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"Battle of Fort McHenry" Topic

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Tango0111 Jan 2021 9:27 p.m. PST

"Encouraged by their victory at Bladensburg on August 24, 1814, and subsequent burning of Washington, D.C., the British turned north, intent on capturing the major port city of Baltimore, Maryland. Militarily, Baltimore was a far more important city than Washington because of its thriving port and strategic location. The British hoped the loss of both Washington and Baltimore would cripple the American war effort and force peace.

Initially, the British strategy during the War of 1812 had been defensive. The British were more concerned with defeating Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in Europe than fighting a minor war with the United States. Because of this, they had been content to defend their territory from American invasions without launching any of their own. This changed on April 6, 1814, with the defeat and abdication of Napoleon, which freed up a large number of veteran troops for a more aggressive strategy.

The British sent veterans of the Napoleonic Wars under the command of another Napoleonic veteran, Maj. Gen. Robert Ross, to attack the east coast of the United States by sea. The fleet of nineteen warships, also made available by the defeat of Napoleon, was under the command of Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane…"
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Oddball12 Jan 2021 6:33 a.m. PST

Fort McHenry is very well preserved, with the shore batteries rebuilt including the correct sized guns. I really enjoyed my visits there (been twice). The fort and surrounding fenced area of the park is very well maintained.

It is fairly easy to get too and in a diverse area of the lovely city of Baltimore. My experiences there were educational.

Tango0112 Jan 2021 11:58 a.m. PST



Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2021 8:28 p.m. PST

I've been to the Fort a few times, and my son and I toured it along with the reconstructed outworks and talked to the Park personnel about the Fort and the action.

The British naval bombardment did little damage to the defenders. One thing almost won them the action. One of the mortar bombs went through the roof of the magazine but failed to detonate. The Americans had not bomb-proofed the magazine which was a major error. If the bomb had detonated and the magazine gone up, Baltimore could have been lost.

Tango0113 Jan 2021 12:27 p.m. PST

Thanks also…


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