In the 1690s the English army’s matchlock musket (slow to load, clumsy to operate at the mercy of the elements) was replaced by a lighter weapon with a more robust firing system known as the flintlock. At the same time the old plug bayonet gave way to a socket version that fitted around the muzzle and enabled the gun to be fired. When allied to the new tactic of fighting three ranks deep and firing rolling volleys by platoons (18 to a battalion), these innovations made the English (later British) infantrymen the dominant factor on the battlefield.
|Captain Thomas Hewitt, 10th Regiment of Foot, by William Tate. Captain Hewitt holds his socket bayonet|
|Portrait of King George II at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743|
|The portrait of General James Wolfe by J.S.C. Schaak|
|Cadets of the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. Junior Department|