By Mr. Richard Winship Stewart, Center of Military History (U.S. Army)
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The expedition ended in disaster, resulting from climate, disease, and the bungling of British commanders, and only about 600 of over 3,000 Americans who participated ever returned to their homes. The net result of the war itself was indecisive. The first three wars with the French were also indecisive. The nature of the fighting in them was much the same as that in the Indian wars. Although the French maintained garrisons of Regulars in Canada, they were never 32 sufficient to bear the brunt of the fighting.
The nature of the fighting in them was much the same as that in the Indian wars. Although the French maintained garrisons of Regulars in Canada, they were never 32 sufficient to bear the brunt of the fighting. The French Canadians also had their militia, a more centralized and all-embracing system than that in the English colonies, but the population of the French colonies was sparse, scarcely a twentieth of that of the British colonies in 1754. The French relied heavily on Indian allies, whom they equipped with firearms.
Changes in military organization, weapons, and tactics went hand in hand with political, social, and economic change. In the later Middle Ages formations of disciplined infantry using longbow, crossbow, pike, and halberd (a long-handled ax with a pike head at the end), reasserted their superiority on the battlefield. The introduction of gunpowder in the fourteenth century began a process of technological change in weapons that was to enhance that superiority; more immediately, gunpowder was used in crude artillery to batter down the walls of medieval castles.