Book Review: With Zeal and With Bayonets Only: The British Army on Campaign in North America, 1775-1783


by Matthew H. Spring

Norman, Ok.: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008. Pp. xxiii, 381. Illus., maps, figs., tables, notes, biblio., index. $34.95. ISBN:0806139471

An overview of the supposedly hapless Lobster Backs during the War for Independence , this work bolsters that case that, rather than an army of inept automatons led by stupid aristocrats, the British Army was in fact a flexible, adaptable force which proved a potent enemy to the often poorly-trained, ill-equipped Americans. 

The author demonstrates that the British failure in the war was not due to their tactics, but rather their inability to win the fight for "hearts and minds," in part due to the very effective political and social controls established by the Patriot movement. In short, the American Revolution was one in which the better army was capable of winning numerous "hollow victories," which yielded no strategic or political benefits.

A very good book for anyone who thinks he knows something about the American Revolution.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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