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"Atkinson's new trilogy on the AWI" Topic

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18th Century

859 hits since 5 Feb 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Lascaris05 Feb 2019 1:22 p.m. PST

First volume releases in May

Covers from Lexington to Princeton. I like his previous books so I have this on preorder already.

MiniPigs05 Feb 2019 1:33 p.m. PST

Just some dude who decided to write about military history?


Winston Smith05 Feb 2019 2:00 p.m. PST

Atkinson, eh?
That's on my list.

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2019 3:21 p.m. PST

The author is extremely well regarded. But there are to be three books? And this one is 800 pages long? I'm not sure I'm up for 2400 pages on a topic I've read alot about.

But if the reviews are really good……………..

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2019 3:23 p.m. PST

I had to opportunity to meet Rick Atkinson in the late 1980s when I was stationed in Washington DC. He wrote an excellent book on the West Point class of 1966, The Long Gray Line and later wrote one of the best books on the Gulf War of 1991.

He's a good man and an excellent historian.

Winston Smith05 Feb 2019 3:41 p.m. PST

I really liked his WWII American trilogy.
Taken together, the trilogy showed how the American army progressed from an appallingly amateur mess who thought they knew it all to a very professional force.
I'm hoping he takes the same approach in this AWI series.

coopman05 Feb 2019 4:56 p.m. PST

It's on my must buy list.

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2019 7:04 p.m. PST

Atkinson is top notch

Lucius05 Feb 2019 8:58 p.m. PST

Loved his WW2 trilogy. I know very little about the AWI, so this is an auto-buy for me as well.

42flanker Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2019 2:43 a.m. PST

" American militiamen and then the ragged Continental Army take on the world's most formidable fighting force."

- Discuss

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2019 4:06 a.m. PST

What would you like to discuss?

-The British Army?

-The Continental Army?

-The militia?

-The state lines?

-Compare/contrast the above?

-The impact of the French alliance?

coopman06 Feb 2019 5:59 a.m. PST

42flanker just wants to get some discussion started about the world's most formidable fighting force: Washington's Army. That should get things off to a rip-roaring good start. :^)

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2019 8:18 a.m. PST

I believe he meant the British Army.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2019 8:22 a.m. PST

Loved his trilogy on WWII.


Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2019 8:26 a.m. PST

Loved his trilogy on WWII.

42flanker Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2019 3:41 p.m. PST

Well, yes. I would have thought it was understood that 'the world's most formidable fighting force' was a reference to the British army.
I was inviting members to consider- or 'discuss,' if you will, whether such a description was entirely valid.

Whether or not it is Rick Atkinson's opinion or publisher's puff, is another matter.

Winston Smith06 Feb 2019 5:20 p.m. PST

'the world's most formidable fighting force'

I have always taken that with a grain of salt. It seems to me to be standard Rah Rah hyperbole on the part of American writers to say "Look who we beat!"
Yes, they were good. Yes, they were professional.
But "most formidable"? Based on what?
The glory days of the SYW are many years in the past, and like most armies, they were not maintained in peacetime.
As shown in the retreat from Concord and at Bunker Hill, they were rusty. They got better.

Green Tiger07 Feb 2019 3:45 a.m. PST

'the world's most formidable fighting force'? Hardly…

Bill N07 Feb 2019 9:02 a.m. PST

world's most formidable fighting force

From the perspective of the American colonist who had been in the Americas for a couple of generations it might have seemed like the British army was the world's most formidable fighting force. They didn't have much to compare it to. The army that Britain landed in the colonies in the French & Indian War and the army that came ashore in New York harbor in 1776 were larger than anything seen in North America up to that time. Those colonists had no experience with the armies that Prussia, the Hapsburg Empire or Russia was putting into the field at that time, and there experience with the French and Spanish was limited to actions against smaller forces those countries had deployed to the colonies and not their larger European armies.

42flanker Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2019 10:05 a.m. PST

However, something more categorical was being stated. Surely Atkinson (or whoever), being an author in the early C21st, would be writing with that perspective.

"The most formidable of the professional 'fighting forces' active in North America at the time…," perhaps.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2019 10:10 a.m. PST

The army sent by Great Britain for the New York campaign was the largest army that Great Britain had sent anywhere up to that time.

And that included the contingent of German troops recently hired to fight in North America.

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2019 11:19 a.m. PST

Tell me why we're discussing a turn of phrase from a promotional piece.

The author is well regarded. The book is not yet out.
Its 800 pages long.

I'm sure he'll explain his positions on this topic.

42flanker Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2019 12:42 p.m. PST

American militiamen and then the ragged Continental Army take on "the largest army that Great Britain had sent anywhere up to that time"- fair enough. Not as sexy though, is it?

In answer to Pan Marek, I would say my interest piqued by the mythologising directed at the reading public, which you and I might dismiss as "a turn of phrase from a promotional piece" but, even if we agree that the important thing is to attract readers who will then emerge at the other end enlightened, what Winston describes as the 'Rah Rah hyperbole' is still in the ether.

No big deal, but, it's good to talk.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP12 Feb 2019 6:22 p.m. PST

So if not the British then who?

Bill N12 Feb 2019 7:06 p.m. PST

Might be a good subject for another thread. One that was cross posted to the 7YW and 18th century pages so we could get the input from those who are looking at it from a European perspective.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2019 8:36 a.m. PST

I associate the SYW more with the FIW than the AWI. Most of them will pick Prussia anyway. Was Prussia still the top dog by 1775 or for that matter 1781?

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