Book Review: Apache Tactics, 1830–86, by Robert N. Watt

By HistoryNet Staff
10/2/2012 • Wild West Reviews

Apache Tactics, 1830–86, by Robert N. Watt, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, England, 2012, $18.95

The various Southwestern clans collectively categorized as Apaches were products of their environment in terms of physical conditioning, battle tactics and strategies of movement in dealing with their enemies, be they other Indians, Spaniards, Mexicans or Anglo-Americans. Apache warfare never exceeded 3,000 combatants at a time, but their elusive and often deadly proficiency at “small warfare” became legendary.

In No. 199 of Osprey’s Elite series, author Watt, resident expert on American Indian wars at the University of Birmingham, England, presents in 64 pages an English military expert’s distillation of the tactics and weapons the Apaches employed against their various adversaries. Maps, diagrams and a wealth of period photographs help illustrate the Apache approach to raiding and ambush to get at the truth behind the myths. This book makes clear why the U.S. Army wisely sought the help of friendlier Apaches to hunt down other elusive Apaches.

—Jon Guttman

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