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"How Britain won the War of 1812: The Royal..." Topic

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762 hits since 9 Aug 2017
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Tango0109 Aug 2017 9:55 p.m. PST

… Navy's Blockades of the United States, 1812-1815.

"Among the new books that have emerged coincident with the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, Brian Arthur's How Britain Won the War of 1812: The Royal Navy's Blockades of the United States, 18121815 is one that should win attention, both for its provocative title and its revelatory content. This is the most carefully researched book on the effectiveness of the British blockade of the United States during this conflict to have yet been published. Arthur demonstrates how a bold use of sea power, with its advantages of mobility and surprise, can be a very effective weapon.

One of the time-honored techniques of maritime warfare is the establishment of a blockade off an enemy's coast. It must be fairly clear that the nation which attempts a blockade must have sea control, at least in the immediate area of the conflict. The goals of naval blockade are to destroy or render useless an enemy's warships and to interfere with and preferably ruin that nation's seaborne commerce. The strategy of a sea blockade is two-fold. It assumes the blockading nation has sufficient naval vessels at hand to guard effectively the coast and its sea approaches. It does no good for a nation to declare a blockade it cannot or does not intend to enforce thoroughly. In application, it is designed to prevent or discouraging an enemy's warships and merchant vessels from departing from or returning to a port. If rigorously applied, this strategy can throttle a nation's navy, trade, and damage its economy, thereby diminishing its resources and undermining the morale of the enemy population. Depending on the number of ships available, the blockading nation may choose to establish a close or distant blockade or a combination of both if it has a sufficient number of ships.

Long before the War of 1812, the Anglo-Dutch wars provided a good example of what a blockade could do, with the Royal Navy's ships blockading the Dutch coast in 1653, thus creating havoc in the Dutch economy. The British blockade of the American coast during the American Revolution was somewhat less effective. The Royal Navy was obliged simultaneously to keep watch on the French fleet in the ports along the rock-strewn coasts of Normandy and Brittany, and in North America, to assist the British Army in amphibious operations. Both nations maintained ships to protect bases and trade in the West Indies. The Admiralty often lacked enough vessels to cover the American coastline thoroughly from Massachusetts to Georgia. A classic blockade was the British fleet's enduring and dangerous monitoring of French naval activities off the coast of Normandy, Brittany, and in the Bay of Biscay during the Napoleonic Wars, in addition to monitoring the naval base at Toulon on the French Mediterranean coast. This blockade was successful in preventing an invasion of the British Isles and bottled up French naval fleets and merchantmen, though it required keeping a large fleet in commission at great expense…"
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11th ACR09 Aug 2017 10:43 p.m. PST


Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2017 2:15 a.m. PST

You've put this here before

CorroPredo10 Aug 2017 8:35 a.m. PST

+1 11th ACR!

Roderick Robertson Fezian10 Aug 2017 8:44 a.m. PST

We've got a song that says they didn't:

YouTube link

(Hey, if you can't believe Johnny Horton, who can you believe?)

SgtPrylo10 Aug 2017 9:22 a.m. PST

Great 'win', how'd that work out for you?

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2017 9:36 a.m. PST

Funnily enough so do we that contradicts Johnny Horton

YouTube link

foxweasel10 Aug 2017 10:25 a.m. PST

We ended up with the largest empire in the world, so I should say it worked out quite well. Thanks for asking.

Mark Barker10 Aug 2017 10:59 a.m. PST

As one of the recent news anchors said regarding the comings and goings of the Trump presidency "Not since British troops last visited have there been so many fires to put out in the White House …"

When we visit, we leave a lasting impression …

Tango0110 Aug 2017 11:04 a.m. PST



SgtPrylo10 Aug 2017 12:48 p.m. PST

foxweasel, just because you went there: pretty sure the sun sets on the empire now. ;)

But I can always be…trumped (ouch) by the current President, so I'm going to lose any argument here and rightfully so.

Vigilant11 Aug 2017 3:24 a.m. PST

Here we go again! US won a battle after peace had been agreed and think they won the war. Reality they invaded a country expecting to be welcomed and were kicked out. The borders remained the same, the supposed pretexts for the war had largely been stopped due to events in the Napoleonic war, no strategic objectives achieved. Still you won a battle so focus on that. The real winner, as 138squadroin's video post says, was Canada. Self determination without a revolution. At a display I saw in Tombstone a Canadian was defined as an unarmed American with a health plan… seems like a good deal to me.

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