Trading concealment for psychological effect, the striking scarlet uniform of the redcoats is the calling card of the British.
The ordered squares of British riflemen, noted for their rapid barrage of fire at the Battle of Waterloo, gave the British army a superiority that was rarely overcome during the numerous battles fought throughout the 19th century. The redcoats, named after the distinctive red uniform worn by the Victorian infantry regiments, were active in numerous theaters of operation. As such they became a symbol of the Crown’s colonial ambitions, conquering India and Burma in the 18th and 19th centuries and involved in the Opium Wars along with the British fleet (1839–1860). Nevertheless, during their invasion of the provinces and colonies of present-day South Africa the famous red coat was abandoned. Following setbacks against the Zulus and the Boers between 1880 and 1902, the armed forces switched to khaki uniforms.