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The Men Who Lost America by Andrew O'Shaughnessy, [book] review
London Telegraph ^ | July 29, 2013 | Saul David (review)

Posted on 07/30/2013 3:01:58 PM PDT by Pharmboy


The surrender of General Cornwallis at Yorktown, 1781 Photo: courtesy Library of Congress

Britain’s loss of America in the War of Independence (1775-1783) is typically attributed to the failings of its key political and military decision makers who were, in Andrew O’Shaughnessy’s words, “associated with opposition to progress and with attempting to introduce an authoritarian style of government”. They have, he writes, become cartoon figures of incompetence and mediocrity in a story with an inevitable ending, “as history progresses towards modernity”.

Not any more. In this fascinating, well written and extensively researched study of 10 of those British decision makers – a monarch, three politicians, four generals and two admirals – O’Shaughnessy overturns much of received opinion by insisting that all “were able and substantial individuals who nevertheless failed”. The question is why – and could things have turned out differently?

The answer to the first part is, inevitably, multifaceted. The British lacked the military and naval resources to not only win battles but also police a largely recalcitrant population; their victories – and they won many – merely “served to reinvigorate the revolutionary cause” by stimulating recruitment and prompting greater unity among the rebels; they made a fatal miscalculation that loyalists were in a majority and would rally in support of the Army; they were hampered by the logistical nightmare of transporting supplies and reinforcements 3,000 miles across the Atlantic;

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: andrewoshaughnessy; bookreview; books; generalcornwallis; postmortem; revwar; sauldavid; unitedkingdom; yorktown
I thought I would post a review from The Mother Country. It seemed appropriate for this tome. The Wall St Journal liked it, too.
1 posted on 07/30/2013 3:01:58 PM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy
"The British lacked the military and naval resources to not only win battles but also police a largely recalcitrant population."

Recalictrant and proud! FUKG!
2 posted on 07/30/2013 3:06:31 PM PDT by mrmeyer ("When brute force is on the march, compromise is the red carpet." Ayn Rand)
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To: indcons; Chani; thefactor; blam; aculeus; ELS; Doctor Raoul; mainepatsfan; timpad; ...

General Cornwallis

The RevWar/Colonial History/General Washington ping list.

3 posted on 07/30/2013 3:08:32 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: mrmeyer

...and 50% of us REMAIN proudly recalcitrant to the present tyrant wannabees!


4 posted on 07/30/2013 3:10:09 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Pharmboy

Of all America’s enemies, the British are the ones I hate the least, and the ones I despise the most.


5 posted on 07/30/2013 3:10:38 PM PDT by Sirius Lee (All that is required for evil to advance is for government to do "something")
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To: Pharmboy

When I first saw this thread I thought it was a book about RINOs!


6 posted on 07/30/2013 3:13:43 PM PDT by Catmom (We're all gonna get the punishment only some of us deserve.)
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To: Sirius Lee

“Of all America’s enemies, the British are the ones I hate the least, and the ones I despise the most.”

I thought that I was alone in that feeling. Thank you! I am not alone! ;-)


7 posted on 07/30/2013 3:15:35 PM PDT by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (Learn three chords and you, too, can be a Rock Star!)
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To: Sirius Lee

Very interesting comment; I have always been quite ambivalent about them, as part of me is Anglophile, yet part is anti-Brit, BIG time. Your comment put it best.


8 posted on 07/30/2013 3:15:36 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Catmom
Ha! I knew some would see it that way.
9 posted on 07/30/2013 3:16:44 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Pharmboy

Something tells me the U.K. feels it dodged a bullet.


10 posted on 07/30/2013 3:22:28 PM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: Sirius Lee

“Of all America’s enemies, the British are the ones I hate the least, and the ones I despise the most.”

The British are our enemies?


11 posted on 07/30/2013 3:23:47 PM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: VanDeKoik
The British are our enemies?

Believe it or not we fought two wars against them. A third if you count our losing the battle against the central bank.

12 posted on 07/30/2013 3:30:55 PM PDT by Sirius Lee (All that is required for evil to advance is for government to do "something")
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To: VanDeKoik

Up until WWI, the Brits were vilified as enemies. Significant celebrations took place in NYC on the anniversary of their leaving NYC after the war; “Evacuation Day” was huge, but WWI ended it.


13 posted on 07/30/2013 3:34:40 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Sirius Lee

I never really thought about until you mentioned it, but the American and English species really don’t intermarry or even interfriend.

They’re not much over here and we’re not much over there.

I know we fight well together, but do our soldiers party with their soldiers?


14 posted on 07/30/2013 3:44:23 PM PDT by txhurl ('The DOG ate my homework. That homework, too. ALL my homework. OK?' - POSHITUS)
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To: VanDeKoik
The British are our enemies?

There were generations of Irish-Americans whose hackles were on permanent alert about any Brit, let alone relations with "those miserable murderin' black-hearts". When King George VI and wife visited in the US in 1939, it was said that a midwest city's mayor (Chicago?) threatened him if he were to visit the city.

So, yes you could say that there were times, even that recently, where the 'brotherly' feelings tended more to sibling irritation, at least for some.

15 posted on 07/30/2013 3:48:44 PM PDT by SES1066 (Government governs best when it governs least!)
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To: txhurl
I know we fight well together, but do our soldiers party with their soldiers?

Well during WW2, it was not so much with with the British 'Tommies' as with their girlfriends and others. The well known Brit complaint during the Normandy build-up was that the Yanks were "Over-paid, Over-sexed and Over HERE!" Given that most of the British Troops were spread over many fronts after 4+ years of fighting, there was reason for that animus. The Yanks were also somewhat successful in their endeavors in Britain given the number of war brides they came back with!

16 posted on 07/30/2013 3:57:43 PM PDT by SES1066 (Government governs best when it governs least!)
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To: Sirius Lee

My Dublin born and raised Irish grandmother used to say that there was much to admire in the British — but that they could be hard to like because they always insisted on being in charge. My County Cork born and raised Irish grandfather had a less generous view of the British and joined the IRA as a young man in order to fight for Irish independence.


17 posted on 07/30/2013 4:16:27 PM PDT by Rockingham
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To: Pharmboy

And now we have a King Obama.


18 posted on 07/30/2013 4:30:38 PM PDT by ZULU ((See: http://gatesofvienna.net/) Obama, do you hear me?)
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To: Pharmboy

For a moment there I thought this was a contemporary story, going off the headline. Sadly, that book too will come. :(


19 posted on 07/30/2013 4:37:17 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Unindicted Co-conspirators: The Mainstream Media)
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To: Pharmboy
Off topic but the name O'Shaughnessy compels me to post this.
20 posted on 07/30/2013 4:43:40 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Pharmboy
The more things change, the more they stay the same!

COIN - anyone? The coming massive failure of our adventurism in the Middle East!

21 posted on 07/30/2013 5:02:56 PM PDT by brityank (The more I learn about the Constitution, the more I realise this Government is UNconstitutional !!)
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To: SES1066; Pharmboy
In 1866, Irish-American Fenians, many Civil War veterans, actually tried to invade Canada. They had a vague notion that if they seized Canada they could force the British to grant Irish independence.

http://irishamerica.com/2012/03/the-day-the-irish-invaded-canada/

22 posted on 07/30/2013 5:06:38 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Pharmboy

I guess I do remember that there were actual planes drawn up by both sides for a possible war that could take place between both sides as late as the 30s. Not sure how serious they ever were about the actual possibility.

FDR was also none to big on the British’s imperial mentality either.

I wonder if Evacuation Day is even commemorated anymore?


23 posted on 07/30/2013 5:30:30 PM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: Pharmboy

“I want you all to Cornwallis, or anything else if it’ll save the plan.” — George III


24 posted on 07/30/2013 6:18:37 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: VanDeKoik
I wonder if Evacuation Day is even commemorated anymore?

Really? What do you think all those parades in NYC are for?
25 posted on 07/30/2013 6:29:57 PM PDT by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS... We are DOOMED for several generations. . Who cares? The Dems care!)
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To: Pharmboy

Thanks again, Pharmboy.
...10 of those British decision makers -- a monarch, three politicians, four generals and two admirals... "were able and substantial individuals who nevertheless failed".
It has been atypical for monarchs to be able and substantial, other than at table -- they get the job based on birth, and survival to inherit power. There's hardly been a less fanatic entitlement success story than George III.

The Parliament tried to levy a series of new and foolish taxes to defray the prior costs associated with what we call the French and Indian War; look, crap-heads, either you want to hold on and rule colonial territory, or you don't. After their first balk on their new tax schemes, each subsequent one looked vindictive and arbitrary.

It's especially mysterious that a Parliament and Crown obsessed with budget problems would throw good money after bad by, basically, upping the ante and spending even *more* money to fight, not a foreign enemy, but British citizens. That isn't the mark of "able and substantial" leaders.

The main reason for the Continental Army's success was leadership -- Washington learned that all he had to do was not be utterly defeated, cornered, and captured. He used an extensive and loyal network of spies to track British and Hessian movements, and struck when his hand would be heaviest. That began to work and take a toll (as we all know of course) with the Battle of Trenton.

Every British attempt in the interior blew up in their faces, thanks to forces other than the one directly under Washington, leaving the British in a role of occupier in coastal cities -- billeting troops in private homes and pissing off anyone who might otherwise have supported the Crown. Genius.

And of course, ultimately, the victory at Yorktown was due in part to having help from the French army and navy. Cornwallis showed great ability in other conflicts (Ireland and India), but simply got outgeneralled.


26 posted on 07/30/2013 6:40:14 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: VanDeKoik
It's a state holiday in MA.
27 posted on 07/30/2013 6:50:40 PM PDT by whd23 (Every time a link is de-blogged an angel gets its wings.)
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To: SunkenCiv

A rather brilliant and concise summary of the key issues by one named SunkenCiv. Well done, lad...


28 posted on 07/30/2013 7:09:07 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Pharmboy

And the anniversary is coming up for that long Battle of Yorktown. :’)


29 posted on 07/30/2013 7:44:17 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: JSteff

These days I would assume it is for Gay Puerto Rican Pride, or maybe people actually trying to escape the place.


30 posted on 07/30/2013 7:44:42 PM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: txhurl

Trust me, I have done some serious interfriending with the Brits. And I’m half-Irish.


31 posted on 07/30/2013 8:18:12 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: kabumpo

Irish are another cousinry species that doesn’t mate with the American or vice versa! I love working with the Irish, especially engineers, but there is just no native reciprocal BROness.


32 posted on 07/30/2013 8:46:09 PM PDT by txhurl ('The DOG ate my homework. That homework, too. ALL my homework. OK?' - POSHITUS)
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To: txhurl

I think those who wanted to immigrate have done so. My family intermarried second-generation Irish, Brit, German, Cannuck, and me? One Italian and one Hill-William (originally McGowin).


33 posted on 07/31/2013 3:13:06 PM PDT by huldah1776
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To: Pharmboy

I thought this was about leftists like Obama when I saw the title


34 posted on 07/31/2013 3:17:55 PM PDT by GeronL
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