Apache Warrior 1860-86, Robert N. Watt

Apache Warrior 1860-86, Robert N. Watt

Warrior 172

The Apache are perhaps the most famous of the native American groups of the American West, fighting against American and Mexican forces for a quarter of a century before finally being overwhelmed by the greater  level of material available to their opponents.

There are some unusual aspects to this book – the author introduces concepts from developmental psychology and social anthropology, disciplines that don't often feature in Ospreys. Don't worry if that isn't your thing – there is plenty of more traditional details on equipment, training, tactics, the overall Apache strategy in the various conflicts with Mexican and American forces.

I would query the use of the phrase Anglo-American to describe US settlers and troops – to me this rather implies the presence of British forces in the US west! The aim is to differentiate between Mexicans who found themselves under US rule after the Mexican War and 'Anglo-Saxon' Americans coming from the east, but is a bit clumsy.    

One of the key elements of this book is the examination of how the Apache approach to conflict differed from that of their opponents. At the heart of the Apache system was a desire to avoid casualties, as each loss of a warrior caused economic disruption. The Apache would generally only attack if they were fairly sure they wouldn't suffer any losses, producing a war of ambushes and rapid retreats. The same skills that were needed for day to day survival were also essential for this style of warfare, helping to make them very skilled raiders. Watt has produced some interesting material on the reasons for their successes, each supported by convincing examples.

Belief and Belonging
On Campaign 1860-86
Experience of Battle
After the Battle

Author: Robert N. Watt
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 64
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 2014

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