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Download Saratoga: A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution epub

by John Luzader

1777June 30 – July 7: Fort Ticonderoga falls to a powerful advancing British army.September 11: General Washington and his Patriot army suffer a disastrous defeat at Brandywine, exposing the Colonial capital of Philadelphia to capture.September 12: John Burgoyne’s invading British army confronts Horatio Gates’ Patriots near Saratoga in upstate New York.The months-long Saratoga campaign was one of the most important military undertakings of the American Revolution, and John Luzader’s impressive Saratoga: A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution, the first all-encompassing objective account of these pivotal months in American history, is now available in paperback.British General John Burgoyne assembled his command at St. Johns (Canada) in June 1777, an army consisting of numerous warships, a massive artillery train, and 7,800 men including two large divisions of rested veteran British Regulars. Burgoyne intended to capture Albany, New York, wrest control of the vital Hudson River Valley from the colonists, carry a brutal war into the American interior, secure the Champlain-Hudson country, and make troops available for Sir William Howe’s 1778 campaign.Initial colonial opposition was paltry by comparison: widely separated fixed positions, small garrisons and commands, and feuding American commanders. Burgoyne’s primary opponent was General Horatio Gates, an ambitious and stubborn leader who eventually cobbled together some 8,000 men, including Benedict Arnold and Daniel Morgan. The series of battles large and small that Gates and his lieutenants would engineer stunned the world and spun the colonial rebellion in an entirely different direction.The British offensive kicked off with a stunning victory at Fort Ticonderoga, followed by a sharp successful engagement at Hubbardton. More combat erupted at Fort Stanwix, Oriskany, and Bennington. However, serious supply problems dogged Burgoyne’s column and assistance from General William Howe failed to materialize. Faced with hungry troops and a powerful gathering of American troops, Burgoyne decided to take the offensive by crossing to the west side of the Hudson River and moving against Gates. The complicated maneuvers and command frictions that followed sparked two major battles, one on September 19 at Freeman’s Farm and the second on October 7 at Bemis Heights. Seared into the public consciousness as “the battle of Saratoga,” the engagements resulted in the humiliating defeat and ultimately the surrender of Burgoyne’s entire army. The crushing British defeat boosted Patriot morale and prompted France to recognize the American colonies as an independent nation, declare war on England, and commit money, ships, arms, and men to the struggling rebellion.John Luzader’s 'Saratoga: A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution', a Finalist in The Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award for Operational / Battle History, 2008, is the first complete study to combine the strategic, political, and tactical history of these complex operations into a single compelling account. Decades in the making, his sweeping prose relies almost exclusively upon original archival research and Luzader’s own personal expertise with the challenging terrain. Complete with stunning original maps and photos, Luzader’s Saratoga will take its place as one of the most important and illuminating military studies ever written.About the Author:
Download Saratoga: A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution epub
ISBN: 1932714855
ISBN13: 978-1932714852
Category: History
Subcategory: Americas
Author: John Luzader
Language: English
Publisher: Savas Beatie (August 6, 2010)
Pages: 512 pages
ePUB size: 1253 kb
FB2 size: 1126 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 806
Other Formats: lrf lrf rtf mbr

John Luzader is a superb military historian, and the Saratoga Campaign is what he knows best. His book ranks with Richard M. Ketchum's "Saratoga, Turning Point of America's Revolutionary War," another excellent treatment of the most pivotal months of the American War of Independence. Both cover the broad sweep of the long failed British effort to put a quick end to the American uprising in 1777. There are other more focused books on the subject, including Douglas Cubbison's "Burgoyne and the Saratoga Campaign: His Papers," and my own forthcoming book "1777: Tipping Point at Saratoga," but Cubbison concentrates on the British commander while I concentrate on just 33 climactic days on the Saratoga fields of battle. Like Ketchum, Luzader provides broader context for these and other more focused works. Reading them rewards students of American history, for there was a moment during the chaos and tragedy that played out at Saratoga when the chances that the United States of America would survive and thrive as a nation tipped from unlikely to inevitable. It is a story packed with heroes and heroines on both sides, including Benedict Arnold, whose reputation today would be very different had a German musket ball shattered his heart rather than his leg on an October afternoon at Saratoga.
This book suffers from too much discussion on the internal politics between the military and political leaders on both sides of the conflict. There is way too much discussion on correspondence and the back-and-forth of the decisions that were made far from the battlefield. Certainly, some of this is useful and relevant to the story, but I think there was way too much of this, and not enough about the military side of the campaign. Some of this discussion occurs out of sequence, and some reaches back too many years. I also thought the writing style was a bit haughty, but I can overlook that. There were lots of quotes and quoted passages from correspondence and other sources; perhaps this book was intended to be a scholarly work and not a popular telling of the story. One thing that annoyed me in the quoted passages was the frequent (but not altogether consistent) use of [sic] when words were misspelled or not spelled according to our modern convention. I take it for granted that when quoting a passage from 1777 that this will be common, and I don't need an editorial apology for every instance.

The Kindle version also suffered from terrible formatting. The spacing was in the wrong places. Many words were broken, and some broken words were combined with adjacent words. I could eventually figure it out, but this made the reading more difficult, and there's really no excuse for that.
Super P
I found this book to be very informative. It covered not only the battle of Sept. 19th and Oct. 7th but also Bennington and Ft. Stanwix. I learned a great deal about the many personalities surrounding the series of events that led to the surrender of Burgoyne on Oct. 17th. The bravery and determination of American troops at Saratoga was a major factor in the ultimate victory but I also came away wondering why the British undertook the invasion from Canada at all. The supply lines from Canada were long and challenging. To deliver supplies to the British once they were on the west side of the Hudson involved a long upstream trek of the Richelieu River, a portage at the Richelieu Falls, a second portage of about three miles up to Lake George from Lake Champlain and then 16 miles overland to the Hudson. This was compounded by the lack of coordination between General Clinton at New York City and General Burgoyne. After reading this book, I consider the British undertaking an over confident gamble that, if successful, would have looked brilliant but in truth an effort agains the odds.
I thought the book was constructed well and presented events in a logical manner. I found the detail about the displacement of Schuyler by Gates and the quarrel between Arnold and Gates a bit cumbersome, but it added to a better understanding of events as a whole and was a necessary addition to the book. I think it important to understand that Bennington, Ft. Stanwix and the Saratoga battles were connected and all contributed to the eventual downfall of the British. None of the many other books I have read about the American Revolution presented this so clearly. To understand the success of the American Revolution requires a clear picture of the contribution made by the victory at Saratoga. Reading this book is very much worth the effort.