided to join the allied cause. After many escapes, scrapes, adventures and much hard fighting, the author returned to his native lands to write his book. The world famous German author and poet Goëthe volunteered to edit these memoirs, which contain an excellent account of the service of the young Rifleman across the battle-fields of Europe.
Author — Johann Christian Maempel
Editor – Johann Wolfgang von Goëthe (1749 -1832)
Text taken, whole and complete, from the edition published in London, H. Colburn, 1826.
Original Page Count – 363 p.

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