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Alamo Defenders (Hardback)

A Fresh Perspective on the Heroes of 1836

Military > Frontline Books

By James W Bancroft
Frontline Books
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 16 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399009911
Published: 5th April 2024

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At a critical stage of the Texas Revolution a large Mexican army surrounded a makeshift fortification known locally as the Alamo. It was there that a small defensive force of mostly Texans had become holed up, and where they vowed to ‘never surrender or retreat’. After a siege lasting thirteen days, the Mexicans assaulted the fortification during the early hours of Sunday, 6 March 1836. Except for a few women and children, and one male slave, everyone inside was killed.

All this is well known, and to this day the Alamo Mission is an American national monument sacred to the people of Texas. The Battle of Alamo sits alongside such dramatic last stands as Little Big Horn and Rorke’s Drift as one of the most heroic and sacrificial battles against the odds in military history. But what few realise is that a large number of those who fought and died for Texas at the Alamo were British.

For the first time, the stories of these men, their lives and their deaths at the Alamo, are revealed. They include an Englishman named William Blazeby, who led a troop of New Orleans Greys; a Scotsman named John McGregor, who took to his bagpipes and accompanied Davy Crockett on the fiddle to keep up the spirits of the defenders; and an Irishman named Robert Evans, who, as Master of Ordnance was shot down while trying to set light to the gunpowder in the chapel when the battle was lost.

Through men such as these, the full story of this iconic encounter in the history of the United States of America is told in detail by the author. The roles of the opposing commanders, the infamous General Santa Anna and Lieutenant Colonel William ‘Buck’ Travis, are also examined. At the same time, James Bancroft also investigates the death of James Bowie, renowned, of course, for his large hunting knife, and Davy Crockett. Exactly how the so called ‘King of the Wild Frontier’ met his end has been the subject of controversial debate ever since Texas fought off its Mexican shackles – thanks in no small measure to those Britons who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their American comrades on the crumbling walls of the Alamo more than 185 years ago.

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About James W Bancroft

JAMES BANCROFT has produced more than 100 books and articles, the subjects of which reflect his varied interests. He has contributed a number of articles for The New Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and his book Rorke’s Drift: The Zulu War, 1879 has been re-printed seven times. His JWB Historical Library, compiled over four decades, is one of the largest private collections of its kind in the world. When he is not writing, James enjoys singing and playing and listening to music, and being with his growing family.

Battle of the Alamo

6th March 1836

After 13 days of fighting 1,500-3,000 Mexican soldiers overwhelm the Texan defenders, killing 182-257 Texans including William Travis, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett


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The Rorke's Drift Commanders Gonville Bromhead and John Chard (Hardback)

Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead and Lieutenant John Chard had fame thrust upon them, as did the place known as Rorke’s Drift, which before 1879 was an unknown homestead situated in the middle of the South African veld. Although both men came from families whose various members were highly distinguished for their military service and for their service to the church, they became reluctant heroes after being awarded Britain’s highest decoration for valour, the Victoria Cross. During the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879, a British invasion force was massacred at iSandlwana, after which a wing of the Zulu army…

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