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Osprey Men-at-Arms 149 : Prussian Light Infantry 1792-1815

It is a commonly held view that it was the experience of the French Revolution, and especially the campaign of 1806, which forced the Brandenburg-Prussian army rather reluctantly to adopt skirmisher tactics in order to counter those of the French army. However the fact of the matter is that the light infantry branch was founded in the reign of Frederick the Great (1740-1786) and continued to develop from then onwards. It was the light troops of the Austrian army, the Croatian border soldiers, which so impressed Frederick in the Seven Years War that he considered it necessary to create an effective counter-force. Initially, there was a degree of reluctance amongst certain sections of the army towards this formation of light infantry. To an extent this was understandable. The 'Free Battalions' of the Seven Years War had been regarded as ill-disciplined rogues prone to looting and desertion and, as few self-respecting aristocrats wanted to serve in their ranks, they tended to be officered by men of non-noble birth. However the Fusilier Battalions formed from them came to be regarded as élite formations, being well-trained, disciplined and carefully selected men led by young, fit and intelligent officers. Peter Hofschröer details the organisation, history and uniform of Prussian Light Infantry from 1792-1815, with numerous illustrations including eight full page colour plates by Bryan Fosten.

    Contents
  • The Historical Background
  • Organisation
  • Drill and Training
  • Yorck
  • Armament and Arms Training
  • The Light Infantry at War
  • Uniforms
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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