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The Patriot - Essay Example

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The film comprehensively portrays the sacrifices made by some of the legendary figures during the American revolutionary war in South Carolina. At the beginning, Benjamin Martin, a former military officer, chose to live peacefully at his farm. …
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The Patriot The film comprehensively portrays the sacrifices made by some of the legendary figures during the American revolutionary war in South Carolina. At the beginning, Benjamin Martin, a former military officer, chose to live peacefully at his farm. However, the brutal murder of his son by a cruel British officer forced him to take up arms against the British Army. The Continental army puts him in charge of the Colonial Militia. Despite of being few, untrained and unorganized, they managed to achieve several victories including a major success in the Battle of Cowpens leading to the ultimate freedom of America. It is critical to assess how a small number of American rebels used various fighting tactics to defeat the relatively huge, well-trained and well-armed British Regular Army. As Martin knew that ill-experienced militia was not able to beat the British army in open battles, he had to train his men for rather different fighting tactics. Martin while talking to his son said that “Going muzzle-to-muzzle with Redcoats in open fields, it is madness” (The Patriot). The militia trained by Martin and Major Jean Villeneuve of the French army mostly employed Guerilla warfare tactics to fight the British. These tactics helped at damaging British supply lines and routes, recovering goods and harassing the enemy soldiers effectively. During their very first attack on enemy, the militia was shown to be hidden in the fields, trees and behind the rocks to take them suddenly before they could even react. They attacked from all sides individually leaving British soldiers with no other option but to die or flee. The effectiveness of Guerilla tactics is most evident in the beginning of the story, when Martin along with his two sons rescues Gabriel from the Redcoats. He took full advantage of the topography, shrubs and trees killing a good number of heavily armed soldiers and officers. John Billing later in the film remarked about that as “There is a story going around about how some twenty Redcoats got killed by a ghost or some damn thing, carried a Cherokee tomahawk” (The Patriot). One of these surprise attacks is well depicted in the scene over the bridge when militia captures the personal correspondence of Lord Cornwallis in a brutal ambush. In response, the British army burns down Charlotte’s House, and then the Church along with all the town people. In another surprise attack, militia destroyed a big supply ship carrying large quantities of arms, ammunition and uniforms in front of their top military leadership. These small but valuable achievements served as a beacon of hope for rest of the Americans who had lost everything in this war. Despite losing their lives and families, rebels continued attacks. The military tactics adopted by rebels were unacceptable to the British and they labeled them as being uncivilized. They had no experience of tackling such battle tactics before and their army was not trained for such unorganized wars against a hidden enemy. They were even not aware of their whereabouts as rebels were following a fight and flight strategy. From the British point of view, rebels should have fought face to face like regular armies to decide the war. However, Martin was well aware of their weaknesses. Rebels always awaited opportunities and fully availed them shattering the enemy’s infrastructure as well as morale. They regarded the brutal actions of Colonel William Tavington more uncivilized than theirs. Finally, along with the continental army, they fought a face to face battle at Cowpens. Though British officers held rebels in far lesser regard, they played a winning role in that battle too by the unpredictable strategy suggested by Martin. British were fiercely defeated in this battle and they had to retreat eventually. They finally surrendered before the French army at the sea. In the end of the film, it was depicted that revolutionary war led to the free future of America. References The Patriot. Dir. Roland Emmerich. Perf. Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson. Mutual Film & Centropolis Entertainment, 2000. Film. Read More
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