By James C. Bradford
The United States, Sea strength, and the realm
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Additional info for America, Sea Power, and the World
During the spring of 1782, French and Spanish naval forces planned to invade Jamaica, but a British fleet commanded by Admiral George Rodney achieved a dramatic victory in the Battle of the Saintes (April 9–12, 1782), which shifted the balance of naval power in the Caribbean in Britain’s favor. In the waning days of the war, then, the Royal Navy had again asserted its power and proficiency. Despite this naval achievement, however, the war was over for Britain. 24 America, Sea Power, and the World The Turtle In 1776, in an effort to defend New York City harbor from British incursion, General George Washington approved and funded an innovative naval weapon: a submarine.
British warships transported soldiers and supplies across the Atlantic and moved them around the colonies as military strategy and exigency demanded. British operations before 1778 focused on the northern and middle colonies (a 1776 attempt to link up with Loyalists in North Carolina and a subsequent attack on Charleston had failed). When the British decided to abandon Boston in March 1776, the Royal Navy evacuated approximately 10,000 British soldiers without a casualty. Four months later, the Royal Navy conveyed some 32,000 troops to New York from Europe and Nova Scotia and supported their operations in the lower Hudson River Valley.
Indeed, the American victory at Saratoga was consequential not only because a major British army surrendered. More importantly, France, impressed by the Americans’ victory, entered into a formal alliance with the United States, a development that proved critical to the eventual defeat of Britain. State Navies Beginning in 1775, the American colonies began to establish their own naval forces. It is not surprising that the New England colonies, with their deep maritime traditions and needs, led the way.
America, Sea Power, and the World by James C. Bradford