Battle Tactics of the
American Revolution



Robbie MacNiven


Adam Hook

This 64 page Paperback book is the 238th book in the Elite Series that is a available from Osprey Publications.

The American Revolution presented a series of unique tactical challenges to its competing factions. For Britain, the Army would be forced to re-learn many of the lessons from the Seven Years’ War. After the debacle of Concord and Bunker Hill, the British implemented a range of changes throughout the Army, including the modification of accepted tactical doctrine. Additionally, the British formed alliances with various independent German states. The soldiers they provided thus answered to different armies. How much their tactics adapted during the war, therefore varied from state to state.

The Continental Army was founded in 1775 and was initially heavily styled on its British opponents. That began to change in 1778 thanks to the efforts of Prussian officer Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. Following their formal alliance with the colonies in 1778, France deployed military assets to North America. French officers also provided tactical advice to the Continental Army, and vice versa, particularly when they worked together successfully during the siege of Yorktown in 1781.

The contents of this book are;

  • Introduction
  • The British Army
    • Linear Tactics
    • Reality and Modifications in North America
    • Musketry
    • The Bayonet
    • Grenadiers and Light Infantry
    • Cavalry
    • Artillery
    • Loyalists
    • Irregular Warfare and Native American Allies
  • The Continental Army
    • Organization and Reform
    • Standardized Drill and Steuben’s Manual
    • Linear Warfare
    • Defensive Tactics
    • Musketry and the Rifle
    • The Bayonet
    • Militia
    • State Troops
    • Cavalry
    • Artillery
  • German State Armies
    • Hessian Organization
    • Tactical Limitations in America
    • Other German States
    • Cavalry
    • Artillery
    • Jager
  • The French Army
    • Assault Columns
    • Cavalry
    • Artillery
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Featuring specially commissioned artwork, this absorbing study investigates the various participants’ battlefield tactics, casting light on how tactical theory and battlefield experience shaped the conduct of battle in the American Revolution.


First off, I want to say that this is an excellent book with great diagrams and even better descriptions.  This is a book that will be of special interest to the Historian, American War of Independence (AWI) reader and the wargamer who’s interest specializes in the AWI.  The Historian will further his understanding of this period of history after reading this book.  The AWI reader and wargamer will greatly enjoy reading about the strategy and tactics of the armies of this time.  They will also learn about the tactics that each of the participants used during the war and how the tactics evolved during the war.  Overall, Elite 238, Battle Tactics of the American Revolution is an excellent book that is enjoyable to read and will provide the reader with much needed information regarding this period of history.


This book is available from Osprey Publications.

Paperback Book


eBook ePub


eBook PDF