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"British/Hessians Attack in Column?" Topic

8 Posts

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Comments or corrections?

Terry3704 Jun 2018 2:28 p.m. PST

I am trying to confirm if the British and/or the Hessians used an attack column during the revolution or was the only battle formation the firing line?



Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2018 2:34 p.m. PST

Charge in line. They were confident that the Rebels could not stand up to a bayonet charge.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2018 6:12 p.m. PST

The only time anyone attacked in a columnar formation during the Revolution was to storm a fortification. Otherwise, as Winston says, you'd form line and make every bayonet count.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2018 6:30 p.m. PST

They always charge and fight in line. The only exceptions would be charging over a bridge or down a street or an alley. Any terrain that forces them into a column. We allow column charging a fortified position. We also allow charging a gun in column but few avail themselves of the opportunity. Charging in column didn't become a normal tactic until the French Revolutionary wars.

Terry3705 Jun 2018 7:45 a.m. PST

Excellent and I thank you all very much! It is as I expected, but wanted to feel sure I was right. Thank you for confirming it.


Virginia Tory06 Jun 2018 7:30 a.m. PST

"Charging in column didn't become a normal tactic until the French Revolutionary wars."

And never with the British, unless it was (as noted above) storming a work or something like that.

Brummie Lad07 Jun 2018 12:19 p.m. PST

The British 33rd formed an assault column at the battle of Weitzel's Mill, with Col. Webster at their head. This was to assault across the Reedy Fork Creek. Some of Lee's "sharpshooters" had set up in a school house, but all of them failed to hit Col. Webster!

Although, as mentioned, columns weren't the norm.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2018 12:31 p.m. PST

In the Weitzel's Mill scenario we allowed the British to charge across the ford at the American unit defending it. You could only cross the ford in column. So a good example of a terrain feature forcing a charge in column.

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