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What were the british fighting styles during the 1700's?

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2013-06-07 17:42:59
2013-06-07 17:42:59

The British "red coats" were so feared at this time that they would march to large fields to meet their foe and due battle only during daylight hours. They would fight face to face, officers in the far rear of the battle. Any officer up in the fight was not allowed to be attacked. The Minutemen changed all that, starting in the trip back from Lexington and Concord (shot heard round the world).

The British fighting style that led to their domination of the world was only being developed during the 1700's.

With the introduction of firearms armies had developed a style of set piece battles where companies of drilled men would confront each other, musketeers protected from calvary by pikemen. During the civil wars in the 1740's between the Stuarts and Hanoverians in England and Scotland the bayonet had replaced the pike effectively making the musketeer his own defender. The English troops first suffered many defeats when they became overwhelmed by the intensity of the Highlanders charge. At Culloden in 1845 the British infantry were given a new instruction. They were not to defend against the man attacking them but to kill the man who was attacking the soldier on the right because he would not be able to use his shield to defend himself.

This tactic worked and the English gained more confidence in their ability to resist a frontal attack. By the end of the century the English had recruited many of their former enemies into highland regiments and now used the fury of the Highland charge as their own assault weapon in a combined British army.

This reflected the ancient fighting styles of the Saxons who fought behind a wall of shields with spear and axe and the celts who often put all their energy into one furious charge.

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