Fusiliers: The Saga of the British Soldier in the American Revolution

Mark Urban, Author . Walker $26.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1647-7

The Royal Welch Fusiliers, who became the most celebrated British corps in “the battle for America” and served from the initial skirmish at Lexington in 1775 through the surrender at Yorktown in 1781, provide “a narrative that mirrors the wider story,” according to Urban (Wellington's Rifles ). Drawing on letters and diaries, Urban paints an often grim but ultimately heroic picture of the life of the ordinary soldier fighting an unpopular war in a hostile environment. The Royal Welch Fusiliers—few of whom were Welsh—surrendered at Yorktown as “a sadly depleted party” of a few dozen men, but they and their leaders had learned important tactical lessons in fighting the Americans, especially the necessity of “rapid manoeuvre.” Former Fusilier officers like Harry Calvert would use “the bitter lessons of America to educate an army that one day would defeat Napoleon.” Urban, diplomatic editor of BBC's Newsnight , offers “a British-army-centered version,” but is admirably evenhanded in his analysis and conclusions. Readers interested in military history will appreciate this insightful and sobering perspective on soldiering in the 18th century. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/17/2007
Release date: 11/01/2007
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-571-22488-3
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-8027-1688-0
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-8027-1895-2
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!