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Thread: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

  1. #136
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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    A good observation, pdf27. Apart from the obvious case of the Napoleonic invasion of Russia, the British were much more directly interested in contemporary events in the Iberian Peninsula, where 1812 marked the "turn of the tide" in favour of Britain and her Portuguese and anti-Napoleonic Spanish allies. In that year, Wellington ground out what were ultimately decisive victories over the French at Badajoz and Salamanca, and the Spanish/Portuguese armies scored multiple victories over the French in southern Castile. The net outcome was the liberation of significant western Spanish territories in the north and the south, temporary Allied occupation of Madrid, and the undermining of the French strategic position in the Peninsula as a whole, pointing to ultimate Allied victory over the following two years. Compared to the Peninsula, New Orleans must have seemed a long way from London. This is certainly not to deny the latter's ultimate importance. Best regards, JR.

  2. #137
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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    The Battle of New Orleans was fought after the peace treaty of Ghent was singed so the lives of the Royal Marines and soldiers were thrown away unless you count from the American perspective that it legitimized the United States as a regional military power. There is no questions that Napoleon provided a much more existential threat to Britain than did her former colonies. But at the same time, even with the winding down of the wars, I believe the economic toll on the two countries--Britain and America--was simply to great to continue. And while Britain's navy was far more powerful, there was a fear that a militarized United States, with a large standing army that was becoming ever more effective and well led, could cause problems. But in the end, Britain needed America's resources and markets, and America needed Britain for the same reasons.

    Regarding the Burning of Washington, one interesting thing of note was a massively violent storm cell erupted over the city as the British Army was setting fire to it dousing much of the flames and killing and wounding dozens of His Majesty's soldiers and marines. The British suffered more casualties in burning the city than they had suffered and the abortive Battle of Bladensburg. Providence?
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 06-08-2012 at 10:33 AM.

  3. #138
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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Nick - I agree that there was a certain absurdity in the decisive battle in the war taking place after the peace treaty was signed; one of a number of absurdities connected with this war. You would know much more about the "remembrance" of the war in the US - but it is my impression that the memory of this first major post-Independence war in the United States suggests that considerable importance is attached to the peculiar victory as a legimating act for the new state.

    None of that detracts from the sense that this war was a bad-tempered postscript to hostile relations between Great Britain and her former American colonies that should, really, have been regarded as settled some years before. Best regards, JR.

  4. #139
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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    Nick - I agree that there was a certain absurdity in the decisive battle in the war taking place after the peace treaty was signed; one of a number of absurdities connected with this war. You would know much more about the "remembrance" of the war in the US - but it is my impression that the memory of this first major post-Independence war in the United States suggests that considerable importance is attached to the peculiar victory as a legimating act for the new state.
    There's no question about this. The Battle of New Orleans was a significant, unifying event. The War of 1812 was in many ways even more unpopular than Vietnam and caused significant dissent in the New England states were individuals contemplated succession over the fact that the war was severing them from their key markets of Britain and Western Europe. The end of the war concluded on a military triumph and the securing of the key Mississippi River waterway ushered in an era of good feelings and an economic boon followed soon by a depression in the early part of the nineteenth century IIRC. It of course also propelled General Andrew Jackson's political career...

    None of that detracts from the sense that this war was a bad-tempered postscript to hostile relations between Great Britain and her former American colonies that should, really, have been regarded as settled some years before. Best regards, JR.
    Both sides are to blame for this. Where I live was a major war theatre (The Niagara Frontier/Southern Ontario) and there are still several forts, historical markers listing gun positions along the Niagara River, etc. As a specific, one of the bigger attractions having to do with the war is Fort Niagara, built by the French in the eighteenth century and eventually captured by the British/American colonists after the securing of Canada from the French. The fort was strategically located on a choke point of Lake Erie making its guns potent to hostile shipping. The British held the fort for the duration of the American Revolution using it as a post to launching raiding parties of British troops and American Loyalist "Rangers" through Western New York and even into Pennsylvania. Fort Niagara was supposed have been turned over to the New York Militia/U.S. Army but the Brits held onto it for years after the treaty refusing to leave. Despite this, the relations between the U.S. Army officers eventual stationed at the fort and their British counterparts across the lake were actually rather good with exchanges and dinner parties being the norm. With the coming of the War of 1812, it was also one of a string of ignominious defeats the early U.S. Army suffered as they essentially forgot to lock the gate allowing a large British raiding party to basically sneak in and secure the fort and circumventing its rather formidable rampart defenses..
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 06-09-2012 at 10:42 AM.

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