Wars rarely turn out as expected. This book shows how Britain entered a conflict that it believed could not be lost. The American Patriots were similarly optimistic about their martial prospects. Although they eventually secured independence, it was only with the assistance of France and indirectly Spain, who diverted British resources from the conflict in America, allowing France eventually to deliver a knockout blow at Yorktown. This extensive yet accessible exploration into the War of American Independence provides aclear analysis of why this complex conflict occurred and why it ended as it did, revealing the fragile nature of the American Patriot cause. An essential guide for any history student, including those specializing in war/peace studies and the study of international relations, as well the general reader with an interest in the study of war.