Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Review: With Zeal and With Bayonets Only

"With Zeal and With Bayonets Only: The British Army on Campaign in North America, 1775-1783" by Matthew H. Spring.

Its easy for me to give this book a D12+1 on the die scale for reviews (D12+1 is the highest, a D4 is the lowest).

What can I say?  This is simply a magnificent work.  If you have ANY interest in the AWI, you should read this. 

This isn't a campaign, or battle history.  Its about the inner workings of the British army, with tons of snippets sprinkled throughout to give a flavor for the action.  If you want to know "how things work" - buy this book....NOW.  I think its on Amazon for around $18 in paperback now.

The chapters will give you some idea of the contents:

The Army's Task
Operational Constraints
Grand Tactics
March and Deployment
Motivation
The Advance
Commanding the Battalion
Firepower
The Bayonet Charge
"Bushfighting"
Hollow Victories

I've come away with a greater appreciation for the challenges faced by the Brits, as well as the flexibility in their tactical abilities.

Buy this book - you will not be disappointed.

2 comments:

  1. Hi,

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  2. I joined the Department of History at the United States Air Force Academy in 1988. Having written an MA thesis that insisted the British Army in America from 1754 to 1783 was quite flexible in field tactics and operations, let's just say I was not exactly accepted.

    When Matt published With Zeal and With Bayonet's Only everything changed. He has provided such a strong body of evidence to force us to recognize the British Army's adaptability, among other things, and think at a deeper level about US and British history in America.

    For anyone with an interest of accuracy in wargaming, military history, reenacting or even a general history of the AWI, will want to do a lot of redlining of just about everything written to date. Matt's work is that revolutionary. Already a few books I have seen represent this modern research.

    As was commented above D12+1, read it now, it is wonderful and a game changer. Can't wait until my friends in the reenacting community start to adopt.

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