The Leavenworth Way of War

History Discussion at CGSC

H301 Poll — Red Lobseters versus Mass. National Guard

Feel free to comment on your answer!

February 2, 2010 - Posted by | H300 | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. The combined Army and militia were too strong for the British to defeat. Upon shots being fired at Lex/Concord the IO camp was too strong against the British. The British were damned for action and inaction. If they went our and snatched radical colonials (or killed), the theme would be that the bullies just do want they want. Inaction would allow, even passively, for the radical “insurgents” to continue their very much un-British activities. In any case they acted, and when they did, the results were a retreat back to Boston with little to show for the cost. They needed mass which they did not achieve against a militia that was too strong.

    Comment by Walsh, Brian 17A | February 2, 2010

  2. I don’t think the Reds could have beaten the revolutionaries. However, I don’t think it was because the revolutionaries were stronger than they were, just used different tactics. I think it is very much like Napolean and Hitler invading Russia. The British had to extend their force across a large front that had no real obstacle behind it with which to pin the colonials against. The colonials had the option of retreating into the western interiors of the colonies where the Brits could only give chase so far or risk being outflanked or cut off. Although the colonies did put together an actual Army to fight, it was merely a waiting game. The colonials had all the time in the world to wait out the British and as we saw, the time and cost eventually became to great for the British to continue the fight. So, a question for my mate Sam, did we really defeat the British or just outlast them?

    Comment by Maj Walker | February 2, 2010

  3. To my mind it’s very clear that the colonials played the Maoist game of slowly slowly catch a tiger! For Americans the Wars of Independence are all important and all consuming. It is the key moment in your understanding of your nations history. It’s the metaphorical birth of your self-awareness; and that is absolutely as it should be. However in terms of British history our focus has usually been towards understanding Europe; in terms of history there is more of it, it’s deeper and there is more context. I genuinely don’t remember studying more than a couple of lessons of pre-WWI British /American history…and I studied history all the way through school. Maybe it’s because of collective denial but somehow I think not!

    Anyway…enough waffle, I’ll get back to the question. The answer, in my opinion is all about context, think about what was going on in Europe at roughly the same time: Spanish wars of succession, Austrian wars of succession, seven years war, pretty constant war with France (across the globe in Canada, India, Africa and of course in Europe) developing into the Napoleonic Wars. For a huge Empire, whose ‘jewel’ was in India, the focus (across DIME) was frankly elsewhere. So for these reasons my answer to Maj Walker is that the British were outlasted rather than defeated.

    I finish by suggesting, and it won’t be a popular opinion, that if control of the 13 colonies had been the ‘decisive operation’ for British interests abroad there is no way we would have been defeated militarily. We ruled half the world for goodness sake!

    What we needed was a shift in political main effort, GEN Petraeus and a surge!!!

    Comment by Maj S E A Cates British Army | February 14, 2010

  4. Sam, in your history lessons regarding Britain, is there any indication of the impact that the loss of the colonies had on the perception of British strength throughout the world? A recurring theme regarding American involvement in either Iraq or Afghanistan is that the US can’t really pull out and call “game over” without a clear victory because of a resulting perception on the world stage that America is weak and incapable of imposing its will as it sees fit (e.g. if the US can’t win in AF, why shouldn’t other countries challenge us as well?) What little I remember of 18-19th century European history is that the American Revolution didn’t cause any other British colonies to follow suit and demand independence. Is that correct? And based on that answer, what would be the resulting fallout if America after almost 10+ years in AF decided the cost outweighs the benefits and pulled out of the country: would there be a “domino effect” of terrorist nation-states popping up to challenge the US, or would the world order maintain the status quo?

    Comment by MAJ Bill May, 17A | February 15, 2010

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