Monday, October 3, 2016

British Grenadiers at the Battle of Bunker Hill

Title: Battle of Bunker Hill
Artist: Edward Percy Moran
Date: 1909

A depiction of the battle of Bunker Hill by Edward Percy Moran (1862-1935), known for his scenes of American history. This significant battle took place on 17 June 1775, mostly on and around Breed's Hill, during the Siege of Boston early in the American Revolutionary War. The battle is named after the adjacent Bunker Hill. Although the uniform details are inaccurate, the formation of the British grenadiers advancing uphill toward the Americans behind prepared positions is largely representative of the closeorder formation used by the British during their assault. After the experience of the retreat from Lexington, British commander Lieutenant-General Thomas Gage ordered his men to form in two rather than three ranks but retained the close-order formation. Although Gage attempted to outflank the American position, a quick reaction by American commanders frustrated British efforts and resulted in a sustained firefight on unequal terms. The British grenadiers were ordered to assault the American lines with the bayonet but their close-order formations made it difficult for them to cross several fences and as the formations lost cohesion the grenadiers lost momentum. As a result many grenadiers began to fire at the enemy rather than carry home their charge. In the aftermath of Bunker Hill British commanders understood that the bayonet was the most effective weapon against the untrained Americans. Conversely, American commanders realized that effective use of terrain and cover, including walls, fences, and woods, could negate some of the lethal nature of the British bayonet charge.

Source :
Book "Continental versus Redcoat: American Revolutionary War" by David Bonk

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