The savage struggle to take control of the North American wilderness during the epic Seven Years War (1756-63) between France and England is a gripping tale. As the two European powers battled each other for global economic, political and military supremacy in what some have called the first world war, the brutal conflict took on a unique North American character, particularly in the role Native allies played on both sides.
Formal European tactics and military protocols were out of place in the harsh, unforgiving forests of the New World. Cavalry, mass infantry columns, and volley fire proved less effective in the heavily wooded terrain of North America than it did in Europe. What mattered in the colonial hinterland of New France and the British American colonies was an ability to navigate, travel, and survive in the uncharted wilderness. Equally important was the capacity to strike at the enemy with surprise, speed, and violence.
After all, the reward for victory was substantial – mastery of North America.
Colonel Bernd Horn has held key positions in the Canadian Forces, including deputy commander of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. An adjunct professor of history at the Royal Military College of Canada, he has authored, co-authored, or co-edited 30 books on military history and military affairs, including No Lack of Courage: Operation Medusa, Afghanistan. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.
Battle Cries, which tells the story of this war in North America, is a good history book, well written, historically accurate and interesting. In the author's skilful hands, the reader almost becomes a witness to the struggle.
When we think of the Seven Years War as Canadians we are commonly direct to the climactic event, The Battle of the Plains of Abraham. This book is a refreshing look at another aspect of that period, one where the battles are not so blatantly European but rather fought in an environment that is uniquely Canadian.