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The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence   By: (1840-1914)

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First Page:

THE MAJOR OPERATIONS OF THE NAVIES IN THE WAR OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE

BY

A.T. MAHAN, D.C.L., LL.D.

CAPTAIN, U.S. NAVY

AUTHOR OF 'THE INFLUENCE OF SEA POWER UPON HISTORY, 1660 1783,' 'THE INFLUENCE OF SEA POWER UPON THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND EMPIRE, 1783 1812,' 'THE RELATIONS OF SEA POWER TO THE WAR OF 1812,' 'NAVAL STRATEGY' ETC.

WITH PORTRAITS, MAPS, AND BATTLE PLANS

LONDON SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & COMPANY, LIMITED OVERY HOUSE, 100 SOUTHWARK STREET, S.E.

[Illustration: (frontispiece)]

Copyright, 1913 , By A.T. MAHAN

All rights reserved

Published, October, 1913

THE UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE, MASS., U.S.A.

PREFACE

The contents of this volume were first contributed as a chapter, under the title of "Major Operations, 1762 1783," to the "History of the Royal Navy," in seven volumes, published by Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston, and Company, under the general editorship of the late Sir William Laird Clowes. For permission to republish now in this separate form, the author has to express his thanks to the publishers of that work.

In the Introduction following this Preface, the author has summarized the general lesson to be derived from the course of this War of American Independence, as distinct from the particular discussion and narration of the several events which constitute the body of the treatment. These lessons he conceives to carry admonition for the present and future based upon the surest foundations; namely, upon the experience of the past as applicable to present conditions. The essential similarity between the two is evident in a common dependence upon naval strength.

There has been a careful rereading and revision of the whole text; but the changes found necessary to be made are much fewer than might have been anticipated after the lapse of fifteen years. Numerous footnotes in the History, specifying the names of ships in fleets, and of their commanders in various battles, have been omitted, as not necessary to the present purpose, though eminently proper and indeed indispensable to an extensive work of general reference and of encyclopædic scope, such as the History is. Certain notes retained with the initials W.L.C. are due to the editor of that work.

A.T. MAHAN.

DECEMBER, 1912.

CONTENTS

PAGE

PREFACE v

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xix

LIST OF MAPS xxi

LIST OF BATTLE PLANS xxiii

INTRODUCTION

THE TENDENCY OF WARS TO SPREAD

Macaulay quoted on the action of Frederick the Great 1

Illustration from Conditions of the Turkish Empire 2

Lesson from the Recent War in the Balkans, 1912 1913 2

The War of American Independence a striking example of the Tendency of Wars to Spread 3

Origin and Train of Events in that War, Traced 3

Inference as to possible Train of Future Events in the History of the United States 4

The Monroe Doctrine Simply a Formulated Precaution against the Tendency of Wars to Spread 4

National Policy as to Asiatic Immigration 4

Necessity of an Adequate Navy if these two National Policies are to be sustained 4

Dependence on Navy Illustrated in the Two Great National Crises; in the War of Independence and in the War of Secession 4

The United States not great in Population in proportion to Territory 5

Nor Wealthy in Proportion to exposed Coast Line 5

Special Fitness of a Navy to meet these particular conditions 5

The Pacific a great World Problem, dependent mainly on Naval Power 5

CHAPTER I

THE NAVAL CAMPAIGN ON LAKE CHAMPLAIN

1775 1776

Preponderant effect of Control of the Water upon the Struggle for American Independence 6

Deducible then from Reason and from Experience 6

Consequent Necessity to the Americans of a Counterpoise to British Navy 6

This obtained through Burgoyne's Surrender 6

The Surrender of Burgoyne traceable directly to the Naval Campaigns on Lake Champlain, 1775, 1776 7

The subsequent Course of the War in all Quarters of the world due to that decisive Campaign 7

The Strategic Problem of Lake Champlain familiar to Americans from the Wars between France and Great Britain prior to 1775 8

Consequent prompt Initiative by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold 8

Energetic Pursuit of first Successes by Arnold 9

Complete Control of Lake Champlain thus secured 9

Invasion of Canada by Montgomery, 1775 9

Arnold marches through Maine Wilderness and joins Montgomery before Quebec 10

Assault on Quebec... Continue reading book >>




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