With Zeal and with Bayonets Only

  • by Matthew H. Spring
  • Narrated by John Skinner
  • 13 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The image is indelible: densely packed lines of slow-moving Redcoats picked off by American sharpshooters. Now Matthew H. Spring reveals how British infantry in the American Revolutionary War really fought.
This groundbreaking audiobook offers a new analysis of the British Army during the "American rebellion" at both operational and tactical levels. Presenting fresh insights into the speed of British tactical movements, Spring discloses how the system for training the army prior to 1775 was overhauled and adapted to the peculiar conditions confronting it in North America.
First scrutinizing such operational problems as logistics, manpower shortages, and poor intelligence, Spring then focuses on battlefield tactics to examine how troops marched to the battlefield, deployed, advanced, and fought. In particular, he documents the use of turning movements, the loosening of formations, and a reliance on bayonet-oriented shock tactics, and he also highlights the army's ability to tailor its tactical methods to local conditions.
Written with flair and a wealth of details that will engage scholars and history enthusiasts alike, With Zeal and with Bayonets Only offers a thorough reinterpretation of how the British Army's North American campaign progressed and invites serious reassessment of most of its battles.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Skinned Alive

What would have made With Zeal and with Bayonets Only better?

This work requires a narrator who can do this important title justice. Mr Spring, I can only assume, will look on with incredulity as to to what as been inflicted on his book. An American narrator and no doubt editorial team have produced the worst reading I have ever heard. Americans have once again foiled the British Army.


What did you like best about this story?

With Zeal and with Bayonets only is probably one of the most important books on the British Army in North America for many years. It offers a revision of the long standing view that the British army was a mindless automaton that cared more about form and image and maintaining a straight line than winning the war and marched into Battle against a far more flexible and ultimately superior American Army. Matthew Spring demonstrates that this is not so and that the British Army fought with revolutionary Zeal, and his work will establish itself as a seminal title in this field.


How did the narrator detract from the book?

John Skinner already possesses a strange talking voice that renders his use of inflexion suspect. This is compounded by the severe editing that occurs because he is incapable of reading complete sentences and his mistakes have to be spliced together resulting in awkward intonations mid sentence. The overall effect is of an American Stephen Hawkins. The proof of this hypothesis is starkly revealed in Chapter 9 as it is a completely unedited sequence. In it you hear Mr Skinner struggle repeatedly to read sequences, he stammers, he coughs, he mutters and asks for water when he should ask for forgiveness It is actually quite good comedy, but this is not a comedy piece. Clearly no one ever listened to this before it was released and may explain how such a poor reading was allowed to reach the market place.


If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from With Zeal and with Bayonets Only?

This audio book needs to be withdrawn


Any additional comments?

This title needs to be withdrawn because as a minimum it is in places unedited and contains Mr Skinner's unintentional hilarious run through. Regardless of this it is still terrible because of the consequential splicing required to create complete sentences and the computer like effect it engenders.This is not a professional piece. More water Mr Skinner?

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- Gary Snailham

No editing

Chapter 9 sounds like a practice run. Hesitation, repetition, coughing. Really off putting. The story itself although factual is a bit long winded
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- Jennifer Berry

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-10-2014
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks