With the battles of Lexington and Concord, the American militia succeeded in trapping the British army inside Boston. The British commander General Thomas Gage decided to bust out by seizing the Charlestown Peninsula on the northern side of Boston Harbor. Too bad for him the American boys had pretty much the same idea. On June 16, 1775 a group of militiamen snuck onto the peninsula under cover of darkness and began digging a makeshift fort atop Breed’s Hill. Nobody knows what General Gage said upon waking the next morning to discover the Americans had gotten the jump on him, though I imagine it involved copious use of the term “Wankers.”
The British navy hurled cannonballs at the militia, waiting six whole hours before their infantry finished sipping tea and mounted an attack. When the redcoats touched soil they came equipped with wool tunics (even though summer was right around the corner) and packs weighing sixty pounds each (even though they were charging up a hill). The massive wall of soldiers made the Americans soil their knickers and beg for reinforcements, but their backup forces a few clicks north on Bunker Hill balked at the appeal… though they may or may not have sent a case of Sam Adam’s Lager for moral support.
Round about this time somebody in the American camp realized they were short on gunpowder, prompting General Israel Putnam to urge: “Don’t fire until you can see the whites of their eyes.” There’s some dispute as to who actually delivered that famous order, but the sentiment was clear: “Um… dudes? They’ve got like a bazillion professional soldiers and we’ve got like no gunpowder… I mean like none. So it would be pretty super cool if you could, you know… not shoot at them until you’re pretty sure you’re not gonna miss, m-kay?”
So they waited while the British charged. Then they waited some more because, let’s face it, when you’re carrying sixty-pounds on your back, you’re not exactly “charging”. And when those baby blues came into view, one thousand patriots stood up and mowed down the front line at point blank range. As the top heavy redcoats rolled back down the hill, onlookers in neighboring Charlestown got in on the fun, taking potshots and shouting, “Yankees Suck!” – a move that was deemed “wicked retahded” after the British navy retaliated by burning Charlestown to the ground.
When the second British charge went about as well as the first, somebody got the notion: “Hey, we’d probably move a lot faster if we weren’t carrying a refrigerator on our back!” The redcoats broke through on their third charge, forcing the powderless militia to retreat into nearby Cambridge and giving the Brits control of the peninsula (including their original target of Bunker Hill, hence the misleading battle name). Of course way more of their soldiers had died than Americans. So it was technically a redcoat victory, but come on, that’s like saying Apollo really won the fight in the first Rocky movie.