From the outset the French commanders knew how to capitalize on the natural advantages New France had to offer. Since the land was isolated and still wild its borders could be defended very efficiently. Moreover, the enemies were unused to forest battles and to the North American climate. The ambush tactics war led by Canadians and Amerindians under French command often took the British troops by surprise. In this connection, the French could count on alliances with the Amerindians. The latter included the Lorette Hurons, the Abnakis, the Algonquins and the Montagnais. The Amerindians, including roughly 1,800 warriors, were precious allies: their knowledge of the land, their experience of the climate and their warfare techniques made them outstanding defenders of the colony15. These assets allowed the French to initiate the war with dazzling victories: Monongahela (Fort Duquesne) and Chouagen in 1756, Fort George in 1757 and Fort Carillon in 1758. However, these victories were short-lived; the superiority of the British army reversed the situation in the following battles.