Military Monday: The British Army in the Napoleonic Era

The latest HistoryExtra Podcast episode includes an extract from an interview with Zack White on Did the Duke of Wellington really call his troops the “scum of the Earth”?

From a longer interview on discipline in Wellington’s armies, it details the most common crimes and punishments in the armies of the Duke of Wellington and his contemporaries, considering whether the effective imposition of discipline helped the British and their allies finally defeat Napoleon on the battlefield of Waterloo.

Likely much would be relevant to the British army in the War of 1812. White’s The Napoleonic Wars Podcast (aka The Napoelonicist), includes episodes recorded since last November on The Legacy of the War of 1812, Impressment in the War of 1812, Women in the War of 1812, Naval Discipline in the War of 1812, Most significant battle of the War of 1812, West India Regiments in the War of 1812, and Native Americans in the War of 1812.

2 Replies to “Military Monday: The British Army in the Napoleonic Era”

  1. Re Discipline in Wellington’s armies.

    Lieutenant Colonel John PIPER C.B. (1782-1821)
    Commanding 4th “Kings Own Royal, Lancaster”, nickname “Barrell’s Blues”

    Awarded – Gold Medal for Salamanca & clasps for St. Sebastain & Nive
    Awarded – Gold Cross for Salamanca, St. Sebastian, Nive & Badajoz
    His Army Gold Cross is one of only two awarded to officers of the King’s Own and one of only 163 awarded in total to the British Army.
    Three crosses had six clasps, two had seven, the Duke of Wellington had the unique cross with 9 clasps, representing participation in 13 battles.

    Piper is my first cousin, his father was my 5th G Uncle

    Info from Hart’s Annual Army List
    “One of Wellington’s most trusted Colonels and was the first who was entrusted – as an experiment – with the task of commanding a regiment without “flogging”.

    See: John Piper –

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