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Fusiliers: How the British Army Lost America but Learned to Fight [Paperback]

Mark Urban
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 7.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

15 May 2008
From 1775 to 1781, the Royal Welch Fusiliers fought furiously to uphold British rule in America. With a wealth of previously unused primary accounts, Urban tells the gripping story of one of the most pivotal campaigns in history.

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Frequently Bought Together

Fusiliers: How the British Army Lost America but Learned to Fight + Rifles: Six Years with Wellington's Legendary Sharpshooters + Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket
Price For All Three: 22.02

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (15 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571224881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571224883
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Praise for "Fusiliers": "his [Urban's] assiduous research uncovers numerous human-interest stories. The paucity of records generally precludes composition of unit histories for the war, but Urban capitalizes on an exception, one that readers accustomed to the Patriot side of the struggle will not want to miss."-"Booklist" "A spirited portrait of life during the American Revolution from the perspective of the British army...comprehensive and engrossing account...A passionately presented book full of intriguing revelations."-"Kirkus" Praise for Mark Urban's "Wellington's Rifles": "Urban successfully rounds out the character of this notable unit and achieves an authoritative history."--"Booklist" """A fascinating narrative...Urban gives readers remarkable insight into the battles of the Peninsular War from Talavera to Tarbes...Fans of Bernard Cornwell's Richard Sharpe saga will find this an often eye-opening supplement."--"Library Journal" "The six years make for a great tale, and Mark Urban tells it superbly. If you like Sharpe, then this book is a must."--Bernard Cornwell, author of "Sharpe's Rifles"

Book Description

The thrilling and untold story of one Redcoat regiment's epic battle against the Americans.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough work on a complex theme 22 Oct 2007
Format:Hardcover
Centred on the elite 23rd (Royal Welch) Fuziliers [sic] during the American War of Independence, this book also gives an excellent account of many of the other units involved, since the light and grenadier companies of regiments were often hived off and brigaded with those of other units.

As we have come to expect from Urban, the battle accounts are both accurate and stirring, but I particulary like the way he draws on personal accounts of the war from both men and officers of both sides, many of them never published before, making it a highly engaging read. I learned a great deal about commanders such as Howe and Cornwallis, Balfour and Calvert, and the role they played not only in the fortunes of the 23rd Foot, but also in the political and military heirarchy of the time.

Readers new to the period may be surprised to learn that although the war was lost, the British and their allies suffered few actual defeats in the field; on the contrary, it was the remarkable ability of the Americans to recover from defeat after defeat that ultimately brought them victory.

The AWI has always aroused passions on both sides of the Atlantic, and whilst he concentrates on the fighting and campaigning of this conflict, Urban does not shy away from examining the tragic atrocities committed by both sides that served to polarise opinion during the war. This is a sober and refreshing antidote to some of the one-sided episodes in movies such as Mel Gibson's "The Patriot".

Overall, a thorough and humane examination of Great Britain's first major humiliation on the world stage, and the effects it had on the army the British are still justifiably proud of today. Highly recommended.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful 3 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback
The author has a depth of knowledge of events which are enlightening and entertaining. Much effort appears to have gone into unearthing contemporary accounts giving a refreshing and unbiased view of events with a ring of truth about them unlike the standard texts which can be misleading generalisations. Well worth the money, not only for a gripping read as well as an historical record .
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British Army: American Tour 1776-83 21 Aug 2010
By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The American War of Independence is a rich source for historical debate. How might the rebels have been defeated? How might the Crown ever have thought it could win? It was fought from Quebec to the borders of Florida. It had the strange sight of the supporters of Liberty allied to absolutism, and an imperial power linked to slave risings.

Mark Urban has picked on a clever historical witness: a regiment of the British Army, to follow through this long complex war. Because it fought in many places, and fought differently as the art of war developed we see the war through the eyes of men of the Royal Welch Fusiliers with whom we have journeyed for a long time. Urban is not of the mythologising American strain, nor the enragé school of Bicheno, and his history is one of a war full of anomaly and inconsistency. It is all the better for it.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Engaging Picture of a Regiment at War 22 Dec 2007
Format:Hardcover
Mark Urban has sought to recreate his earlier success with 'Rifles' by following a single regiment through a war. In choosing the 23rd Regiment (Royal Welch Fusiliers), he has plumped on a unit that fought throughout the American War of Independence from Bunker Hill to Yorktown, and can therefore act as illustrative of the war as a whole. Unlike the 95th Rifles, however, the 23rd were a 'line' regiment with none of the glamour of 'special' troops, although much of the action surrounds their detached light company. And given the very fluid organization of the army it is easy to see problems trying to carry out a single regiment narrative thread. As his Royal Welch witnesses come and go, he has had to use eyewitnesses wherever he could get them; not all are Royal Welchmen, nor are they necessarily eyewitnesses to the actual events he is discussing.

Mr Urban's lack of military background and wider understanding is sometimes apparent. As Donald Graves has noted, his belief that Revolutionary War tactics were important in Europe is dubious, and he is unfairly harsh on David Dundas. The essential need to train the army on a common doctrine was not possible until the Duke of York became Commander-in-Chief, with the full weight of Royal authority behind him. If the correct solution was a fusion of the `German' and `American' schools, that was never possible given the stresses of service until Sir Ralph Abercromby got nearly two months to properly train his army in 1800-1 before Egypt. He was the first British commander to have that opportunity after the reserve of trained troops was dissipated in the West Indies in 1793-5.

Due to these reservations I was only going to give the book four stars, but as a former Royal Welchman myself I thought, 'How can I!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A message for all aspiring officers... 8 July 2008
Format:Hardcover
I'm not sure whether Urban truly intended to write a narrative history that not only sets right many of the injustices of much of the scholarship on this era, as well as comment on the current operations in Afghanistan.

Whatever his intent, this book is brilliant, in many ways surpassing 'Rifles'. The characters are brought to life in vivid colours, their flaws and their strengths, the arrogance of certain 'Minden men', the self-righteousness on both sides, and the sheer hypocrisy of the ideologues. This is not a book for those 'Patriot' lovers; this is a very real history. The maps are first class, and Urban, as we have come to expect, cuts through the fog of war to deliver stunning detail on everything from the tactical, strategic and operational levels of war.

Any young officer, or aspiring officer, should take the lessons so clearly portrayed in it; learning organisations defeat insurgencies, as we so nearly did in the 13 Colonies. For those not in the military, take heed anyway; read this as a history of the American war, and apply much of the logic to Iraq and Afghanistan, and that is what we are up against. The lessons are clear: Doctrine, tactics, strategy, all have to work together.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining.....but myopic and misses the mark on basic facts
I enjoyed this book, it was a Christmas present some years back. The history of the revolutionary war of war of independence is a passion of mine, as is military history. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Bolt
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
I collect Mark Urban so was well pleased to get this at a good price. It's a good read. Very good service.
Published 3 months ago by Lord Greymold
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read.
A compelling and important work that makes sense of this conflict. It will form the basis of further reading. Well done!
Published 3 months ago by DavidH
5.0 out of 5 stars A Balanced and Authoritive Account of a British Regiment in the...
The story of the American War of Independence written from the point of view of one of the most active units on the British side. Read more
Published 4 months ago by M. R. DENSHAM
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and enlightening
A very well written and well researched book. It is good to read something accurate about how the British lost America rather than the usual pomp and bluster that comes from the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by NickB
5.0 out of 5 stars History and life
This book is not only an excellent manual of military history, but an interesting description of the soldier life in one of the most important wars which involved modern nations... Read more
Published 8 months ago by M. SPAGNI
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
I've read Mark Urban before and he always manages to give history an almost novel-like page turning aura. A really excellent and enthral long book.
Published 14 months ago by Bruce Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Braw
Still reading but I'm enyoying it immensely. I love anything by Mark Urban. Can't wait for more books/programmes by him. Top quality every time.
Published 15 months ago by Roger S. Donaldson
5.0 out of 5 stars GUNS
fusiliers and its companion volume Rifles are a very well
presented history of the British Army. Mark Urban has written
two very readable books on the subject
Published 16 months ago by terry s
5.0 out of 5 stars Fusiliers Mark Urban.
Good to read some facts about,this period rather than
the rubbish film Patriots which has people burning in
barns etc.
Published 17 months ago by Harry
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