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Date > 1700

Subject > Strategy and Tactics > Special Operations

Americans Forced On the Defensive

Type: Document

Trying to strike back at the Loyalist raiders who caused such trouble, the American rebels sent troops to destroy Iroquois settlements in 1779. Although thousands of refugees were forced to flee, the raids continued with increased strength, with the rebels generally on the losing side.

Site: National Defence

A Return To Earlier Methods

Type: Document

After 1777, in order to keep the American rebels on the defensive, the British adopted the old Canadian tactic of raiding enemy settlements. The raids were made by mixed groups of Amerindians and soldiers. The troops used were American loyalists such as Butler's Rangers.

Site: National Defence

A Colonial Way of War

Type: Document

During the 18th century, France held huge inland regions in North America with a few men for two reasons. First, land was largely controlled by trade alliances with local Amerindians. Second, tactics were used that combined indigenous methods with European organization and discipline.

Site: National Defence

Carleton's Indecision

Type: Document

In 1775, support from the francophone Canadian population for the British dropped because of Governor Carleton's lack of decisive action against the American rebels. Most Canadians opted for neutrality, choosing to let the British and Americans fight among themselves

Site: National Defence

Militiamen In Combat

Type: Document

Combat for the Canadian militia during raids was a matter of surprise attack from ambush - a volley of musket fire and then a charge with hatchets. The manoeuvres and drill of a European-style battlefield were foreign to them, and there they were best behind fortifications.

Site: National Defence

Training in a New School

Type: Document

Once established, the tactics of Canadian warfare would persist as long as the French regime. Refinements were made as the regular soldiers of the Compagnies franches de la Marine grew more experienced in the new methods.

Site: National Defence

Raid and Counter Raid

Type: Document

In 1758, to slow the British advance in the Ohio Valley, French commander Lignery sent raiding parties against them. An attempted counter raid by the British was wiped out. Much confusion and terror was caused amongst the British and American troops.

Site: National Defence

Both Rewards and Condemnation

Type: Document

Both Hertel de La Fresnière and Le Moyne were ennobled for their contributions. However, the tactics of Canadian warfare brought only scorn from the officers of the metropolitan French army. Only a change in European warfare in the mid-eighteenth century began to change this.

Site: National Defence

Soldier, Butler's Rangers, 1778-1783

Type: Image

Butler's Rangers were uniformed in green, with red facings. This man, dressed for campaigning, wears his lapels buttoned over. There is record of a leather cap worn by the unit, but reconstruction shows an unofficial substitute - a kerchief. There is also some information that Butler's men wore green smocks on some occasions. All in all, this famous (or infamous) regiment must have presented a very mixed appearence in the field. Reconstruction by G. A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

An Unchanged Military Situation

Type: Document

The start of 1756 in North America saw a situation little changed from the previous year. Britain sent reinforcements and raised troops in her American colonies while the French raided and destroyed Fort Bull to restore Amerindian alliances shaken by Dieskau's disaster.

Site: National Defence