Raiders from New France

North American Forest Warfare Tactics, 17th–18th Centuries

Raiders from New France cover

Raiders from New France

North American Forest Warfare Tactics, 17th–18th Centuries


Supported by full-color illustrations, this study explores in startling new detail the “musket and tomahawk” forest warfare by which the French colonists and their allies battled to ensure the survival of “New France.”

Though the French and British colonies in North America began on a “level playing field," French political conservatism and limited investment allowed the British colonies to forge ahead, pushing into territories that the French had explored deeply but failed to exploit. The subsequent survival of “New France” can largely be attributed to an intelligent doctrine of raiding warfare developed by imaginative French officers through close contact with indigenous tribes and Canadian settlers. The groundbreaking new research explored in this study indicates that, far from the opportunism these raids seemed to represent, they were in fact the result of a deliberate plan to overcome numerical weakness by exploiting the potential of mixed parties of French soldiers, Canadian backwoodsmen, and allied indigenous warriors.

Supported by contemporary accounts from period documents and newly explored historical records, this study explores the “hit-and-run” raids which kept New Englanders tied to a defensive position and ensured the continued existence of the French colonies until their eventual cession in 1763.

Table of Contents

* Introduction: early Iroquois raids on New France, pre-1666 * Exploration and the fur trade – the voyageurs and coureurs du bois. * Warfare resumes, 1680s; Louis XIV sends French troops to garrison the colony. * Development of specific forest tactics by e.g. Charles Le Moyne and Hertel de la Fresnière. * First major mixed French/indigenous raid on Hudson's Bay forts (1686); French/Canadian/indigenous raids on New England and Iroquois villages (1690-97). * French expansion westwards – the Fox Wars (1715-35). * Raiding warfare keeps British colonies on defensive (1702-1750s). * Who were the raiders? * Planning, executing, and withdrawing from raids – the fate of prisoners. * How 'Canadian' military doctrine was disseminated, and its achievements summarized.

Product details

Published Nov 26 2019
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 64
ISBN 9781472833501
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Dimensions 10 x 7 inches
Series Elite
Short code ELI 229
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


René Chartrand

RENÉ CHARTRAND was born in Montreal and educated i…


Adam Hook

Adam Hook studied graphic design, and began his wo…


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