By Edward J. Coss,John F. Guilmartin
The British troops who fought so effectively less than the Duke of Wellington in the course of his Peninsular crusade opposed to Napoleon have lengthy been branded through the duke’s personal words—“scum of the earth”—and assumed to were society’s ne’er-do-wells or criminals who enlisted to flee justice. Now Edward J. Coss indicates on the contrary that the majority of those redcoats have been decent workers and tradesmen and that it was once frequently their working-class prestige that caused the duke’s derision. pushed into the military by means of unemployment within the wake of Britain’s commercial revolution, they faced wartime trouble with moral values and have become ambitious squaddies within the bargain
These males relied on the king’s shilling for survival, but pay was once erratic and provisions have been scant. Fed worse even than sixteenth-century Spanish galley slaves, they generally marched for days with no enough meals; and if throughout the crusade they did scouse borrow from Portuguese and Spanish civilians, the robbery used to be attributable to not any felony leanings yet to starvation and the paltry rations supplied through the army.
Coss attracts on a accomplished database on British infantrymen in addition to first-person money owed of Peninsular warfare members to supply a greater figuring out in their backgrounds and day-by-day lives. He describes how those ignored and abused infantrymen got here to depend more and more at the emotional and actual aid of fellow workers and constructed their very own ethical and behavioral code. Their cohesiveness, Coss argues, used to be a significant factor of their mythical triumphs over Napoleon’s battle-hardened troops.
The first paintings to heavily learn the social composition of Wellington’s rank and dossier during the lens of army psychology, All for the King’s Shilling transcends the Napoleonic battlefield to assist clarify the incentive and behaviour of all squaddies below the tension of combat.
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Extra resources for All for the King's Shilling: The British Soldier under Wellington, 1808–1814 (Campaigns and Commanders Series)
All for the King's Shilling: The British Soldier under Wellington, 1808–1814 (Campaigns and Commanders Series) by Edward J. Coss,John F. Guilmartin