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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Revolution

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American Revolution 1763-1789 The birth of a new nation - to commence at the Proclaimation of 1763 to the end of the Articles of Confederation.

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  #106  
Old 03 May 11, 08:28
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'However, none of what you say changes the fact that had France and Spain not intervened, Britain would have won.'

Spain's intervention was not decisive for the United States. Their contribution was to draw off British strength from the war against the Americans.

I would agree that France's contribution was decisive. However, the initial set of commanders sent to North America, d'Estaing in particular, did little to help the war effort. Rochambeau and de Grasse, however, were excellent officers and commanders and their assistance made Yorktown possible.

However, even without French active intervention, the British would not have regained control over the US. LLoyd believed that the Americans could not have been conquered. It should be noted that Greene reconquered the Carolinas in 1780-1781 without French or Spanish assistance and ruined three British armies in succession at Guilford Courthouse, Hobkirk's Hill, and Eutaw Springs, destroying the British outposts and fortified areas in the interior and forcing the British to withdraw to Charleston and Savannah. He was tactically defeated on those three battlefields, but he was each campaign and accomplished the mission. His mauling of Cornwallis at Guilford Courthose led directly to Yorktown.

'Yorktown, for example, was set-up by Cornwallis to crush Washington and Lafayette's 17,000-man army.'

Where did you come up with that nonsense? I'd love to see a reference for that twaddle. Cornwallis withdrew to Yorktown because he could be supported by sea. Clinton didn't have 12,000 troops to send to his aid. Cornwallis had a little over 7,000 troops and the allied army penned him in with the support of the French fleet. I have seen no reference to a plan to trap Washington in the Yorktown campaign. Lafayette was not Washington's second in command-Benjamin Lincoln was. Lafayette was a division commander. Rochambeau was Washington's friend and ally and deferred to Washington at the surrender.

'12,000 troops were to be landed and march behind Washington via the Chesapeake Bay, and then Cornwallis' men were to assault out whilst the other 12,000 flanked. It would be a decisive defeat (and even then, in the actual firefight, the Continentals lost more men. It wasn't until they charged that casualties equalized.) for Washington and France.'

This, unless you can supply supporting documentation is nothing but fantasy.

What 'actual firefight' are you referring to? Do you mean the American assault on Redoubt Number 10? If so, you are mistaken on casualties. The French assault on Redoubt Number 9 cost more in terms of casualties than the American assault, but that was because the French waited for their pioneers to clear the way through the abatis before going over the wall. The Americans didn't do that-they went into the ditch and up and over the wall, climbing over the abatis while pioneers were attempting to clear the way. There is an excellent painting on the assault by H. Charles McBarron which might be helpful.

Sincerely,
M
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  #107  
Old 03 May 11, 09:16
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'Germantown was indeed nearly an American victory, but only due to immense numerical advantage'

What is your definition of 'immense'? The Americans had about 11,000 troops on the ground, the British 9,000. I would submit that the numerical advantage here was not even close to 'immense.'

Sincerely,
M
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  #108  
Old 03 May 11, 18:09
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Originally Posted by Ricthofen View Post
Still, it seems very, VERY unlikely that such statistics are entirely real. This was 1776, not 1781. The Continental Army was little more than a militia force. They'd just been crushed numerous times in Philadelphia and New York and were obviously low on morale and supplies. Saying that, even with numerical supremacy, the Continentals delivered such a defeat to fully-alert Hessians is entirely illogical.
You know when you were still posting as "Howe" this nonsense in the revolution threads understandable as bias. Using a Richtoven handle does not make your lack of factual support any better.
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  #109  
Old 03 May 11, 18:46
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Originally Posted by Cyberknight View Post
You know when you were still posting as "Howe" this nonsense in the revolution threads understandable as bias. Using a Richtoven handle does not make your lack of factual support any better.
'Posting as Howe'?

Anyway, as I said, I'm not discrediting nor denying his sources, I'm just saying that it seems very unlikely, or should I say improbable, that the Continentals delivered such a defeat. I've studied German history quite a bit more than you have, and I know the Hessians were highly-respected for their capabilities and performance.

All I'm asking is he explain why the Continentals could've made such a victory?
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  #110  
Old 03 May 11, 18:59
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You've been given some of the easily accessible sources and it has been explained to you why the Americans won. Their attack was delivered with ferocity and violence, their artillery dominated King and Queen streets and the Hessians were outfought.

You have provided no source material and whether or not you 'know' German history is merely your opinion. You haven't supported that idea either.

The Hessians were good troops-but they lost here and lost badly. The Brunswickers lost-to nothing but militia-and lost badly at Bennington the following year. No military organization is invincible.

The Hessians were solid well-trained troops and that was the reason the British hired them. Perhaps you should read Johann Ewald's diary and the other material on the Hessians during the War of the Revolution, that is easily obtained today. The reference I gave you on Trenton whose author used much material from the Hessian state archives obviously knew his German/Hessian history also-and he negates your opinions on Trenton in his book. I would suggest you have homework to do if you're really interested in researching the topics you have talked about and erred so much in on this thread.

You obviously know little or nothing of the Continental Army, an army that forced two British armies during the war to surrender-along with their German allies. Without the Continental Army, the American regulars, the United States would have lost.

Sincerely,
M
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  #111  
Old 03 May 11, 19:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricthofen View Post

Anyway, as I said, I'm not discrediting nor denying his sources, I'm just saying that it seems very unlikely, or should I say improbable, that the Continentals delivered such a defeat. I've studied German history quite a bit more than you have, and I know the Hessians were highly-respected for their capabilities and performance.

All I'm asking is he explain why the Continentals could've made such a victory?
While the various sources I checked differed in the explanations for why the Hessians were unprepared, all of them agreed the Hessians were caught unprepared. Perhaps due to a drunken party, perhaps due to Rall being an arrogant drunk, perhaps due to a simple lapse in judgment by Rall in not sending out morning patrols. Seems every historian had his opinion on how much weight to give the alcohol. But, whatever the reason for being unprepared, the explanation for the very one-sided result remains that the Hessians were hit with a successful surprise assault. I don't think there is really much dispute on that point.
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  #112  
Old 04 May 11, 01:28
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Originally Posted by Massena View Post
You obviously know little or nothing of the Continental Army, an army that forced two British armies during the war to surrender-along with their German allies. Without the Continental Army, the American regulars, the United States would have lost.
.....and also by the contribution of French troops and sailors.

One thing many people overlook is the fact that when France declared war on the UK, the war had suddenly expanded to other fronts, with the French attacking British possesions in other parts of the world as well as on the American front. It wouldn't be entirely incorrect to state then that the AWI was also the first world war, in the modern sense of the definition. The fact of the matter is, without those French troops, sailors, and French generalship in beseiging Yorktown, that battle would have been an unmitigated failure.

I'll conclude with an exerpt from a page of American Military History , from Army Historical Series ( published: CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY, UNITED STATES ARMY, WASHINGTON, DC 1989 ), of which I happen to own a copy.

Page 99 -

“For all these American virtues and British difficulties and mistakes, the Americans still required French aid - money, supplies, and in the last phase military force - to win a decisive and clear-cut military victory. Most of the muskets, bayonets and cannons used by the Continental Army came from France. The French contested the control of the seas that was so vital to the British, and compelled them to divert forces from the American mainland to other areas. The final stroke at Yorktown, though a product of Washington’s strategic conception, was possible only because of the temporary predominance of French naval power off the American coast and the presence of a French army.”
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  #113  
Old 04 May 11, 02:06
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One can easily make, and have made that same "World War" designation for the French and Indian War, twenty years before. The same criteria exists in both wars.
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  #114  
Old 04 May 11, 08:49
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I believe I already stated that about the French-after 1777 the issue musket, for example, of the Continental Army was the French Charleville and that excellent weapon was the model for the 1795 Springfield musket.

Yorktown was a siege, not a battle, and if the French had not been present, Washington would not have marched south in the first place-the general idea was Rochambeau's and the fact that de Grasse would be in the Chesapeake, not around New York, which was the objective Washington actually wanted. Yorktown and Cornwallis was the alternate objective.

And it is a fact that if the Continental Army did not exist the war would not have been won, French or no French. If the Continental Army's performances at the battles around Saratoga in the fall of 1777 and at Germantown in the same period had not been excellent, adding to it the surrender of an entire British army, the French would never have come in. The Continental Army was critical to US success in the war-the militia could never have done it on their own.

Sincerely,
M
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  #115  
Old 04 May 11, 17:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Massena View Post
I believe I already stated that about the French-after 1777 the issue musket, for example, of the Continental Army was the French Charleville and that excellent weapon was the model for the 1795 Springfield musket.

Yorktown was a siege, not a battle, and if the French had not been present, Washington would not have marched south in the first place-the general idea was Rochambeau's and the fact that de Grasse would be in the Chesapeake, not around New York, which was the objective Washington actually wanted. Yorktown and Cornwallis was the alternate objective.

And it is a fact that if the Continental Army did not exist the war would not have been won, French or no French. If the Continental Army's performances at the battles around Saratoga in the fall of 1777 and at Germantown in the same period had not been excellent, adding to it the surrender of an entire British army, the French would never have come in. The Continental Army was critical to US success in the war-the militia could never have done it on their own.

Sincerely,
M
Just to point out also, France and Spain both had some 60,000 troops ready to assault British interests in Europe, and Spain had numerous troops garrisoned in the West.

As stated, the addition of France and Spain in the Revolution was an extremely important, if not the most important, cause of Continental victory, thanks to the small revolution becoming a practical world war.
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  #116  
Old 04 May 11, 19:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Massena View Post
I believe I already stated that about the French-after 1777 the issue musket, for example, of the Continental Army was the French Charleville and that excellent weapon was the model for the 1795 Springfield musket.

Yorktown was a siege, not a battle, and if the French had not been present, Washington would not have marched south in the first place-the general idea was Rochambeau's and the fact that de Grasse would be in the Chesapeake, not around New York, which was the objective Washington actually wanted. Yorktown and Cornwallis was the alternate objective.

Sincerely,
M
Yorktown was both a siege along with a number of small battles. The infantry assaults on the outer redoubts especially Redoubt number 9 sealed the British Army's fate once it fell into American hands.
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  #117  
Old 05 May 11, 19:53
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The actions with Redoubts Numbers 9 and 10, along with fighting across the river at Cape Gloucester, were all part of the siege. They contributed to it and were not separate from it. I believe you'll find that in most sieges there are smaller actions that contribute to the whole and are part of the siege itself, as these were.

Sincerely,
M
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  #118  
Old 07 Jul 11, 13:10
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'The Battle of Bunker Hill, which is now widely acknowledged to be the first significant conflict of the American Revolution did not, in fact take place at Bunker Hill at all. It happened at a place closer to Boston called Breed’s Hill.'

This is old news as well as common knowledge. That history text books don't mention it is nothing new, either. I have never seen a good middle or high school history text.

For interesting and enlightening information on how history texts for middle and high schools are both written and selected, see Diane Ravitch's The Language Police. It's both a great, and a very scary book.

Sincerely,
M
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