HY 480 Week 4 Notes
HY 480 Week 4 Notes HY 480
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rhiannon Hein on Sunday February 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HY 480 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Dr. Harold Selesky in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see Survey of Military History in History at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 02/14/16
Shy Chapter 9 Notes I. “The Different Plan” a. In 1778 after a startling defeat of the British soldiers and a new threat from France, King George the III decided to continue the war (against pubic opinion) under a different plan. b. The key element of this different plan was to pacify the American South. i. This scheme, its implementation and its results, is the subject of this essay. II. Munitions and some troops had been diverted to the South in order to exploit strong Loyalist support reported in Virginia and the Carolinas. III. South seemed to offer a last chance to win the war. a. Because French intervention brought new demands on British forces in North America, the first move south was weak, but it was a spectacular success. IV. The political earthquake in Britain set off by the surrender at Yorktown, more than any purely strategic effect, ended the ar. V. Gruber suggests that incoherence within the British high command and the reciprocal failure of their minds to meet on what they were trying to do, lay behind British failure. a. Gruber believes that the British, with all of their leaders’ half ass approach, never really gave their strategy a full trial. VI. What was that strategy? a. Basic to it were a number of ideas. i. First: the belief, repeated frequently by those British officials and supporters with most direct knowledge of the South, that the South was a hotbed of Loyalism. 1. keep in mind that this meant British intelligence was biased. The British supporters they got their information from wanted Britain back so that they, the supporters, could continue leading. ii. Second: Desire to cut off the principal channels of overseas trade through which foreign aid for the rebellion was being purchased. iii. Third: View that strategic and social geography—that the South favored a new, aggressive campaign. iv. Deprived of southern resources, the rebellion would become weak and demoralized in middle regions and eventually would be isolated to New England, where it could be dealt with. v. A small British army could liberate the thousands of southern Americans who longed for return to royal authority. These Loyalists could then defend and police their communities and districts. VII. Economy of Force a. Crucial to the whole concept of winning the war in the South. b. No longer would British troops try to occupy and hold directly every foot of territory. i. Instead, territory once liberated would be turned over as quickly as possible to loyal Americans for police and defense, freeing redcoats to move on to liberation of other areas. ii. This process was also known as “Americanization” and meant that a relatively small British force could conquer the whole South and thus win the war. VIII. Understanding the concept of Americanization allows us to understand why Brits didn’t need to completely deploy all their troops to the south. a. The process was highly militarily unorthodox, which was why British leaders were hesitant to support it. IX. New plan contained a few problems that were immediately apparent. a. Chronic uncertainty created by movements of the French navy in the North Atlantic. i. No plan could be implemented without considering the chance that a French fleet might disrupt it. b. Any opportunity to lure Washington’s army out of the hills and into a decisive battle must not be missed. i. Destroying the Continental army might do in a day what a year would take in the Southern campaign. c. Assuming that operations in the south were best conducted in the cool weather, Germain urged Clinton to use available land and naval forces to raid the coast of New England. i. The dilemma lurked in the optimistic idea of a seasonal shuttling of forces between North and South, but also in the decision to strike terror into American hearts at the same time Brits were being asked to win America hearts and minds. X. The new plan was at first brilliantly successful. What happened? a. The French intervened. i. Germain had to send troops to the West Indies and abandon his original southern plan. ii. Clinton thought that once troops from the north went southward, there wouldn’t be enough to hold New York and Rhode Island. 1. Clinton never stopped assigning equal priority to confronting Washington in the lower Hudson River Valley. b. Clinton saw strategy as hard choices between competing objectives and in reaction to Germain’s chronic optimism emphasized, perhaps more than his situation actually warranted, the need to do one thing or the other. c. The new plan became blurred by the exchange of orders, complaints, charges, and clarifications that passed between Clinton and Germain. XI. Germain seemed focused in a hundred different directions, but primarily the West Indies, while Clinton was most interested in his position in the North and drawing out Washington’s army to a decisive battle. XII. Clinton felt constantly pressured by what he considered the illinformed optimism of Germain and others who saw all Americans as being Loyalists in their hearts. a. He also felt pressured by another, betterinformed and larger group that advocated the use of fire and sword to defeat the American rebellion. i. However, Clinton, Germain, and Cornwallis, for all their differences, never accepted the principle of a war of all out terror. 1. The strategy of terror contradicted the belief that most Americans were basically loyal. XIII. Clinton knew that the most militant Loyalist were essentially uncontrollable and that if left free, would be little better than bandits who would sabotage efforts to restore peace and order. a. Clinton released prisoners and allowed them full citizenship if they swear allegiance, but this was a mistake for diehard Loyalists. It pushed former rebels to choose between a pretense of Loyalism or a return to rebellion. XIV. Whole loyalist units began defecting and Cornwallis’s calls for support went unanswered. Rebel terrorism met with Loyalist retaliation, and on and on. XV. By the Spring of 1781 the gap between strategic concept and operational realities was so wide that none of the three British leaders had any idea what he was doing. XVI. “In the end, American guerrillas did not defeat Cornwallis, nor would they ever have been able to defeat him decisively. Only a brilliant and lucky concentration of regular land and sea forces around the Yorktown peninsula defeated Cornwallis and ended the war. But to understand the bizarre chain of ideas and circumstances that brought Cornwallis to such an unlikely spot, so helpless to help himself, and cut off from the massive forces in New York, the West Indies, and Britain that might have supported him, we must understand how the British had planned to win the war by pacifying the American South.” Esdaile Chapter 1 Notes Separate the wars of the French Revolution and the wars of Napoleon (important for terminology). Wars of the French Revolution lasted from 17921802 and were between the French First Republic and several European monarchies which eventually became global conflicts. Napoleonic wars begin in 1803 and active operations begin in 1805. The Napoleonic wars represented the pinnacle of French power on the Continent. To attempt to explain the Napoleonic Wars in terms of a clash of ideologies is futile, along with the idea that they stemmed from AngloFrench economic and commercial rivalry. If British enmity had been the sole motor of the war, Britain probably would’ve fought alone. Without Napoleon the first fifteen years of the nineteenth century would have been a period of profound peace. o Napoleon could never stop behaving as an aggressor against the other countries of Europe. European countries had to fight to restore the balance of power. Nabuleone Buonaparte had first come to France as an officer cadet. o Poor, intense, physically unprepossessing, and fiercely Corsican, he was a classic outsider for whom struggle was a psychological necessity. o Napoleon’s first instinct was to see any and every situation as an opportunity to impose himself upon his fellows and establish his own superiority by every means necessary. When Napoleon became the commander of the Army of Italy, he suddenly soared to fame. By the end of 1797, Napoleon was already thinking of seizing control of the French government: he openly spoke of not wanting to leave Italy unless it was to play “A role in France resembling the one I have here” Napoleon came to power as a peacemaker. o He seemed to be able to combine peace (wanted desperately in 1799) with the protection of the Revolutionary settlement. He appealed to both George III of England and Francis II of Austria for an end to the war. o But these efforts weren’t serious. Napoleon managed to put responsibility of continuing the wars upon his enemies and could now seek further victories to augment his glory and allow him to dictate peace how he wished. After he humbled Austria, there remained the Ottoman Empire, Naples, and Britain. The Treaty of Amiens was never likely to lead to a lasting peace. o Neither Britain nor France was ready to relinquish its essential war aims. For peace to last, much would have depended upon Napoleon. o Napoleon was obsessed with the concept of power. o If the goal was power, war was the means. o Napoleon also seemed to regard war as a means of disciplining his subjects and curbing French volatility. o The sheer size of the French military establishment could sometimes be a spur to forward policy. Weather to retain the affections of the army or to keep the generals out of mischief, it could be argued that constant warfare was essential. o Napoleon wanted to offer France prosperity and this seemed to demand the continuation of a belligerent foreign policy that would offer resources and markets she couldn’t have otherwise. Napoleon the lawgiver was by no means separate from Napoleon the man of war. What were Napoleon’s aims? o He never had a settled plan of aggression, many of his later annexations became the fruit of circumstance. o He was an opportunist who was prepared to set aside principles of policy when they clashed with the needs of the moment. o Certain general objectives may be established: Napoleon’s vision of himself as the new Charlemagne Supreme temporal ruler to whom all other monarchs of Europe would owe allegiance. France as la grande nation Napoleon the Corsican was determined to secure the personal interests of his numerous brothers and sisters. The insecurity of his early life transferred into his foreign policy. Compromise was impossible o Napoleon was convinced his armies were superior and that his generalship was invincible. o He couldn’t accept there were limits to what he could achieve. Despite the Peace of Amiens, Napoleon continued actively to intervene in the affairs of the areas bordering upon them. o While few of the actions actually infringed on the treaty of Amiens, they infringed what the British regarded as its spirit Britain felt that their interests were being challenged not just in Europe, but in every quarter of the globe. o Napoleon said he would make no more concessions With neither Britain nor France prepared to make the fundamental concessions, on May 1803 the former declared war, opening the Napoleonic Wars. Going into the war, Britain was driven by neither ideological nor economic motives. o Britain was concerned with her security in Europe and the wider world. o Addington administration believed that only war could secure its “security” There was little sympathy for Britain. o Reasons for fighting appeared selfserving. o By means of his lastminute display of conciliation, Napoleon had made Britain appear the aggressor. Holland and the Italian and Ligurian Republics were forced to enter the war against Britain and to place their armed forces at France’s disposal. Switzerland and Spain were permitted to remain neutral (although Spain had to fork over a lot of money for it) All of the states were forced to close their ports and frontiers to British goods. The only possible counter to France were the professional armies of Austria, Prussia, and Russia. o The armies of the Eastern powers, in many ways, were still militarily inferior to those of Napoleon. There is little reason to believe that any power was eager for war with France in 1803. To understand the origins of the Third Coalition we must turn to the growth of French power. o War against England produced an immediate expansion of French influence on the Continent. o Austria feared for her trade while being concerned about the growth of French preponderancei n Germany and Italy o Prussia found herself with a French army placed in the midst of her dominions o Russia objected to a move that presaged renewed French interest in the Levant and the destabilization of the German settlement. Had Napoleon exercised moderation, Russia might have been conciliatory, but Napoleon couldn’t budge an inch. o When Russia’s proposals for moderation were denied, they adopted a policy of outright hostility, sending armies to the Ionian islands (which France was showing interest in). In 1804, there came the declaration that France was to be a hereditary empire. o This was not to be endured for the declaration (along with allowing him to lay claim to the mantle of Charlemagne) allowed him to formally supplant the Holy Roman emperor as overlord of Germany. Czartorysky began to work for a new coalition that would drive Napoleon back at least to the limits he agreed upon at Luneville and Amiens. o With a FrancoRussian rupture now a fact, it would appear that a wider conflict was inevitable. Russia, however, did not quite trust Britain: they had launched a surprise attack on Spain to force her into the war, and Russia believed that she wanted to embroil other powers of Europe in the war to allow her to scale down her commitment to the struggle. Even without these concerns, the chances for broad coalition appeared minimal. o At the beginning of 1805, the Third Coalition was really no closer than before. What changed the situation was Napoleon’s behavior. Napoleon announced he was to take the title of king of Italy and the annexation of Genoa. o However, in early April Britain and Russia had signed a treaty of alliance that committed Russia to war unless Napoleon agreed to confirm to the treaties of Amiens and Luneville. o Russia thus had to commit to war and Vienna had to follow suit. o Austria then either had to renounce all of her influence in Italy and desert her only ally in hope of maintaining peace or she had to take up arms. Finally, the coalition desired by the British since 1803 was completed. o Austrian forces moved into Bavaria and the Italian Republic o British troops prepared to invade Hanover o AngloRussian force landed at Naples o More Russians marching for Danube o Only Prussia remained aloof. Napoleon had only himself to blame for this alliance. o This was not a situation that he had wanted but so great was his concern for his prestige that he simply could not take the steps necessary to avoid conflict. Napoleon then violated terms of peace with Prussia by trying to hasten the march across Germany. o In response Frederick William then occupied Hanover and mobilized for war in his turn. The coalition of 1805 suffered massive defeats o Austria was subjected to a peace settlement so humiliating and injurious that it could not but create a powerful war party in the Habsburg court. However, Napoleon would make none of the concessions that were necessary to secure lasting peace. o He wasn’t willing to give up necessary territory with Britain and Russia. o Prussia secured peace with Napoleon but quickly realized how little that really meant. Napoleon’s disregard for Prussia once again forced Frederick William to go to war (very unwillingly). Napoleon kept ending up at war with other countries, in part because of his wars with Britain. o He initiated the “Continental System,” which formally totally excluded British trade from the Continent. o He thus forced himself to fight any power that refused to close its ports to British ships. o Because Napoleon was at war with Britain due to his own obstinacy, that the wars continued was no fault but his. Napoleon decided that his Spanish ally was weak and that he needed to overthrow them. o Once the Spanish crown was toppled, a new man, Ferdinand VII, took the thrown and was happy to ally himself again with Napoleon, but Napoleon wasn’t happy. o He wanted his family to rule so he kidnapped the royal family and forced everyone to abdicate and appointed Joseph Bonaparte. o Everyone in the country revolted against this. Peninsula War o The revolt of everyone in Spain and the uprising of Portugal. o It raged unchecked until 1814 o Ensured that warfare never left the Continent o Provided Britain with a permanent base on the European mainland. o Alexander of Russia was annoyed that Napoleon hadn’t consulted him when dethroning the Bourbons. In Austria the news of the Bourbon dethroning caused genuine panic. o There followed the campaign of 1809, which the Austrians had to fight alone o Austria lost and was punished again. o Austria cooperated in the implementation of the continental system and later provided a strong force of troops for the attack on Russia. With both Prussia and Austria reduced to servility, only Russia remained as a potential focus for hostility. o The tsar believed Russia had emerged well from the war and that the deal to France was both beneficial to Russia’s interests and a way to secure peace in Europe. o However, Napoleon was unable to capitalize on this. It was discovered in Russia that French agents were active in White Russia. Napoleon’s attempts to embroil Alexander in a partition of the Ottoman empire and an invasion of India and encouraging an attack on Sweden appeared sinister. For some time in early 1811 Alexander considered taking the offensive against Napoleon, but when Vienna and Berlin were unenthusiastic, he adopted purely defensive measures. o Knowing this, Napoleon began to mass the largest army that Europe had ever seen in East Prussia and the Grand Duchy of Warsaw in 18111812. o On May 24 1812, Napoleon resolved to invade. “In short, a compromise peace of the sort arranged at Luneville and Amiens should never have been an impossibility, the unique contribution of Napoleon being to ensure that it could not last.” “Napoleon may not have wanted to conquer the world, but he could not live with it on equal terms, responsibility for the endless conflict therefore being his and his alone.”