The British Attack On Breed's Hill

Battle Of Bunker Hill Penarth Wargames Tuesday Game

Monument to the Battle of Bunker HillWell another Tuesday rolls around and we’ll all be off down to Glyndwr Hall tonight for the third in Adrian’s AWI series – The Battle of Bunker Hill.

Fought on 17th June 1775 it was a brutal and bloody affair fought on the North side of Boston Harbour on the Charlestown Peninsula.

Can you change history or just reinforce it?

Come along and have a go.

 

Map of The Battle Of Bunker HillBackground – Battle of Bunker Hill

With the Revolutionary War not long opened General Gage finds himself blockaded inside Boston. In an attempt to break out he tasks General Howe to take the Charlestown peninsular on the north side of the harbour. 

Unfortunately, Howe was gazumped by the Americans who set up station on Breed’s and Bunker Hill, building a solid redoubt on Breed’s Hill.

At the Battle of Bunker Hill, as was the way with British commanders at the time, the ability of the American rebels to withstand the trained British forces was rather underestimated, especially when they were safely inside field fortifications.

So without trying to flank the position with the Royal Navy Howe landed and ordered a frontal attack.

 

The British Attack On Breed's HillThe Outcome of The Battle

After three assaults, despite heavy losses the British troops finally took the redoubt on Breed’s Hill, the rebels retreating into the peninsula unhindered by the exhausted British redcoats. The British lost about half of their force some 1,150 men. The Americans about 500 men killed or wounded.

Lessons From The Bunker Hill Clash

Howe learnt his lesson and rarely tried frontal attacks again.  It didn’t help that the British 6 pounders were supplied with ammunition for 12lb guns either. With no preliminary bombardment to soften up the yanks it was always going to be a hard and deadly task.

The Americans learnt that despite improvements in their Continental army there was still major issues of command and coordination in battle to solve.  The troops on Bunker Hill refused to advance to Breed’s Hill to help when asked.

More Information About Battle Of Bunker Hill

There is a really good piece in the Smithsonian about the Battle of Bunker Hill – “The True Story of the Battle of Bunker Hill”- click here to read it

A good summary of the battle can be found here on British Battles

The Death Of General Warren At Bunker Hill

John Trumball’s The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker’s Hill, 17 June, 1775. (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

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