Sharpe's Eagle by Bernard Cornwell
Bold, professional, ruthless -- hero and man of action "Sharpe asked three things of his men. That they fought as he did with a ruthless professionalism.That they stole only from the enemy and the dead unless they were starving. And they never got drunk without his permission." Richard Sharpe is having a difficult war. Excluded from promotion because he is always on the battlefield, up against pompous, incompetent colonels, and worst, suddenly finding himself at the head of an inexperienced company who use all twenty five drill book approved movements to load and fire their muskets. A soldier like Sharpe can't be kept down though and his promotion to Captain, when it comes, makes a dangerous enemy in the upper ranks. As Sharpe approaches bloody battle in Talavera, he knows he is fighting for his own honour and that of his men.