5 Myths About the Revolutionary War Everyone Believes

 

 

” Since fictional superheroes usually get cool origin stories, it makes sense that an actual global superpower needs to have one. Luckily for the United States, the Revolutionary War was precisely such a tale. Bloody, heroic, and seasoned with all kinds of awesome, the entire eight-year period was dripping with fantastic stories and scrappy underdog moments.

Or was it?

#3. The Americans Won the War With Frontier Savvy and Guerrilla Tactics

The Myth

Colonists were guerrilla fighters extraordinaire. They made a huge difference in the war outcome with constant raids, skirmishes, and ambushes, essentially going Home Alone on the British forces left and right.

It makes such an awful lot of sense: In the blue corner, we have a bunch of determined colonists who were on their home turf, lightly armed, and relatively inconspicuously clothed. In the red corner: tightly organized regiments of scarlet-clad soldiers with stiff upper lips, marching in lockstep through the forest like live Duck Hunt targets. Of course the Colonial forces took the opportunity to employ the kind of guerrilla tactics that wouldn’t be seen until, well, two centuries later.

 

The Reality

As enticing as the image of clever American guerrillas winning the war by hiding behind trees and shooting British troops who are standing in formation in open fields is, it couldn’t be further from the truth. While guerrilla tactics did play a plucky part in the proceedings, they were always a condiment rather than the meat. Ordinary pitched battles decided the outcome of the war.

Which was smart, because the Patriots never actually had the advantage when it came to guerrilla-ing. British troops had at least as much guerrilla chops as the Colonies, as pretty much all significant Native American tribes had sided with the Redcoats — even the guy who literally wrote the book on being an Army Ranger fought for the British.”