The American Revolution

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– Hybrid War in America`s Past

The war for North America: 1756–1763

Since the British military was inferior at the beginning of theFrench and Indian War, it had to be creative to win. This involveddominating the transport and communication lines on the sea andbuilding a superior land force to advance northwards. Nonetheless,they were faced with logistic challenges, due to the time which wasspent for correspondence to reach London. Additionally, transportingsupplies and foodstuff through the American wilderness was a dauntingtask. The war was also affected by poor relationships between thelocals and the military leadership, which complicated the operations.The British learn several lessons that influenced their subsequentapproaches in North America. This includes the challenges associatedwith its size, massive logistic support required, and the importanceof loyalists` support (Murray, 2012).

The strategic and political framework of the revolution

At the beginning of the revolutionary war, the British leaders madefaulty assumptions and were not able to adapt quickly. For example,they assumed that the American rebels did not have the capacity tocreate an effective army. Consequently, the soldiers were confrontedby a military force they did not expect. Secondly, they made a wrongestimation that only a small group was opposed to Crown influence inthe region, compared to the loyalists. Contrary to their expectationof minimum resistance, the forces had difficulties gaining controland subduing the insurgents. Additionally, the colonists did not havewell established and coordinated strategies to deal with therevolution when compared to the French and Indian War. Consequently,each of the commanders waged their battles, and, thus, reduced thechances of success (Murray, 2012).

The opening clashes

During the initial stages of the war, several hints could have actedas warnings and initiate some strategies by the British forces. Thepoor marksmanship, as well as the enthusiasm of the rebels, ensuredthat the colonists’ military was defeated. Although the Americanrevolutionary army was not well prepared for fighting superiorEuropean troops, the local topography gave them an advantage.Additionally, they relied on the experience of some of the men whohad fought for the colonials during the previous wars but had joinedthe militia. While the revolutionary units were faced withchallenges, mainly due to lack of adequate training and equipment,their resistance surprised the British commanders (Murray, 2012).

The 1776 campaign

In 1776, the British were prepared to send more troops from Europe toNorth America. However, the resistance it received in Boston and NewEngland, which had fewer radicals domination compared to otherregions, suggested that the reinforcement could not have significantimpacts. Nonetheless, withdrawing from Boston was a conundrum due toa large number of loyalists, although they were intimidated by therebels. This is because the militia identified the regions withhigher colonists’ sympathizers to disarm and threaten them, thusundermining their support to the British forces. Although thecolonials’ troops enjoyed some success, the nature of the Americanfighters made it difficult to hold on the territories (Murray, 2012).

Philadelphia and Saratoga

In 1977, the British military achieved very little due to lack of awell-defined strategy. Despite the massive support dispatched fromEurope, nobody in Europe was engaged in developing a plan orevaluating the goals of war in North America. Consequently, thegenerals in the battlefields had the sole responsibility ofdeveloping their strategies and executing them. This led to a seriesof bad decisions resulting in failures (Murray, 2012).

The war in the south

Following a progression of defeats in 1777, especially in Saratoga,the revolutionary army had almost won the war. Additionally, theAmericans received support from the French and Spanish. Withoutcontinental allies, the British forces did not have a chance. Thisforced them to abandon the northern territories and concentrate itsefforts in the south. However, this was not successful because theyfailed to secure the support of the local population (Murray, 2012).


Murray, W. (2012). Hybrid War in America’sPast. Cambridge University Press.

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