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.