Battles of the Revolutionary War, 1775-1781 by W. J. Wood

By W. J. Wood

The american citizens didn't easily out live the British within the innovative warfare, contends this writer in a groundbreaking learn, yet gained their independence by means of applying more suitable thoughts, strategies, and management. Designed for the "armchair strategist" with dozens of distinct maps and illustrations, here's a blow-by-blow research of the lads, commanders, and weaponry utilized in the recognized battles of Bunker Hill, Quebec, Trenton, Princeton, Saratoga, and Cowpens.

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As to the mythology surrounding this poorly reported war, Colonel Wood takes much of it head-on in his very thorough and educational Author’s Introduction. In that indispensable section, he clearly describes the various types of soldier who fought on either side, what each had to contend with, the equipment each carried, the nature of the weapons each employed, and the tactics by which each unit attempted to derive the greatest combat effectiveness from the weapons it carried. Vital to an understanding of those tactics, of course, is an understanding of the organizations in which the troops of both sides fought.

A continuous fire—frequently a series of rolling platoon volleys—was exchanged at a rate of three to five rounds a minute until one side showed signs of breaking, at which time its fire slackened or its thinned ranks began to waver or disintegrate. At this time the commanders on the side that had gained fire superiority would order a bayonet charge, which almost always decided the day. This kind of intense firefight, with its requisite dependence on fire discipline, was the essence of the tactical art that American leaders and troops had to learn the hard way: They had to become so trained and disciplined that they could continue to load and fire, almost as automatons, while standing fast and taking their losses until they could make their enemy break or give way, and then follow up with the bayonet.

Gen. Vincent J. Espito and Col. John Robert Elting, A Military History and Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars [New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1964]. ” 3. It is given its due treatment in the chapter on Kings Mountain. 4. Major George Hanger, Tarleton’s second in command of the British Legion, wrote after the war that “a soldier must be very unfortunate indeed who shall be wounded by a common musket at 150 yards, provided his antagonist aims at him” (Harold L. Peterson, Arms and Armor in Colonial America).

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