vygramul: DoctorOfLove: vygramul: whistleridge: No, the numbers weren't big by European standards, but given the costs involved in waging war at such a distance, that's not surprising. But the US revolution was a HUGE deal to the British, and it definitely got just as much of their attention as Napoleon or Hitler did. It just didn't threaten the British Isles as much.Compared to the forces the British committed to India and Europe, the colonies were a sideshow. The only naval engagements of any size in this hemisphere were over Caribbean French and Spanish interests."King George took the loss badly and considered abdication before facing the political and military realities. 1788 he suffered his first attack of insanity (now believed to be the result of the inherited disease porphyria) which was to plague him for the rest of his life. His son George, Prince of Wales, was made temporary regent an arrangement which became permanent in 1810."George would have committed suicide had he lost India or lost the home front.This isn't to say Great Britain didn't care. They just cared more about two other theaters of war.
marius2: vygramul:That's not terribly convincing. For one, the Brits were engaged in three major theaters of war, and the colonies were the least important theater. All the other examples were Britain's PRIMARY theater of war.This. So much this. I think Washington was a bad dude, but the idea that he was fighting the British Empire is laughable. He was fighting mercenaries. England had more important things to worry about.
Evil Twin Skippy: whistleridge: CSB time:And that, in the opinion of one of the greatest military historians who has ever lived, made Washington the best general of the past 500 years.He convinced me.This
whistleridge: CSB time:My degree is in military history. When I was an undergrad, I had the opportunity to spend a week in a series of seminars run by the late great John Keegan. During one of the closing sessions, one of the moderators asked him who he thought was the greatest general of the last 500 years. Like everyone else, I expected one of the usual suspects: Napoleon, Mannstein, Wellington, Moltke, Lee, Frederick the Great - someone famous, right?However, much to my surprise and the surprise of everyone else in the room, he replied 'Washington'.The moderator asked him to explain - after all, Washington was nothing more than a mediocre tactician, he lost more battles than he won, and he relied on others for his training and battlefield leadership. He didn't even have a degree, much less a former commission in the British Army.Keegan's reply was instructive, and it has stuck with me. I'll paraphrase:1. Unlike Napoleon, Hitler, et al, he won his war.2. And he did it against the British Empire.3. Which had never lost meaningful war. Not against the Spanish Armada, not against the Dutch, not against the French, not against the Germans. None of them. The onlyperson to decisively and permanently defeat the British was Washington.4. And he did it with no army, no money, no fleet, no training, no pre-existing governmental structure, no training, and only limited assistance - yes, French ships, guns, and men helped close the deal, but only after he had done most of the work setting things up.In conclusion, Washington was a rank amateur who took on something that had defeated the best efforts of every professional for 1000 years, and he won. And he did it without resorting to dictatorship, a bloody guerilla war, or any of the other problems that have so often plagued revolutionary leaders.And that, in the opinion of one of the greatest military historians who has ever lived, made Washington the best general of the past 500 years. He convinced me.
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