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The American Revolutionary War (1775- 1783)

This assignment will discuss the levels of this war, specific strategic goals of the parties that were involved in war

In the 18th century, warserupted between Britain and its colonies allied with France. Ideally, after 1765, increased political and philosophical differences between Great Britain and its colonies strained their relationships(Edmunds, 2012). There were patriot protests against forced taxation and the Stamp Act which sparked boycotts. Such boycotts increased in 1773 when a ship ferrying tea in Boston harbor was destroyed by the Sons of Liberty, creating more tensions. This assignment will discuss the levels of this war, specific strategic goals of the parties that were involved, operational-level campaigns, and tactical-level battles within this war. Finally, the assignment has evaluated how the strategic, operational and tactical levels of war were linked in this revolution.

Going by the modern military theory, the American Revolutionary War can be severed into three levels— strategic, operational and tactical. The strategic level concentrates on establishing and supporting national policy and is directly related to other results of war or conflict in general (Ruffa, Dandeker & Vennesson, 2013). It can be argued that the British changed its strategies throughout the war as they were exposed to more challenges and obstacles than they anticipated. Initially, the British only aimed at containing the American Revolution in Massachusetts and preventing it from spreading.  Based on this strategy, the British government instructed General Thomas Gage to bring the Intolerable Acts into force and disband the Massachusetts legislature. While responding to the command, Gage also made attempts to confiscate colonial arms situated in Concord in 1775.

The British’s strategy to contain the Revolution failed when they suffered adverse casualties at the battle of Bunker Hill.  Americans captured Fort Ticonderoga and planned to fortify the hills in Boston harbor to break the siege (History, 2018). Therefore, the British changed their strategy and decided to aim at capturing the New York City. As such, General William Howe was assigned to lead the British army to defeat the patriot forces led by General George Washington. Conversely,the Americans did not establish a real strategy until George Washington started controlling the Continental Army in July 1775. Although there are ideological divisions among historians concerning the Americans’ real strategy, some have praised Washington for following the Fabian strategy to wear out the British Army.

The operational level of war relates to releasing military forces in the war field to fight the enemy and fulfill the strategic goals. The operational levels of the American Revolution can be evaluated using three battles — the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Battle for Boston and the Battle of Saratoga (Edmunds, 2012). In an attempt to contain the American Revolution, Gage's troops marched to Concord on April 1775. However, while they were at Lexington, Americans attempted to repel the forces, having been notified by Paul Revere and others. Also, the Boston siege began on the night after the battle of Concord and Lexington as the loyalists followed the British back to Boston and took control of the land extending to where the city was located

In 1777, the battle of Saratoga erupted when the British General John Burgoyne and Howe decided to execute attacks on the colonial Army from two fronts. Howe marched northwards, winning the fights in Brandywine and Germantown and eventually assuming control of Philadelphia (Edmunds, 2012). On the other hand, Burgoyne’s army was unfortunate as they slowly marched towards Canada, having been delayed by the natural traps laid by Colonial Army. On reaching Saratoga, an enormous American Army attacked the troops, making General Burgoyne surrendered his army to the Americans.

The tactical level of war entails different approaches adopted by the military to obtain an advantage over its enemy. Indeed, such strategies may involve maneuvers, combats, and engagements in the Warfield (Edmunds, 2012). As Gage’s troops moved to Concord, at Lexington town, The Americans attempted to repulse them. Nobody knows which party fired the first shot that came to be known as ‘The Shot Heard Round the World’ thus necessitating a fight in an open field. However, alarms were sounded throughout the region, and American militias poured in large numbers, making them overwhelm the British, through sporadic guerrilla attacks.

Also, during the battle for Boston, Henry Knox, assisted by his engineers, retrieved 60 tons of heavy artillery that were initially captured at Fort Ticonderoga using Sledges. Weeks, later, in a surprising feat of mobility and deception, Washington moved several thousand men and artillery overnight to assume Dorchester Heights(Stewart, 2005). Such a move made the British fleet to be anchored in a shallow harbor with incapacitated maneuverability. On seeing the canons, General Howe knew he could not contain the city and asked Washington to allow him to evacuate in peace. In this case, although Howe had the artillery guns, he did not have the gunpowder.

In the conflict, the British and the Americans had different objectives. Specifically, the British’s sole aim was to remain in control of America and suppress any aggression (Stewart, 2005). For this reason, it made attempts to seize patriot militia supplies to contain the American Revolution and prevent it from spreading. Its next move after the defeat was to assume control of the New York City which had been captured by the Patriots militia. It wanted to bring in a strong army at a central position and defeat the American militia. Conversely, the primary objective of the Americans was to attain independence. Therefore, they made efforts to remain prepared to react to any actions the British took against them. Once the fight erupted, the Americans understood that they needed to build a strong army, obtain supplies from British enemies and drive them away from Boston.

A primary operational-level campaign during the War is the entry of France into the fight. Ideally, Americans were able to forge a critical link with France, whereby the representatives of American and France governments signed an alliance treaty in 1778 (Stewart, 2005).On hearing that a French fleet was arriving in Yorktown, George Washington executed a tactical-level strategy. He took his troops and surrounded the Yorktown. Although the Britishmanaged to hold on to the city for a few days, the allied forces scurried into Yorktown, destroying most of the British defenses using their canons. Consequently, Cornwallis surrendered his army on October 19, 1781. This tactical move enabled America to attain its objective of defeating the British troops and freeing itself from the British rule.

Going by the above analysis, it can be noted that the tactical, operational and strategic levels of war are interlinked. Notably, every battle begins at the strategic level, whereby the strategic concepts, armed forces, and instruments of war are prepared (Edmunds, 2012). After availing all the required instruments and resources, the next step involves employing the military forces to the Warfield, which is the operational level. The last level is the tactical level where the military forces use different approaches and techniques in the theater of war to assume an advantage over the enemy.

In a nutshell, The Revolutionary War that happened between 1775 and 1783 necessitated Independence in America. After the war, the British abandoned control of America and made peaceful deals to grant America self-rule. Moreover, the entry of the French into the war was a critical aid that enabled the Patriots militia to defeat British troops.

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