SOLDIERS FOR SALE
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The British Army that fought the American Revolutionaries was in fact an Anglo-German army. The British Crown had doubts about the willingness of English soldiers to fight against other English-speaking people in North America. It also doubted the loyalty of the Canadiens who had only just been taken over after the conquest of New France. It thus turned to the princes of German States, who were also relatives of England?s ruling family, to obtain troops. To the Americans, these soldiers are known as The Hessians. In return for large amounts of money, German princes and barons provided about 30,000 soldiers, of whom some 10,000 were located in Canada for up to seven years and 2,400 chose to remain in Canada after the war. Many were dragged unwillingly from their families and sent to fight in a war in which they had no interest. Those who remained in Canada represented close to 5 percent of the male population at the time. They melted into the French and English-speaking societies, their names were Gallicized or Anglicized, but their history was unknown until this book appeared, even to their own descendants.
Jean-Pierre Wilhelmy is a Montreal historian who, in the late 1970s, wanted to know where his ancestors came from and discovered a major unexplored part of Canadian history. He published his work in French originally in 1980s and has constantly updated it. He has also written two books of historical fiction based on his research. This updated English adaptation of his research is his first publication in English.