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American Revolution - Naval Science UC Berkeley Military Affairs

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Sea Power and Maritime
Affairs
Lesson 2: The American Revolution,
1775-1783
Learning Objectives
пЃ¬
Comprehend the American Revolution in the
context of European politics and the regeneration of
the struggle between Great Britain and France.
пЃ¬
Know and be able to identify the causes of the
American Revolution.
пЃ¬
Comprehend the uses of sea power by the
Americans, British and French.
Learning Objectives
пЃ¬ Know
the course of the war and representative
campaigns.
пЃ¬ Comprehend
the relationship of military and
naval policy, diplomacy, and strategy as
demonstrated during the war.
Remember our Themes!
пЃ¬
The Navy as an Instrument of Foreign
Policy
пЃ¬ Interaction between Congress and the Navy
пЃ¬ Interservice Relations
пЃ¬ Technology
пЃ¬ Leadership
пЃ¬ Strategy and Tactics
пЃ¬ Evolution of Naval Doctrine
Two Doctrines
пЃ¬
Guerre de course: commerce raiding
– predominant in 19th century
пЃ¬
Guerre d’escadre: squadron, ie., naval
warfare (line formations)
– predominant in 20th century
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Since the Revolution both traditions have
competed with one another
The State of the Navies
пЃ¬
Great Britain
– Permanent Fighting Instructions -- Formal Tactics
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Limits ability of Admirals to concentrate fleet’s
firepower.
French Navy is rebuilt.
– Superior construction, numbers, tactics, and
training.
– Defensive tactics of a land power versus a sea
power.
– Decline in number and condition of ships.
пЃ¬ Desire lee gage.
пЃ¬ Targeting of British sails and masts.
European Political Context
пЃ¬
Results of the Seven Years’ War
– The Peace of Paris, 1763, was a “truce”, in effect, not a
peace.
– G.B. (sea power) and France (land power) potential enemies
– Rivalry for Empire- N. America, W. Indies, Indian Ocean
– G.B. wants colonials to:
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Pay costs of Seven Years’ War- G.B. finances seriously depleted
Garrison soldiers
Proclamation of 1763
Oppressive acts
Resulting Rebellion becomes a renewed Anglo-French
War
The Colonies Revolt
пЃ¬
American maritime heritage result of
colonial status
– Resources: Ships, crews, raw materials, British
merchant fleet.
– Advantages: Protection, Ready market for goods,
benefit of imperial trade.
– Disadvantages: All trade supported Britain,
different national interests, no voice in policy, no
trade outside of empire.
– Causes: resentment of empire policies, taxation
to pay British debt, curtailment of W. expansion,
no representation.
Advantages of Being a Colony
– Protection
– Ready market for goods
– Benefit of imperial trade.
Disadvantages
– All trade supported Britain
пЃ¬ Less money for US!
– Different national interests
пЃ¬ Americans would trade with anyone
– No voice in policy
пЃ¬ No say in Parliament
– No trade outside of empire.
пЃ¬ British set who colonies traded with
пЃ¬
Great Britain
– Advantages
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
War of Revolution
Large economy based on world empire.
Well established government - Constitutional Monarchy.
Professional Army
Large Royal Navy (Although challenged for supremacy by French Navy.)
– Disadvantages
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Long Lines of Communication
Fighting on “Foreign” Soil
American Colonies
– Advantages
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–
Fighting on “Home Turf”
Ready market of resources
Disadvantages
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пЃ¬
пЃ¬
Weak government: Continental Congress.
Economy designed to support Britain in mercantilist system.
Disunity - Loyalists or Tories make up one third of population.
пЃ¬
Naval Strategies
British
–
Command of the Sea
пЃ¬ Blockade
American ports.
пЃ¬ Transport troops to areas of rebellion.
–
Hudson River Valley
пЃ¬ Cut
пЃ¬
off New England from middle and southern colonies.
American
–
War of Attrition
пЃ¬ Wear
–
Diplomacy
пЃ¬ Gain
–
down British forces.
European allies with large navies - France.
Commerce Raiding
пЃ¬ Privateering
Going It Alone (Prior to 1778)
The Need for an American
Navy
пЃ¬
British control of sea lines of communication.
– Americans unable to oppose British troop movements.
– British blockades of American ports restricts commerce.
пЃ¬
States authorize navies:
– Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
пЃ¬
Privateering commences against British shipping and
commerce.
– Definition of Privateering: Privately-owned vessels sanctioned
by a government to seize enemy ships.
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Washington’s Navy
– Seizure of gunpowder on British supply ships enroute to Boston.
– Ships commanded by Army officers with maritime experience.
Continental Navy and Marine Corps
пЃ¬
Authorized by the Continental Congress.
13 October 1775 - Navy Birthday
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Continental Congress approves purchase of two armed vessels.
10 November 1775 - Marine Corps Birthday
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пЃ¬
Continental Congress authorizes two battalions of Marines.
Samuel Nicholas - “First Commandant” of the Marine Corps
– Tun Tavern, Philadelphia
28 November 1775 - Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the
United Colonies established.
December 1775 - Marine Committee appointed by Continental
Congress to oversee naval affairs.
пЃ¬
пЃ¬
Authorizes construction of 13 frigates.
Debate continues over the need for naval forces:
Samuel Chase of Maryland: “Maddest idea in the world.”
Continental
Marines
MIDN Fincher on
Summer Cruise?
Early Military Operations
пЃ¬
American Siege of Boston - 1775
–
George Washington commands America’s Continental Army.
пЃ¬ Battle of
–
пЃ¬
Bunker Hill
Royal Navy evacuates British forces to Halifax in 1776.
American Invasion of Canada - 1775
–
Ethan Allen takes Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain.
–
Siege of Quebec fails.
пЃ¬ General
пЃ¬ Small
Benedict Arnold retreats to Lake Champlain - 1776.
fleet of shallow-draft vessels built to stop British
counter-attack.
First Navy
Jack
Hoisted at the main mast by Continental
Navy Commander in Chief Esek Hopkins
• 3 December 1775
American Raid on the Bahamas
пЃ¬
Esek Hopkins
– Commander in Chief of the Fleet -- converted merchantmen.
– Eventually dismissed in 1777.
пЃ¬
Ordered to break British blockade of the Virginia coast.
– Discretionary clause in orders allows Hopkins to change plans.
пЃ¬
Raid on New Providence Island, Bahamas - March 1776
– Storage area for British supplies of gunpowder and cannon.
– Sailors and Marines under Samuel Nicholas capture supplies
and transport back to colonies.
Continental
Navy
пЃ¬
Raid on Bahamas
пЃ¬
Many frigates
captured in port by
British.
Continental Navy
пЃ¬
Inferior naval power.
пЃ¬
Unable to build enough ships to challenge British
command of the sea.
– Had to rely on French Navy for command of the sea.
пЃ¬
Commerce Raiding against British shipping.
– Effectiveness improved after French Navy forced Royal
Navy to concentrate their ships into fleets.
Hudson River Valley and Lake Champlain
- Main invasion route between Canada and New York
Montreal
.
.
Quebec
.
.
Boston
New York City
General Washington - 1776
пЃ¬
Defense of New York from British invasion.
– Prevent British from dividing the colonies.
– Continental Army defeated and forced to retreat toward
Philadelphia.
пЃ¬
Washington crosses the Delaware.
– Trenton
– Princeton
пЃ¬
Continental Army remains a threat to the British.
Battle of Valcour Island
пЃ¬
British counter-attack across Lake Champlain to reach
New York.
– British required to construct a fleet to counter Benedict
Arnold’s fleet and secure lines of communication on the lake.
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Benedict Arnold loses all 15 of his ships.
–
пЃ¬
Tactical — Failure
Battle delays British invasion - forces their withdrawal
to Canada for winter months.
–
Strategic — Victory
Battle
of
Valcour
Island
11 October 1776
Battle of Saratoga
Battle of Saratoga
Americans defeat and capture General “Gentleman
Johnny” Burgoyne in upstate New York.
пЃ¬ Turning point of the war.
пЃ¬
– French enter the war as America’s ally.
пЃ¬
French Navy: 80 ships of the line.
– Small American rebellion becomes a major world war.
пЃ¬
Great Britain faces multiple enemies:
– 1775 American Colonies
– 1778 France and Spain
– 1780 Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Prussia, Austria, and
Portugal form an Armed Neutrality.
The Surrender of General
Burgoyne at Saratoga, New
York. 17 October 1777
A French Ally and a Global
War (1778-1783)
Fleet Actions
пЃ¬
“General Chase” melee tactics used unsuccessfully by
Royal Navy against the French.
– Battle of Ushant
– Battle of Grenada
– Moonlight Battle off Cape St Vincent
пЃ¬
New view of some British admirals:
– No need to strictly adhere to the formal tactics found in the
Permanent Fighting Instructions.
– Admirals now allowed more freedom of action.
пЃ¬
Franco-Spanish invasion of Britain planned.
– Admiral Rodney develops copper sheathing to prevent
fouling of ships’ hulls.
Commerce Raiding
пЃ¬
Capture enemy shipping using Navy ships or Privateers.
– Privateering very profitable - easy to find sailors.
– Difficult to man Continental Navy ships.
пЃ¬
Gustavus Conyngham - Irish American
– Captured 60 British vessels in 18 months.
– Successfully dug way out of prison on 3rd attempt after capture
in 1779.
пЃ¬
Lambert Wickes and Reprisal
– 1st American ship in European Waters (1777) captures 23 ships.
– Transports Benjamin Franklin to France.
пЃ¬
John Paul Jones
– Receives first salute to an American ship from French Navy.
John Paul
Jones
“Men mean more than guns
in the rating of a ship.”
“I wish to have no
Connection with any
Ship that does not sail
fast for I intend to go in
harm’s way.”
- 16 November 1778
Battle of Flamborough Head- 4 Sept 1778
Bonhomme Richard vs. Serapis
John Paul Jones: “I have not yet begun to fight.”
Battle of
Flamborough
Battle of
Head
Flamborough
Head
John Paul
Jones
“Without a
respectable Navy alas America!”
Rear Admiral
Francois J. P.
Comte de
Grasse
- Commander,
French West
Indies Fleet 1781
USS Comte de Grasse
(DD 974)
Yorktown
Campaign
August-October
1781
Battle of the Virginia Capes
пЃ¬
Initially poor cooperation between Continental Army and
French Navy.
– General Washington - need a combined operation for victory.
пЃ¬
1781 Lord Cornwallis leads British Army to Yorktown.
– Washington marches south with Continental and French troops.
пЃ¬
French West Indies fleet sails north under de Grasse.
– British fleet under Graves: Reinforce or evacuate Cornwallis.
пЃ¬
de Grasse anchors inside the Chesapeake then sorties and
defeats British fleet.
– Hood rigidly adheres to Permanent Fighting Instructions.
пЃ¬
Lord Cornwallis forced to surrender forces at Yorktown.
Battle
of the
Virginia
Capes
5 September
1871
Battle of the Saints
пЃ¬
Battle of the Saints - 1782
– French fleets combines with Spanish ships in an
attempt to capture British colonies in the West
Indies.
– British fleet “Breaks the Line” of the French
but fails to continue the battle.
British Technological
Improvements
пЃ¬
Cannonades
пЃ¬ Sir Charles Douglas
– “wedges”
– Better recoil
– no more “worming”
Battle
of the
Saints
12 April 1782
Naval
Policy
British Naval Policy
пЃ¬
Superiority over Continental Navy.
– Royal Navy used to transport Army troops in America.
– Blockade of American ports established.
пЃ¬
Challenged by French Navy after 1778.
пЃ¬ Improvements in gunnery made after defeat at the
Battle of the Virginia Capes.
пЃ¬ Permanent Fighting Instructions finally abandoned.
– New system of signals allows more freedom for admirals
to maneuver fleet to concentrate firepower.
– Change in tactics from Formal to Melee.
пЃ¬
Maintained naval power at the end of the war.
Colonial Naval Policy
пЃ¬
Sectionalism
– Continental Navy
– State Navies
– Privateers
пЃ¬
New Providence Expedition
пЃ¬ Penobscot expedition
пЃ¬ Commerce Raiders
пЃ¬ French Contribution
Conclusion of the War
пЃ¬
Combined French/Spanish attack on
Gibraltar defeated in 1782.
пЃ¬ French and British fleets battle for control of
India.
пЃ¬ Treaty of Paris - 1783
– Independence of American colonies.
– France restores most of Great Britain’s West
Indian colonies.
Learning Objectives
пЃ¬
The student will comprehend the American
Revolution in the context of European politics and
the regeneration of the struggle between Great
Britain and France.
пЃ¬
The student will know (identify) the causes of the
American Revolution
пЃ¬
Comprehend the uses of sea power in the American
Revolution by the British and Americans.
Discussion
Next time:The U.S. Navy in the Napoleonic Era,
1783-1815
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