Initially the colonists were outclassed in open warfare against the more experienced British troops. Most of the colonists believed that the British would win the war, but they hoped they would gain some tax relief and some autonomy for their efforts.
French support was in the beginning unofficial but soon included troops and leaders as revenge for their loss in the Seven Years War. With involvement of other Europeans as well, the colonists and their allies became known as the Continental army.
Above. Charles (left) has a keen interest in the American War of Independence as well as the later American Civil War. Here he shows John and Peter how easy the rules are to learn. Charles has tried a variety of rules and currently uses a quickplay set of rules based upon an article from Miniature Wargames. This and Wargames Illustrated are popular wargaming magazines available in Australia.
Above. Some more of Charles’ continental troops. They are a mixture of 25mm scale Hinchcliffe and Minifig plus a smattering from other makers. This scale means that a 6 foot high person is represented by a model figure that is around 25mm high. An interesting mix of imperial and metric, but essentially a scale of 1:72 (the same as model railway OO gauge).
Native Americans from the Six Nations also fought alongside the colonists. This was partly through fear of the British taking over their lands and also in the hope it would also bring them some independence. All it did was to replace an old colonial power with a new one. Eventually the colonists led by George Washington defeated the British under General Burgoyne at Saratoga in 1777. It was after this that the colonists truly believed they could win the war.
Essentially it was all over for the British in 1781 when their troops under General Cornwallis were defeated at the siege of Yorktown after the French fleet stopped the attempted rescue by the British fleet. Peace became official in 1783 by the opposing sides signing the “Peace of Paris”.
Fear of revolutionary France and then the advent of the Napoleonic Wars closer to home quashed any serious thoughts the British had of later returning and reversing the newly won independence.