Them And Us: The American Invasion of British High Society

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Mar 10, Bibliovixen rated it it was ok Shelves: kindle. This was a bit of drag by the time I reach mid-point in the book. If you're more interested in upper class Brit history than I am, it may be more enjoyable to you. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

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American Invasion British High Society by Charles Jennings

No trivia or quizzes yet. Newcastle remained an old-school continentalist—who believed that the war would be decided in Europe, and was convinced that a strong British presence there was essential. He was supported in this view by George II. A compromise was eventually established in which Britain would keep troops on the European continent under the command of the Duke of Brunswick , while Pitt was given authority to launch several colonial expeditions. He sent forces to attack French settlements in West Africa and the West Indies , operations which were tactically successful and brought financial benefits.

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In Britain a popular surge of patriotism and support for the government resulted. Pitt formed a triumvirate to direct operations with George Anson in command of the navy and John Ligonier in charge of the army. A Militia Act was passed to create a sizable force to defend Britain which would free up regular troops for operations overseas. The British had received several requests from their German allies to try to relieve the pressure on them by launching diversionary operations against the French.

Pitt had long been an advocate of amphibious strikes or "descents" against the French coastline in which a small British force would land, capture a settlement, destroy its fortifications and munitions supplies and then withdraw. This would compel the French to withdraw troops from the Northern front to guard the coast. After an urgent request from Brunswick, Pitt was able to put his plan into action, and in September a British raid was launched against Rochefort in western France. For various reasons it was not a success, but Pitt was determined to press ahead with similar raids.

A landing in Saint-Malo was partially successful, but was cut short by the sudden appearance of French troops — and the force withdrew to Britain. Pitt organised a third major descent, under the command of Thomas Bligh. His raid on Cherbourg in August proved to be the most successful of the descents, as he burnt ships and munitions and destroyed the fortifications of the town. However, an attempt in September to do the same at St Malo ended with the Battle of Saint Cast and the British withdrawing with heavy casualties.

Them And Us: The American Invasion Of British High Society by Charles Jennings

The raids were not financially successful and were described by Henry Fox as being "like breaking windows with guineas ". Britain and France both had significant colonial possessions in India and had been battling for supremacy for a number of years. The collapse of the long-standing Mughal Empire brought the clash between the two states to a head, as each tried to gain sufficient power and territory to dominate the other.

The Treaty of Pondicherry which ended the Second Carnatic War had brought a temporary truce to India, but it was soon under threat. In he had succeeded his grandfather Alivardi Khan who had been a staunch British ally. By contrast he regarded the British East India Company as an encroaching threat. On 20 June the Nawab's troops stormed Fort William capturing the city. A number of the British civilians and prisoners of war were locked in the small guard room in what became known as the Black Hole of Calcutta.

A force from Madras under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Clive arrived and liberated the city, driving out the Nawab's troops. Clive consolidated his position in Calcutta, and made contact with one of the Nawab's chief advisors Mir Jafar attempting to persuade him and other leading Bengalis to overthrow the Nawab. After the British ambushed a column of the Nawab's troops which was approaching Calcutta on 2 February , the two sides agreed the Treaty of Alinagar which brought a temporary truce to Bengal.

Despite the agreement at Alinagar, neither side was content with the status quo. The British felt that if they did not assert their position, the French would become the dominant power in Bengal. Siraj ud-Daulah was fearful of being forced to accept British suzerainty. His position was weakened by his unpopularity with his own subjects, and the threat of other military enemies to the west. He began to take steps to drive the British out of Bengal entirely.

On 23 June the Nawab led a force of 50, into the field. Ranged against them was a much smaller Anglo-Indian force under the command of Robert Clive. The Nawab was weakened by the betrayal of Mir Jafar who had concluded a secret pact with the British before the battle — and refused to move his troops to support the Nawab.

Faced with the superior firepower and discipline of the British troops — the Nawab's army was routed. After the battle Siraj ud-Daulah was overthrown and executed by his own officers, and Mir Jafar succeeded him as Nawab. He then concluded a peace treaty with the British.

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Mir Jafar himself subsequently clashed with the British for much the same reasons as Siraj ud-Daulah had. He conspired with the Dutch East India Company to try to oust the British from Bengal and in invited them to send troops to aid him. The defeat of the Dutch at the Battle of Chinsurah resulted in Britain moving to have Jafar replaced with his son-in-law, who was considered more favourable to the EIC.

One of the most important long-term effects of the battle was that the British received the diwan — the right to collect taxes in Bengal which was granted in The veteran Dupleix had been in India a long time, and had established a key rapport with France's Indian allies. Lally was more newly arrived, and was seeking a swift victory over the British — and was less concerned about diplomatic sensibilities. Following the Battle of Chandalore when Clive attacked a French trading post the French were driven completely out of Bengal.


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In spite of this they still had a major presence in central India, and hoped to regain the power they had lost to the British in southern India during the Second Carnatic War. The Annus Mirabilis of Latin 'year of wonders' was a string of notable British victories over their French-led opponents during that year. Apart from a few isolated victories, the war had not gone well for Britain since In all theatres except India and North America where Pitt's strategy had led to important gains in they were on the retreat.

British agents received information about a planned French invasion which would knock Britain out of the war completely. While France starved their colonial forces of troops and supplies to concentrate them on the goal of total strategic supremacy in Europe, the British government agreed to continue their policy of shipping their own troops to fight for total victory in the colonies—leaving Britain to be guarded by the large militia that had existed since The British had entered anxious about a French invasion , but by the end of the year, they were victorious in all theatres against France.

The succession of victories led Horace Walpole to remark; "Our bells are worn threadbare with ringing for victories". Frank McLynn identified as the year which prefigured the rise of the British Empire in eclipsing France as the dominant global superpower. Recent historians, however, have portrayed the British Cabinet as a more collective leadership than had previously been thought. Three years later, Great Britain saw a similarly successful year.

This led some to describe as a "Second Annus Mirabilis ". Following Clive's victory at Plassey and the subjugation of Bengal, Britain had not directed large resources to the Indian theatre. The French meanwhile had despatched a large force from Europe to seize the initiative on the subcontinent. The clear goal of this force was to capture Madras , which had previously fallen to the French in After a hard-fought three-month siege the French were finally forced to abandon their attempt to take the city by the arrival of a British naval force carrying reinforcements on 16 February One of Pitt's favoured strategies was a British expedition to attack the French West Indies , where their richest sugar-producing colonies were situated.

A British naval force of 9, sailed from Portsmouth in November under the command of Peregrine Hopson. After failing to make enough headway, and losing troops rapidly to disease, they were forced to abandon the attempt and move to the secondary target of the British expedition, Guadeloupe. Orders arrived from London concerning an assault on Saint Lucia but the commanders decided that such an attempt was unwise given the circumstances.

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Instead they moved to protect Antigua for any possible attack by Bompart, before the bulk of the force sailed for home in late July. Since early the British had contributed an increasingly large number of troops to serve in Germany. Pitt had reversed his previous hostility to British intervention on the continent, as he realised that the theatre could be used to tie down numerous French troops and resources which might otherwise be sent to fight in the colonies.


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On 13 April Brunswick lost the Battle of Bergen to a superior French force and was forced to retreat. The French pursued Brunswick slowly, capturing the strategic town of Minden which could potentially be used to stage an invasion of Hanover. Brunswick was pressured into action by this threat; the French command was also eager to end the campaign with a swift victory to free up troops which would allow them to take part in the proposed invasion of Britain.

On the night of 31 July, both commanders simultaneously decided to attack the other outside Minden. The French forces reacted hesitantly when faced with Germans in front of them as dawn broke, allowing the Allies to seize the initiative and counter-attack.

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