What was one difference between the British and American forces at the beginning of the American Revolution?

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Bob K. Share
Oct 22, 2017

Answer:

The British were New Model Army regulars, and the Americans were primarily a guerrilla force.

Explanation:

The British army was a uniformed force that marched in relentless formation. The bulk of soldiers in this formation were not intended to fight so much as absorb the bullets of enemy forces until they ran out of ammunition, leaving them vulnerable to Britain's superior numbers and armaments at the formation's rear. This was a very effective strategy against the similarly-equipped French of the same period. Plus, they wore fresh uniforms and powdered wigs so they knew not to shoot each other by mistake.

American troops were largely irregulars. They hid behind trees, wore farmers' clothes, and shot from concealed positions. The officers were, with few exceptions, former British army regulars who had made their bones in the French and Indian War a decade or two earlier. They knew how British formations worked and what their limitations were, and that their best hope was to fight a different sort of war from what the British were planning to face. They also had "home field advantage", or better familiarity with the local terrain.

Some excellent examples of British tactics can be seen in movies like Kubrick's Barry Lyndon and the British television series Sharpe's Rifles starring Sean Bean.

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Aron Z Share
Oct 22, 2017

Answer:

The resources available, the sizes and strength of the armies, and differences in motivation were some of the major differences between the British and American forces.

Explanation:

Britain had a massive, powerful, and world-class navy at the beginning of the war. They used this to blockade the coast, stopping trade that the colonies were engaging in. In addition, the British had plenty of supplies, including food and water as well as weapons.

However, due to the distance between the colonies and Britain, the supply chain for the British was long, and so orders that were relayed between the King and military leaders in the colonies took months to reach each other. This meant that situation reports and orders were out of date and may not have been the best course of action.

The Continental Army also relied heavily on donations and supplies from the public. They lacked government funding and supplies as well.

The British army was much better trained and much more professional than the regular people that were in the Continental Army who had very little training. The British also hired many Hessians, who were German mercenaries who were renowned for their fighting ability.

To make up for this, the Continental Army employed less conventional fighting techniques. Washington retreated when it was for the benefit of his army, and also launched surprise attacks. These proved to be instrumental in the American's victory.

Motivation was another factor. Americans fought for freedom, and had real motivation to fight the war. The British and the Hessians were motivated only by money. This strain on an already weakened British economy (from the French-Indian war).

Another major advantage that the Americans had was the fact that they did not need to win the battles, but only needed to wear out the British. The British would then give up the fight. The British, meanwhile, had no clear objectives and targets, and so drawing out the war would be beneficial to the colonists.

The British also had many international enemies (especially the French) and so the Americans were more likely to get allies.

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