For most students of military history the name of Robert Craufurd will be forever synonymous with the famous Light Division of Wellington’s Peninsula Army which he commanded. Within an army that gathered laurels to itself wherever it fought, the Light Division was considered to be among its elite, for it contained first rate light infantry regiments including the evocative green jacketed riflemen of the 95th. Craufurd, or ‘Black Bob’ as he was known to his men in view of a combination of his dark complexion, heavy facial growth, mood swings and short temper, also fostered extreme views on military discipline. His strength (and occasionally his imprudent failing) was that he was perpetually aggressive and prepared to take the fight to the enemy. Nevertheless, despite these peculiarities, this complex general was valued by Wellington and when he appeared on the field of Fuentes de Onoro, after an absence, his men readily cheered him. He was a highly experienced officer who had seen action in India against Tipu Sultan, had been military attaché to the Austrian and Russian armies, and had served in the disastrous expeditions to the Helder and Buenos Aires before joining the conflict on the Iberian Peninsula which brought his renown. Craufurd, who had been promoted to Major-General in 1811, was mortally wounded during the assault on Ciudad Rodrigo in January 1812 as he stood upon the glacis directing the stormers of his Light Division. He died four days later, aged 47 years.
General Craufurd and his Light Division Paperback
1987 Ken Trotman Ltd UK Facsimilie of the original edition.