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Raiders from New France: North American Forest Warfare Tactics, 17th-18th Centuries (Elite)

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Raiders from New France: North American Forest Warfare Tactics, 17th-18th Centuries (Elite)

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Though the French and British colonies in North America began on a ‘level playing field’, French political conservatism and limited investment allowed the British colonies to forge ahead, pushing into territories that the French had explored deeply but failed to exploit. The subsequent survival of ‘New France’ can largely be attributed to an intelligent doctrine of raiding warfare developed by imaginative French officers through close contact with Indian tribes and Canadian settlers. The ground-breaking new research explored in this study indicates that, far from the ad hoc opportunism these raids seemed to represent, they were in fact the result of a deliberate plan to overcome numerical weakness by exploiting the potential of mixed parties of French soldiers, Canadian backwoodsmen and allied Indian warriors. Supported by contemporary accounts from period documents and newly explored historical records, this study explores the ‘hit-and-run’ raids which kept New Englanders tied to a defensive position and ensured the continued existence of the French colonies until their eventual cession in 1763.

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