British Joint operations in the South

British Joint operations in the South
British Joint operations in the South

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British Joint operations in the South

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For your essay, please answer Question #8

“8. Why did British Joint operations in the South fail to win the war for Britain from 1778-1781?”

Read the question carefully and be sure you do NOT write a paper that explains why the Brits were initially operationally successful at Savannah and more notably, Charleston.

Assume the question acknowledges that they were Operationally successful, but rather is asking you to explain WHY the Operational outcomes/results did not yield STRATEGIC success (i.e. win the war).

As a reminder, these essays are designed to be Critical Analyses, and as such you should only base your arguments on the information that the leadership/decision makers at THAT TIME had available to them. There should not be any “Monday-Morning Quarterback” information presented.

MAXIMUM 5 pages of text essay (Times New Roman 12 pitch font, 1 inch margins, double-spaced, NOT including your Cover Page or any references) and it will count as 30% of your overall S&W grade. Do not exceed 5 pages of text, not including the cover page, in an MS WORD format and please utilize the cover page format (cut/paste to make it easy) included on your disk.

Be sure your essay meets all of the requirements outlined in Annex A, especially those listed below, and I encourage all students to have someone completely unfamiliar with the essay/materials proof-read the essay prior to submittal to make sure your essay/argument makes sense and is influential/effective.

British Joint operations in the South

1. The Thesis paragraph “answers” the questions assigned. There should be no doubt in your readers’ minds exactly how you have chosen to answer the assigned question. 

2. The Main Body of your essay develops your thesis paragraph in a logical and easy to follow manner and includes supporting information/facts/figures/ statements from the syllabus source materials.

3. The essay contains a Counterargument in which you examine a feasible viewpoint that is different than one/more of those you present in your thesis.

4. The essay contains a Rebuttal in which you convincingly disavow the idea/opinion presented in your counterargument and further support one/more of your ideas contained in your thesis.

5. The essay contains the correct formatting as indicated Annex A and the Writing Guide (cover page, page numbering, citations, margins, etc).

British Joint operations in the South

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British Joint operations in the South

Poor strategic decisions and overreliance on injudicious assessments led to the failure of British Joint Operations in the South, thus leading to failure to win the war. During this period, the British government pegged their strategy on the loyalists, believing that they were the strongest and that the Southern colonies held a significant number of them. Accordingly, they focused their energy to the South. However, this strategy proved futile and led to British’s dismal failure as various challenges presented themselves ranging from lack of support to logistical issues.

The Loyalists were not as many as initially thought and with time could not be controlled by the British commanders as the operation eventually turned into a civil war between Loyalist forces and rebel partisan units. The Loyalists, who were expected to salvage the situation not only proved unreliable but also failed at controlling the countryside (Midgley, p. 139). In addition, Britain lacked adequate resources to deal with the civil war that emanated, thus leading to ultimate defeat. 

With increased resource depletion due to the expanded war, the British economy was becoming a major cause of concern, given the increasing resource strain as the empire sought to address the numerous threats facing it. The ever increasing pressure from the war presented one viable option for the British: to increase the army and navy size. Even then, this meant that Britain had to raise taxes in order to support this implementation, an option that was becoming less popular in the parliament due to the declining economic position (Midgley, p. 140).

Accordingly, the British needed to develop a new tactic to protect the empire’s colonies. In this relation, the West Indies colonies which were considered more valuable to Britain due to their economic value, given the large amounts of imports in the form of sugar and rum that benefited Britain to a significant extent (Learn NC, P. 2). It is this consideration that drove the British government to continue with the American war, but this time with a resolve to change tactic.

During the period between 1778 and 1781, Britain changed tactic by focusing their efforts from the middle colonies to the Sothern colonies in the belief that they had greater chances of winning. This would be achieved through relying on the untapped military strength which they believed lied with the Loyalists (Midgley, p. 139). There were four main reasons for the focus on the Southern colonies from the Northern and middle colonies. The first reason was that the Southern colonies were seen as a means to promote positive gains on war, following Britain’s defeat at Saratoga.

The second consideration is that the Southern colonies were closer to Britain geographically compared to Caribbean colonies. This meant that the coordination of the British army would be easier and that the empire would save on military resources which were highly strained. The third consideration was the clear impossibility of a decisive victory, such that Britain was now focusing on a negotiated settlement. Having lost after Saratoga,

Britain considered the Southern colonies comparatively untouched by war and given the less coverage of American forces in the South, the British could be in a better bargaining position if negotiation became preferred. The last consideration is that the Southern colonies contained more Loyalists, who were expected to provide military support and thus reduce the manpower required in executing the war. This was known as Americanizing the war and that with tactical implementation, only a small British force would be required to win the war.

In essence, the campaign was dependent on Loyalist support and the British government envisioned a situation where the Loyalists would provide manpower and take up military roles. This is considered the major undoing of the British – over-relying on the Loyalists for the success of their campaign…..

British Joint operations in the South

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