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"Desertion, identity, and the North American ..." Topic

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18th Century
19th Century

513 hits since 27 Jun 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2018 10:27 p.m. PST

….squadron 1784-1812.

"After the end of the War of American Independence in 1783, the size of the North American squadron was significantly reduced in both numbers of vessels and men, as it returned to its normal headquarters at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Between 1783 and the outbreak of the French Revolutionary War in 1793, the establishment at the Halifax dockyard was designed to support only one 50-gun flagship, four small frigates, two sloops and a brig, and at times there were even fewer warships available than this. The duties of these vessels were predominantly reduced to trade enforcement and protection of the George's Bank and the Gulf of St Lawrence fisheries from American and other interlopers.

After the outbreak of war with Revolutionary France in 1793, the station gradually increased in size, but prior to 1812 it would not regain the heights of its former complement of men and ships reached during the War of Independence. This was primarily because the British Navy followed the so-called Western squadron strategy, whereby most of its ships remained in home waters in a centre of gravity used to counter both possible French invasion or other major French fleet movements, rather than deploying large squadrons permanently on overseas stations. The problem of desertion, however, regardless of the size of the North American station, remained equally vexing to its commander-in-chief and senior officers…."
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