Osprey's examination of the COntinentals' first battle of the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). General Sir William Howe's NewYork campaign gave the British their best chance of destroying the Continental Army and George Washington's resistance to colonial power. Having initially assembled his forces on Staten Island, Howe succeeded in dividing the Continentals, defeated them on Long Island and forced Washington to retreat to Brooklyn Heights. Under siege there Washington successfully extricated his troops and crossed the East River to Manhattan but soon had to fall back on Harlem Heights.
After a few weeks Howe forced the Continentals north to White Plains and defeated them again. However, he allowed Washington to withdraw and preserve his army when more aggressive pursuit could have brought the campaign to a decisive conclusion and ended the war. Instead, with the British army rapidly weakening and facing huge manpower shortages, Washington emerged from a succession of defeats to produce what was ultimately a war-winning strategy. The author provides fascinating insights into a unique campaign in which a string of British victories ultimately led to failure and defeat.
"A student in American and military studies at the universities of Iowa, Hull and Liverpool, David Smith has written the usual concise but comprehensive entry in Osprey Books' Campaign series, well supported by maps and illustrations by Graham Turner. Commendably, he avoids applying too much 20th century hindsight in his appraisals of the protagonists, putting them rather in the context of their own times. The result is a more understanding picture of Howe - and an undiminished appreciation of the magnitude of Washington's achievements in the wake of his New York fiasco." -Jon Guttman, Military History (June/July 2009)
"The book provides conclusions on what came after the battles and how the event steered others that followed. The final section, which for this subject is quite small, is what the battlefields are like today. Since this area has been extensively populated and reformed in the last 250 years, very little actually remains. It is a superb book on the subject and one that all students of American history should have in their libraries. I can recommend to you without reservation."- Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (May 2008)
"David Smith's New York 1776: The Continentals' First Battle details the strategies, tactics and battle experiences of opposing forces during the 1776 campaign." -California Bookwatch (May 2008)
"All the actions are described here and shown by excellent maps and birds'-eye-views, and the good selection of contemporary illustrations are ably backed by good colour plates. Highly recommended." -John Prigent, Internet Modeler (April 2008)