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"Battle Tactics of the American Revolution" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Jun 2021 10:00 p.m. PST

"The American Revolution presented a series of unique tactical challenges to its competing factions. For Britain, the Army would be forced to re-learn many of the lessons from the Seven Years' War. After the debacle of Concord and Bunker Hill, the British implemented a range of changes throughout the Army, including the modification of accepted tactical doctrine. Additionally, the British formed alliances with various independent German states. The soldiers they provided thus answered to different armies. How much their tactics adapted during the war, therefore varied from state to state…"

picture

Main page
link

Please, any fellow member has read this book?

If the answer is yes, comments please?


Thanks in advance.


Armand

Milgame25 Jun 2021 10:25 p.m. PST

I have not read this cover to cover, but have read most of the sections. It covers British, U.S., French and German tactics, with sections on infantry, cavalry and artillery for each. Good period illustrations and Bird's Eye views of tactical deployments at specific engagements like Camden, Waxhaws, Wyoming, Cowpens, King's Mountain, and Flatbush pass. Lots of interesting factoids, such as the Hessian rate of march was significantly slower than the British (75 paces/minute vs 120/minute) that when in line with British units, the Hessians would fall behind, exposing the flanks of neighboring British regiments. This was one reason Hessian units were used in reserve, or to fix the continentals, as at Brandywine, while more mobile British units conducted flanking maneuvers. I would have been interested in a treatment of Spanish tactics, too, but all in all this is a superb Osprey for AWI enthusiasts.

Oddball26 Jun 2021 7:06 a.m. PST

Looks like another Osprey publication going on my bookshelf.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2021 8:21 a.m. PST

It's in my Amazon cart.
I heard on another site that it has good things to say about militia!
That might upset some people here.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2021 8:29 a.m. PST

Wyoming, eh? Even more likely a purchase.

Milgame26 Jun 2021 8:44 a.m. PST

Bird's eye view of Wyoming focuses on loyalist rangers defeating patriot militia. Militia gets a mixed review.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2021 4:18 p.m. PST

Many thanks!.

Armand

historygamer27 Jun 2021 3:22 p.m. PST

Just got it.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2021 12:26 p.m. PST

Waiting your comments….

Armand

historygamer30 Jun 2021 5:43 a.m. PST

Still reading. I'm not reading sequentially since I wanted to see if it had details on how the Hessians formed to fight from five hat companies. Then I went to the French section. Now back at the beginning and reading the British section. Like any Osprey book, I think it depends on how much you know already, but this is a good book and worth the money.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP30 Jun 2021 5:52 a.m. PST

I'm waiting for it to arrive.

Au pas de Charge30 Jun 2021 8:23 a.m. PST

robbiemacniven.wordpress.com

Seems like a very nontraditional, non-expert author for what is a very esoteric subject. I wonder why Osprey would make such a lunge.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP30 Jun 2021 8:53 a.m. PST

From the Amazon site:

About the Author
Robbie MacNiven has a PhD in American Revolutionary War massacres from the University of Edinburgh and a War Studies MLitt from the University of Glasgow, where he studied the Vietnam War. Besides writing for Osprey, he writes science fiction and fantasy novels as well as producing game scripts and audio dramas.

What part of that do you have a problem with?

Au pas de Charge30 Jun 2021 9:32 a.m. PST

What that he has a "PhD in American Revolutionary War massacres from the University of Edinburgh"?

Somehow this comes across as dubious.

LoL, but he does suggest that his dream was to write for Osprey, so, who knows? link

But I think this is the part I really have a problem with:

"He generally prefers cats to dogs"

historygamer30 Jun 2021 9:40 a.m. PST

His Osprey on British Light Infantry was very solid. So far, so is this one.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP30 Jun 2021 10:42 a.m. PST

Meh, you can't control what PR people put in blurbs. Perhaps he has a PhD in History and his dissertation was on Am Rev massacres. I'd say that's a more likely scenario.

Edit: Here you go:

link

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP30 Jun 2021 10:58 a.m. PST

Wyoming certainly qualifies as a Massacre, and we have had several lovely and enjoyable games featuring it. grin
Now I can see what I got wrong.

79thPa's find certainly sounds more coherent than the one I found.

Au pas de Charge01 Jul 2021 9:36 a.m. PST

Wyoming certainly qualifies as a Massacre, and we have had several lovely and enjoyable games featuring it. grin

Sounds like a musical in the making: "Oh What a Lovely Massacre"

Now I can see what I got wrong.

79thPa's find certainly sounds more coherent than the one I found.

Oh, don't be so hard on yourself. At the rate you post, there is bound to be the occasional quality control issue :)


Meh, you can't control what PR people put in blurbs. Perhaps he has a PhD in History and his dissertation was on Am Rev massacres.

What a pity, I was aspirational about a possible degree in bayonetology.

Still, one might wonder why someone who may not have had the time to ever visit the AWI battlefields could thoroughly appreciate something as granular as the tactics used. I wonder if Osprey doesn't think they're at a stage of fawning among their clients where they can publish a title like Washer-women of the AWI…oh wait.

But it is proper to keep an open mind. I'm waiting for Brechtel's review, he has a good, balanced feel for quality in books.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP01 Jul 2021 9:46 a.m. PST

Why are you making an automatic assumption that he doesn't know what he is talking about?

Au pas de Charge01 Jul 2021 9:55 a.m. PST

Why are you making an automatic assumption that he doesn't know what he is talking about?

I said I was keeping an open mind. However, when I think of someone writing a volume like this, I think of some historian of many decades study walking the battlefields. But perhaps I'm mistaken, maybe Historygamer will be here in a moment to reassure me that all the best AWI authors never even read about the AWI; who knows?


But, I admit I haven't read the book and dont know what it focuses on; perhaps it's mostly concerned with theory and contemporary accounts rather than physical investigation. In addition, he quite possibly could be a "phenom"; a new Christopher Duffy in the making. Oh brave new world!

Still, that comment about preferring cats to dogs lingers.

historygamer01 Jul 2021 9:57 a.m. PST

Cause everyone's a critic on TMP. LoL

It's a good Osprey book. Worth the buy.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2021 4:19 a.m. PST

Yesterday both Battle Tactics and British Light Infantry arrived in the mail.

Thumbing through both I believe that they are excellent, though I have to read them completely yet.

Both are worth having as far as I can see. The author did very well with both of them.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2021 4:33 a.m. PST

I heard on another site that it has good things to say about militia! That might upset some people here.

Why?

The militia section of the book, which I read first because of this comment, is quite good and even-handed. The author did an excellent job of showing the different strengths and failures of the militia. I highly recommend that it be read by the militia adherents and proponents for the period.

Two comments regarding the Saratoga campaign are in error. First, the author refers to the 'battle of Saratoga.' There was no battle of Saratoga, the campaign being a series of battles culminating in Freeman's Farm and Bemis Heights.

The author also over-emphasizes the militia's contribution to the success of the campaign. Continental units bore the brunt of the fighting at Freeman's Farm and Bemis Heights, militia only showing up in large numbers to join Gates' army after Freeman's Farm.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2021 4:58 a.m. PST

It's a good Osprey book. Worth the buy.

Agree completely.

+1

historygamer07 Jul 2021 6:24 a.m. PST

The author also points out how over 1,000 militia left Greene after the GCH battle too. I thought his treatment of the militia was even handed and fair as well.

Virginia Tory07 Jul 2021 7:02 a.m. PST

Some of them left while the battle was in progress…

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2021 8:28 a.m. PST

The first line of militia did not, in general, do what was asked (fire two or three rounds) and then they ran for the rear. Many of them kept running past the Continentals in the third line.

See Long, Obstinate, and Bloody: The Battle of Guilford Courthouse by Lawrence Babits and Joshua Howard, 104-114. This volume is the definitive account of the action.

In Appendix B, pages 224-225) the losses in the action, the North Carolina militia is 'credited' with 6 killed, 5 wounded and 563 missing. By comparison the two Virginia militia brigades have 12 killed, 52 wounded, and 228 missing.

By contrast, the Continental units (infantry and cavalry) had 54 killed, 104 wounded and 161 missing, the majority of them from the routed 2d Maryland. A good portion of the Continental missing could be prisoners.

The two rifle battalions, who were brigaded with Washington's and Lee's commands, had 3 killed, 16 wounded, and 94 missing.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2021 8:54 a.m. PST

Oh, here we go again.

historygamer07 Jul 2021 10:11 a.m. PST

Aren't we talking about the Osprey book? LoL

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2021 10:36 a.m. PST

It's the reruns I'm avoiding.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2021 11:23 a.m. PST

…here we go again.

The numbers tell the story quite conclusively.

Didn't you bring the subject up in the first place on this thread?

I heard on another site that it has good things to say about militia! That might upset some people here.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2021 11:35 a.m. PST

Yeah, I was trolling you. grin
The only thing we can agree on regarding the militia is that I will never convince you that they had some use, and you will never convince me that they were useless.
That is long as you insist on confining the discussion solely to battlefield performance.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jul 2021 2:46 a.m. PST

That is long as you insist on confining the discussion solely to battlefield performance.

I posted this above regarding the book:

The militia section of the book, which I read first because of this comment, is quite good and even-handed. The author did an excellent job of showing the different strengths and failures of the militia. I highly recommend that it be read by the militia adherents and proponents for the period.

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